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Women in the Valley

Women in the Valley: Bethany’s Story

Thank you, Bethany, for sharing your story with us!

Tell us about yourself!

Hello! My name is Bethany Lacock. I’ve been married about 10 months and my husband, TJ, and I live in Watertown, WI. TJ is a dorm supervisor at Maranatha Baptist University. I am currently a nanny in a little town about 10 minutes from Watertown. I love children, so this is right up my alley! As far as my hobbies go, I love to craft, sew, play the piano, sing, and help other people with their health goals.

My health conditions have gotten so much better in the past couple of years. I praise the Lord for that! When I was about 12, I had the flu. I couldn’t keep anything down — not even water — for a few days. I remember being so sick and my head and tummy hurt so bad that I couldn’t even move. My parents took me to the ER, where the doctors said I was dehydrated and put 6 liters of water in my system. Then they sent me home with antibiotics, which completely killed off everything in my gut.

From then on, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I ate anything, I would be doubled over in severe stomach pain. This went on for about 2 years and I was getting worse and worse. We tried so many things and nothing helped. We finally went to see an osteopath doctor who helped me so much! He basically said that my digestive system was working backwards and I was starving to death because I couldn’t absorb any nutrients. He did what he could to get my gut working properly again and also gave me a list of foods to avoid.

That’s when we unofficially found out that I probably had celiac disease (severe allergy to gluten). My digestive system was still pretty much ruined from all the damage of eating gluten for the past two years. So for the next 8 years I was allergic to 8-9 different foods and lived off meat, fruit, and veggies.

In college I was very sick all the time. The school actually had to move me from the dorm into one of the apartments so that I could cook for myself, since eating in the DC always made me sick. I was weak, fatigued, and always constipated. I had severe eczema, brain fog, tummy aches all the time, headaches, and couldn’t really go anywhere without feeling sick. Then God allowed me to find some natural supplements that have changed my health drastically! I have had so much healing in the past 2-3 years and I no longer have any of those symptoms except for one food allergy! Praise God for healing and hope!

What did God teach you in your valley of chronic illness?

During my valley of chronic illness, God has taught me that He is always with me. He’s always there to be my strength and help (Psalm 18). And He is our hope. Even if God doesn’t provide healing right now, our hope is Heaven! And we will no longer have pain there! There is so much hope in trusting in God. This sickness is only here for a little while… and then we will spend eternity in perfection!

What Scripture has spoken to you in your times of need?

I absolutely love Psalm 18:1-3:

“I will love you, oh LORD, my strength! 
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised:
So shall I be saved from mine enemies.”

God IS our strength and He will help us when we are in distress! He is our deliverer, our buckler, the horn of salvation, our high tower, and our Savior from our enemies — in this case, chronic illness!

 What was the best part of your chronic illness?

I think the best part of this is that I get to learn to trust God in new ways! It’s not easy being sick all the time. But guess what? God has been through everything that we have! He has been through excruciating pain. He’s been through sadness, and had tears over His pain. He knows what we go through, and He wouldn’t let us go through it unless He knew that it would grow our relationship with Him. 

How would you encourage other women with chronic illness?

Press on. God has given us a race to run. Even if you are chronically ill, you can still be a light to others. Our purpose here is to continue glorifying God and loving others. Try to get the focus off your pain and illness and see if you can help others! I know it is so hard. But ask the Lord to help you. He is right there for you, ready to help you in all things!

What resources helped you?

I am really not a big reader, but I do know that God’s Word has helped me! One of my counseling classes in college really encouraged me when I was sick and overwhelmed. My professor talked about how God knows our struggles and that He cares. That was a really big help to me! My parents and friends were also great “resources.” They encouraged me so much and helped me keep my eyes on the Lord!

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