Okay the title pretty much says it all. I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and I am not ashamed to admit that. Other than saying "God bless" at the end of almost each one of my posts, I try to keep my religious preferences off of the board. Not because I think they don't apply, but because I don't feel it is a place to discuss such issues. There are many people on the board from all walks of life, from all over the world and from many different religious (or non-religious) back-grounds. I don't feel it is my place to chase anyone off of the board with my religious beliefs, and despite our best intenstions discussing religion would do just that.Now that being said I do have to also say that my faith in Jesus Christ DOES affect how I live my life and it makes a great deal of difference in how I see myself and my gluten free lifestyle. I prayed for many years for God to show me what was wrong with me. I felt like I was always sick and I often thought I was dying. When I realised gluten was causing me to feel like this, it was as if my whole life opened up infront of me and I was able to live again. To me this has been an answer to all my prayers and I am grateful to God for showing me the answer. This does not mean that I am always happy about having to have a special diet. There are always times when it gets frustrating and difficult to deal with, but one thing I won't do is blame God for "giving" me this disease, or be angry about having it. It could have been a lot worse. I could have ended up having some terminal disease that would have either killed me or put me on tons of pills for many years only to die a long agonizing death. Well that still might happen anyhow, , none of us can see the future, but I think it would have happened a lot sooner if I never had found the answer.I try to live each day showing God's love to others. I see the message board here as a way of doing just that. If I can help others to feel better, then I am doing something for God. We are supposed to reach out to others in need, most religions teach this, and Christianity certainly does. We all help each other here and that is fellowship. We as people were never meant to suffer alone in anything we do, and most of us here on this message board felt utterly and completely alone when we recieved our diagnosis (whether you are doctor diagnosied or self-diagnosed makes little difference). We felt alone until we came here and found so many others that have gone through the same thing (or are going through it with us). Here we are like one big Celiac family. I go to church each week and I love my church family, but they don't understand what I am going through. God does though. I believe that he brought me to this message board, for my benefit and also so I could help others. I do this for His benefit and His glory. That is how I live my life. For the glory of God.I am not perfect. None of us are, but without God as the center of my life I do not think I would be able to handle this life with the ease that it appears that I do (especially being a family of 5, 4 of which are gluten free). My life is not easy, but to others it appears so. When they find out what I, or my husband, or my children have gone through with our health issues they are usually amazed that we are all doing so well. I can only say that it is God. My husband has an illness that could kill him if he doesn't take the medication, and will most likely never go away. Thank God for the insurance we have that pays the $1200 a month (minus our $15 deductible) medication! My son has TWO genetic disorders (gluten intolerance and Familial Mediterranean Fever) as well as asthma, migraines, nasal polyps, allergies to most antibiotics and possibly an allergy to asprin and salicylates. But Praise God, none of them are life threatening, most of them can be helped by medication and/or dietary avoidance. Only one requires surgery periodically. My children are all healthy now that we have figured out what was making them have growth problems and other health problems. That is wonderful to me. It helps me to be able to have a positive attitude in regards to the diet. It also allows me to pass that positive attitude down to my children. They are very knowledgable about the diet and they are able to hold their own when they are at school, church, VBS, and friends houses. They know what they can have and what they need to avoid. They will remind others about it when they are given food they cannot eat. To me this is another answer to prayer. I do not want to have to worry about my kids all the time when they aren't with me. I do not want to always hover over them and not give them space to grow. God helps me with that. He watches over them when I am not there, and I get to hear about it from their teachers when they tell me how "Hannah let us know when we accidentally put an Oreo on her plate. She asked for a new plate and went and got her gluten free oreos from her box". Well Prasie God again. She was only 5 when that happened. I couldn't have been more proud, or more thankful to God. She would have gotten very sick if she had eaten that oreo! I am thankful to God that he gave my oldest one of the best friends he has ever had. His friend does not need to be gluten free (as far as we know) but he loves my sons gluten-free foods and is always trying to steal his "goodies". He begs his parents to let him go on the gluten-free diet! To me and my son it is funny, but inside I am thanking God again for giving him this wonderful boost. You see my oldest had the hardest time dealing with the diet. He was very angry about it at first. He didn't like to be the odd guy at school. He wasn't happy about not being able to have all the good stuff at the store. It was also hard at first because we were all dairy free. But wouldn't you know it, his friend is now addicted to the Blue Diamond Chocolate Almond Breeze! In fact my son wants to buy his friend a case of it for his birthday! And also give him some gluten free chocolate mint protein bars! Every time his friend raves about the food my son doesn't feel so bad about the diet. He has made such a turn around from when we first started the diet. My son recently went to Vacation Bible School. He is 6th grade now, so he couldn't go to the night time one with his brother and sister unless he was a helper. He couldn't be a helper unless he went to the Youth group VBS at 8:30am! When the leader said they were serving breakfast and asked if he could bring his own sack breakfast, he replied "Sure, no problem". He was so excited to go, even though it meant that he would have to bring a sack breakfast! all the other kids had donuts, cinnamon rolls, danish, some egg pancake thing baked in the oven and stuff like that. He happily got up at 8am and helped me pack his breakfast. He didn't care that he was different. He was happy to help me make cinnamon roll muffins, and he was excited to pick out things he liked to eat. He had a blast! I never want my kids to feel like they have to be excluded just because they have to eat different food. God helps me everyday to be prepared. That is the key to a successful gluten-free life, preparedness. That and a good kitchenaide mixer.