Written By: Amy Reinhardt
Because of Jesus Christ, we have the chance to start again.
Before my last clinic appointment, I reviewed my labs online. Scrolling down, I saw reports for calcium, protein, hemoglobin, iron, and, finally, I saw my phosphorus, which was higher than the previous month.
I remember seeing it and feeling instant disappointment. I thought I would lower it this time, but I had failed.
Failure isn’t a fun feeling. It makes you feel small and defeated. I felt melancholy all morning before my appointment. I anticipated a reprimand from my dietician. I knew I’d failed her and myself.
My commitment to the renal diet had gotten too lenient. I was eating foods that weren’t kidney friendly, like peanut butter and tomatoes. It was too hard to avoid the temptation, so I chose to not even try.
I showed up on time, ready for my dietician to shake her head in disapproval over my phosphorus level. Instead, she said something that took me by surprise: “Don’t forget the power of reset.”
Everybody fails. Whether it’s starting a healthy habit or giving up a bad one, everybody gets off track. She assured me that the renal diet was a perfect example. It restricts certain foods that’d be considered healthy for the average person with functioning kidneys.
Besides, it’d be tough for anyone to stay away from foods like pretzels, chocolate, nuts, and cheese – especially when the cravings kick in.
Hearing her words reminded me of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It’s our chance to atone for our sins and walk away with a clean slate. In other words, it’s our very own reset.
No one lives a perfect life. We all sin. We may sin in different ways, but we’re all imperfect humans. It’s tempting to fall into despair when our heart is heavy with shame.
We don’t have to live this way. Going to confession and receiving absolution frees us. Makes us feel new.
That night I left the dialysis clinic feeling empowered, just like after Reconciliation. I could begin again and choose more renal-friendly foods that would lower my phosphorus. All thanks to the wise words of my dietician.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God. And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” -Psalm 51:1
At 28 years old, Amy Reinhardt has been an Ascension parishioner for over half her life. She led Disciples Dwelling and was heavily involved in the young adult ministry up until getting diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. She strives to radiate Christ’s light and love to all who are blessed to know her. If you’d like to read Amy’s health updates: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/amyreinhardt.