I Am Not at the Mercy of My Genes

I Am Not at the Mercy of My Genes

I have two MTHFR C677T gene mutations and am homozygous. This means that my MTHFR enzyme activity is severely reduced, to only 30% of normal activity.

What? That’s a lot of big, science-y words.

The bottom line is that my DNA is different than most people’s, and this means that I am at risk for certain diseases. The reason I bring this up here is because the mental health issues linked to having an MTHFR mutation include depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. I got two out of three.

Genetic mutations do not make anyone sick. But they do reduce some of the built-in defense systems in my body, so that I am less protected from bad stuff that life may throw my way.

A common phrase is, “Genes load the gun; environment pulls the trigger.”

The MTHFR mutations are relatively common and are widely studied. The best way I can protect my weakened defense systems is through dietary changes and nutritional supplements. I have made these changes – under the care of a medical professional.

But if it’s genetic, does that mean God created me that way?

Psalm 139:13
For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

God created me, but then I was born into sin and decay. When Adam and Eve sinned, they died spiritually and were separated from God. They introduced sin into the world, and the world has been decaying ever since.

Romans 8:20-21
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

I was created in the image of God, but sin distorted that creation.

Am I, therefore, doomed to live a broken life? Am I at the mercy of my genes?

Nope. My genes didn’t make me sick and they can’t keep me sick.

God gave us medical science, practical wisdom, and a free will to choose how we take care of our bodies. He also gave us His Word and the Holy Spirit to help us make the right choices and have the strength to follow through on them.

Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Offering our bodies as a living sacrifice means giving God the ultimate authority in all our choices regarding our physical lives.

How do we do that?

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Conforming to the pattern of this world includes not taking responsibility for our health, but rather thinking that we just have to accept whatever illnesses we end up with and deal with them as best we can.

“I was born with bipolar disorder. I’ve always had it and I always will.”

God’s Word says we don’t have to accept the pattern of this world. We can be transformed, if we’re willing to do the work. And that work starts with renewing our minds.

How can changing my mind change my DNA?

On one hand, lining my mind up with the Word of God in faith opens the door of possibility for supernatural healing. God can change my DNA.

But even if my DNA never changes, I still have the power to make changes in my lifestyle that will change the way my DNA expresses itself. I have the power to build up my body’s natural protection systems and reduce the amount of sickness in my life. I do that by changing my choices.

The good news is: God does not expect me to make these changes in my own strength.

II Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

When God asked me to start avoiding refined sugar, I told Him that I would obey, but that He would have to help me. I asked the Holy Spirit to stop me when I reached for something sugary without thinking and to remind me of my decision. I asked Him to help me stay strong when I really wanted something with sugar in it.

And He was there for me, every time.

Hebrews 13:20-21
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

God equipped me with everything I needed to do His Will. I was able to make the choices I needed to make and change my lifestyle the way it needed to change. As a result, I no longer live with symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder. My body is back to being able to protect itself and the genetic mutations are no longer causing problems.

I don’t have to accept the risk factors given to me by my genes. God gave me power, love, and self-discipline to make the choices I needed to make. And He equipped me to make the changes in my lifestyle that eventually led to freedom from my symptoms.

What choices is God asking you to make, that will lead you to freedom?

Photo credit: qimono

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