Monday, October 12, 2009

When the Answer is 'Not Yet'

Saturday morning did not start out well for us. It had been 2.5 years since #2 had been exposed to cow's milk (to which she is severely allergic) and we were beginning to believe that since we had not seen an allergic reaction in quite some time that maybe she was outgrowing her milk allergy. This is something we've been praying for since she was 7 months old. At the time, we were told she had a 75% chance of outgrowing her allergy by age 3. She's 4 now and Saturday morning during breakfast #2 announced suddenly that her tummy was hurting really bad. Normally, this doesn't mean much except that she has eaten too much or needs to go to the bathroom. This time, it was different. Hubs immediately realized he had given #2 the wrong cereal bowl. (#2 drinks rice milk.) I was instantly alarmed and had her lay on the couch while we watched her reaction unfold before our eyes. A minute later, she began coughing over and over, then choking. Her eyes swelled and she began sneezing like crazy. I gave her a heaping dose of Benadryl as soon as the coughing started. It took several stressful minutes for the Benadryl to stop the coughing and once that happened I got the flashlight and looked in her throat. It was very narrow with hives all inside. Benadryl saves lives. That's why I have it in several places in my house and carry it with #2 everywhere she goes. Had I waited seconds longer to give her Benadryl, I am sure I would have had to use her EpiPen and call 911. Once the reaction calmed down and I was sure that for the moment she would be okay, I was discouraged. It is difficult to live with food allergies, but it's very hard to watch your child deal with food allergies. It's in a sense, a disease. This could potentially take her life and that is a very scary thing. Her life is not only in my hands, but in the hands of EVERYONE around her. Let's face it, food is everywhere and at every function. She's not only allergic to milk, but also eggs and peanuts. This means all baked goods are off limits, most desserts, all casseroles, most breads, vegetables in public places, pastas, etc. For this reason, we do not go to pot-luck meals, churchwide fellowships and other food-involved events. She's still too young to trust her with her own life. She knows she has allergies, but not to the extent that she could resist the temptation to taste what looks delicious. She is aware now, that we pray for God to allow her to outgrow these allergies and she prays for that, as well. I know she doesn't understand that and really doesn't understand why everyone else gets to eat everything when she constantly has to eat an alternative. Thanks to Saturday, she now knows what happens when she eats something 'bad'. I have been begging God to take these allergies away from her. It is very inconvenient and time-consuming to figure out meals and snacks that are free from her allergies, but that is not why I ask God this request. I love her and don't want her to have to deal with this all of her life. I don't want her to have to wonder if what she's putting in her mouth is going to take her life. I don't want her to be 'left out' and feel like the odd ball everytime her friends/classmates are indulging in a delicious snack and she has to eat something different. I want her to be invited to birthday parties and be able to eat the birthday cake. I want her to be able to trick or treat and be able to eat the candy without Mom and Dad having to susbstitute everything in her bag. I want her to be able to pick any restaurant in the city that she'd like to eat at and be able to go there and eat whatever she wants without worry or fear. I want to see the smile on her face instead of the sadness that once again she can't have what everyone else has. BUT, I have had to face the fact that it doesn't matter what I want. What matters is what God wants. I know that His plan for #2 is better than my plan. He doesn't do anything without a reason. He does everything for her good. So, knowing that and having experienced that in my own life, I have to believe that He will work this out for His glory and for her good. Somehow these life-threatening food allergies will work together for good according to His purpose for her life. And Saturday, when I realized that the prayers we have prayed for #2 to outgrow these allergies is still a prayer in progress, God's answer to me is 'not yet', and while that can be discouraging it is a good reminder to me that I need to be more fervent and faithful praying for #2. She's special to God and He loves her more than I do. It makes Him sad to see the disappointment on her face just like it makes me sad. He has protected her every day of her life and I am thankful for that. God has been so good to us and I will continue to praise Him for Who He is and what He has done for me, even if He never sees fit to relieve my girl of these allergies.
Psalm 126:3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

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