12 August 2013

exceedingly more

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." 
Ephesians 3:20-21

I have an amazing, artsy, animal-loving eight year old daughter, "Charlie".
She is riddled with food allergies. Little ones, big ones, and life-threatening ones. In total, she has 14 foods she cannot eat. They control much of our existence because we must be diligent in our care of her. To keep her safe. To keep her alive.

Educating the people in our lives is an ongoing, uphill battle. 

There are those who respect it out of necessity for the most part, making an attempt to follow protocol. But they have no real understanding or awareness. Their silent faces scream at me that I am an over-protective, alarmist mom who inconveniences them and their easy-going lives. Causing them to understand the life-threatening urgency of our requests feels impossible. They make my job difficult. They keep me praying. 

There are those who may not fully grasp it, but they embrace it, they join us in trying hard to protect her in spite of what they do or do not understand. It occurs to them to check with me when in doubt. I am grateful for these people. They make my life easier more than words can say. 

There are also those who run as hard as we do with it, taking on the same diligence and passion for her safety that we must have. These people are dear to my heart because they love us as the Word says they should: "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" Galatians 5:14.

For some time, there were a lot of people we needed to trust with Charlie's care who fell into that first group. It caused me no small amount of stress. I spent much time praying. My daughter did have a few minor reactions during that time, but thankfully her life was never compromised, nor was it from being fed unsafe food, only from external contact (I made sure she was provided what she needed for eating).

Recently, the matter arose again as new people would be in the position of caring for her in that setting. My prayers increased, desperate to be understood. For someone to listen a little closer. Then it came to the attention of a man everyone there knew, who happened to be an ER doctor. Familiar with food allergies from a medical viewpoint, he stepped in for us.

At a pivotal meeting he thoroughly educated a room full of people. People who were shocked and sobered by the stories he told. Stories from the news, stories from his own emergency room. Stories of rapid death because the wrong food was eaten or inhaled. 

And suddenly, plans were in place for the protection of any person who entered that environment and might have a food allergy. Plans far better than I could have hoped or expected. Awareness that went deeper than I could have imagined.

My God is great. He heard and far exceeded our cries for intervention. 

God gave me charge of my specific children, and I am reminded at times that it is not a mistake. It is deliberate. I am honored to be the mom who fights for their needs, prays for their beings, loves their amazing selves. 

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