A couple weeks ago, we listened to talks by our church’s prophet and apostles. My favorite talk was by Elder Rasband of the presidency of the seventy titled Special Lessons. In this talk, he described the birth of his grandson Paxton, who has a chromosomal deletion, which has left him in the NICU for some time. Then he said:
To all of you who have challenges, concerns, disappointments, or heartaches with a dear one, know this: with infinite love and everlasting compassion, God our Heavenly Father loves your afflicted one, and He loves you!
Some might ask when faced with such suffering, how could Almighty God let this happen? And then that seemingly inevitable question, why did this happen to me? Why must we experience disease and events that disable or call precious family members home early or extend their years in pain? Why the heartaches?
At these moments we can turn to the great plan of happiness authored by our Heavenly Father. That plan, when presented in the pre-earth life, prompted us all to shout for joy. (Job 38:7.) Put simply, this life is training for eternal exaltation, and that process means tests and trials. It has always been so, and no one is spared.
This definitely applies to those with food allergies. I don’t understand why God chose to allow Joseph to be unable to eat so many foods. But I trust that God has a plan for him. I don’t know all the changes this will make in our lives, and in the lives of others, but I have found a greater empathy building within me. I’ve found myself growing socially, as I’ve “met” other bloggers who have food allergies. I’ve also found these words from John to be true.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. …
My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:18, 27)
As I have prayed over Joseph, I have felt that peace. I feel so blessed to have found so many resources to learn new recipes and techniques. I have been able to find so many products to be able to feed him.
There is a blog post some other allergy sufferers have passed along about how food allergies is worse than cancer. I can’t believe that. Yes, it’s hard to monitor every single food he eats. It’s hard to listen to his screams as I tell him he can’t eat something his sister is eating, because he’s allergic to it. But I choose to focus on our blessings. He is healthy and happy. And while it seems that food is everywhere, I’ve learned that there are plenty of activities that don’t involve food.
What special lessons have you learned as you deal with the challenge of a limited diet?
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