My friend and I have a bit of an inside joke between us. I use the word “joke” here loosely, but I’ll let you in on it. In some ways, it feels like a little bit of a joke or some humor on God’s part that He would give us the children He has given us.
You see, both of us have children with nut allergies. Life-threatening, potentially fatal nut allergies.
And we are both perfectionists. We are both control-freaks when we’re not walking in faith.
Somehow, two controlling mamas ended up with children who can go into anaphylaxis from eating a cookie. How is that for irony?
So as food allergy moms, we seek balance. We know that it is wise to be diligent and cautious with our sons, and we follow the “rules” of nut allergy living that our pediatric allergist suggests. But we also know that at the end of the day, there will be moments that we simply cannot control.
Many days, it is an exercise of faith when we send our sons into childcare at church on a Sunday morning. All it takes is a parent or a worker to have a lapse in judgement, and our sons could be in an ER.
It is an exercise of faith when we leave the boys with grandparents, friends, and baby-sitters. Food allergies are a challenge for anyone who doesn’t deal with them on a daily basis.
I remember the first time I left my food-allergy son with a non-allergy friend. Now that was tough! My friend, Siri, insisted on keeping my two older kids one morning so that I can get some rest after my new baby was born. She knew that with 3 kids ages 3 and under, I would need a break. I explained the “rules” of food allergies and left the Epipen.
And then I drove away.
It felt so weird to be away from my little food allergy buddy, but I knew it was just as good for him as it was for me. I needed to practice trusting others with his care.
Did I mention Siri is a pediatric nurse? She is a better person to administer the Epipen than me, and I knew I could trust her, but it was still tough to act on it.
In a perfect world, perhaps I would never have to leave my son in places where peanut butter had been. Maybe I would never have to leave him at all. And in a perfect world, perhaps there would be no food allergies.
But then I wouldn’t need faith. I wouldn’t need to say, time after time, that I trust God with this.
Not all of my children have food allergies, and I’m sure yours don’t either. But in so many areas, we need to practice faith, trusting God in all the big and small details of their care. We have to be aware that while He gives us wisdom and the opportunity to make choices in so many areas of life, He is ultimately in control. We can choose to rest in that or we can choose to exhaust ourselves from trying to control it ourselves. Either way, the outcome is the same. He is sovereign. He is in control…or He isn’t God.
This is what I tell myself over and over again. The same God who cared for my child during his life-saving lung surgery is still sovereign over peanut allergies. I can trust Him to protect my son and I can trust Him to give us wisdom on what situations are appropriate and safe and which ones are not.
Where do you need to exercise a little faith in parenting?
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