UNEXPECTED Part 1

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They will have no fear of bad news;

their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

– Psalm 112: 7

After a week of rest from writing I am back! It feels good to be writing again and to be back to sharing devotions together. Welcome back to you if you’ve taken a break from this blog, thanks for joining us again if you’ve hung with us through Lent, and WELCOME hugs to you if this is your first experience with this blog. No matter where you are, I’m glad you are here, and I’m grateful for your presence. I pray that God speaks to you whatever it is your heart needs to hear today.

Above is what appears to be just a picture of some candied pecans. To be honest these happen to be some of the BEST candied pecans I have ever eaten. The caterer I work for makes these. I have had the privilege to make them one time at work and one time at home for my family. However this plate of 10 pecans is dangerous – even life threatening to my youngest daughter.

Over the last few years my youngest daughter has complained that eating certain nuts bother her. She would eat a few cashews and her mouth would get itchy. She would eat a few walnuts….the same. By age 12 she had gotten to the point where she chose not to eat them at all. About 6 months ago she had a few again and this time said the reaction seemed different. The itch was deeper in her throat. She said it was like an itch she couldn’t reach inside. She was nervous. Up to this point, I really felt like it was just her seasonal allergies acting up. I cannot eat some raw fruits because when I ingest them, my body thinks I am eating the sap from the trees that I am allergic to. I get an itchy throat, sometimes swollen gums, but nothing at all life threatening. Besides, she was able to eat peanut butter and almonds just fine. She had never had issues up to this point so it couldn’t be anything other than seasonal allergies, right?

In December she had her yearly well check appointment. I casually mentioned the new reaction to those two nuts she had been avoiding. Her pediatrician was concerned and recommended we see the allergist. In January we went to our appointment not at all fearful we would receive any news other than “it’s just your seasonal allergies”.

After listening to her new symptoms, the allergist was fairly concerned. She did not like the new, increased symptoms after eating a nut. She suggested we take a simple skin prick test to figure it out, which we agreed to. She would for sure be tested for the cashews and walnuts she had experienced reactions to, but would also be tested for three others.

15 minutes or so later the allergist was back in the office telling us she has reacted to all five nuts. That she was confident this was NOT a seasonal allergy but a true tree nut allergy. We were told my youngest would not be able to leave the office without an EPI Pen and an anaphylaxis plan.   We had entered the office expecting one result and left the office with an unexpected, life altering result.

We left that day with so many emotions. I was feeling horrible that I had neglected to listen to her complaints or hadn’t taken them seriously over the years. The weight of the “what if’s” were suddenly bearing down on my shoulders. I would never have forgiven myself if she would’ve had a serious reaction before we knew of the severity. I was also feeling grateful for my daughter’s maturity as she has self limited her contact with at least a few of the nuts on her own because she didn’t like the way they made her feel. The family was in shock over the fact that we were unaware you could come down with a tree nut allergy at any age – not just when you are an infant/toddler. The family had to quickly learn and practice how to administer the EPI Pen in case she couldn’t.  My youngest was overwhelmed with the information on how she now needed to keep herself safe in all food environments.

Fast forward three months and we are now in quarantine over a pandemic virus and sometimes forget she has this new allergy. Because we aren’t leaving the house, I’m now fearful that when we get back to normal will she remember that she has to be conscious of the food she’s eating again? Will she forget her pack of meds when she is out with friends? Will we forget to inform the restaurant she cannot have nuts?  Will I EVER get used to this new allergy she has?

What I am confident in, is God’s love for my youngest daughter. That he wants only what is best for her. That he will be with her when I am not. That he will guide her when I can’t. It is unexpected times when we can look to the Psalms for guidance. Psalm 112 seems fitting:

Surely the righteous will never be shaken;

 they will be remembered forever.

They will have no fear of bad news;

 their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;

 in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.

 The very next day after her diagnosis I had to send her off to school like nothing had changed. I had to trust that she would be careful at the lunch table, in the hallways, in the classrooms, and on the school bus. I had to learn she had a life-threatening allergy and in less than 24hours send her off without me. I prayed a lot that day. A LOT. I kept telling God to watch over her. I knew God loved her more than I did and I would trust that he would keep her in his care no matter what.

What bad news have you heard recently? What are you fearful of right now? Think about what that looks like for you and pray Psalm 112:6-8 over and over until your heart begins to feel secure. Until your fears diminish or recede. Then take a deep breath and thank God for his steadfast care of you and/or your loved ones.

 

STUDY – Psalm 112 – NIV
1Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.
2Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.
6Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
7They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn will be lifted high in honor.
10The wicked will see and be vexed,
they will gnash their teeth and waste away;
the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.

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