5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” 6 He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. 1 Kings 19:5-6, NLT.
June was a stressful month with a doctor, a specialist, a hospital. When I brought my child home, I was humbled and grateful at the provision of friends–dinners that lasted us for days. I felt refreshed, and in no time at all I was back to my old Superwoman ways of thinking. Having a child’s health problem removed (so I thought at the time) was a weight lifted. I was already making plans.
A Monday diagnosis put a halt to them. “Celiac disease … schedule with the nutritionist … bring (her) to see me at the end of the month.”
Two kids in the car looking at me.
“What’s for lunch?” one asked.
“I’m not sure,” I said.
I reached out to a few friends I knew who were gluten-free. It was a bit overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start and couldn’t get in with the nutritionist or the specialist until weeks later. Websites. Books. Cookbooks. Friends emailed me some recipes to help me along. I found online support groups for parents and caregivers–and even more information: get rid of your bread machine, your muffin tins, your scratched skillets, your wooden spoons. Read the ingredients of your soaps and shampoos. Clean out every inch of your kitchen.
I was vacuuming crumbs out of my freezer. I bagged up pastas, soups, cereals, and mixes and gave them away. Some friends came by with gluten-free food gifts the kids would like: brownie mix, mac and cheese, spaghetti, crackers. I researched flour blends and other ingredients I would need in this new kitchen. Friends gave me names of stores where they find good deals. A neighbor gave me packages of coconut flour, almond flour, corn flour.
7 Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.”
8 So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. 9 There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. 1 Kings 19:7-9, NLT.
When I read of Elijah sleeping against the broom tree, I slowed down. I thought of the whirlwind and stress that beat down on me those weeks in June. I thought of the food gifts and support from friends. I thought of the tasks laid out before me and how daunting the road appeared–of managing the myriad responsibilities and also relearning how to cook. Where was the pause button?
I read of the windstorm, the earthquake and the fire. I read of God’s voice in the whisper. Elijah was afraid, likely overwhelmed, navigating a wilderness, and God met him where he was. (No one is out of his reach.) When Elijah told Him how he felt, God told him what to do.
Lord, thank you for this diagnosis so we have a starting place to bring healing to my daughter. Thank you for your generous provision through friends with food gifts, advice and support. Thank you for pioneers who have gone before us on this path, making it easier for us to follow and giving us good recipes to enjoy. Thank you for meeting me that morning on the bench and hearing me. Thank you for answering my prayer for direction and help, so that I can get our home in order. Thank you for caring about the details of our lives.