Six months ago I could not say this. Six months ago I was deeply stressed by any event involving food. Grocery shopping litterally left me in tears and social gatherings made me feel so very on-edge.
Early this year we confirmed that our three and a half year old daughter has a list of foods she should not eat. She has never had a true anaphylactic reaction, though she has had multiple symptoms pop up at once...for which I probably should had used her epipen and made a hospital trip. Thankfully, she did not progress to worse in that instance. I know that she can either get progressively worse, or lesser reactions as she is exposed and either becomes less allergic or more.
Why would I ever say I'm thankful for this?
I'm thankful that she has the allergies she does, and not the ones she doesn't.
I have learned that, unlike peanut allergies, we shouldn't have to worry as much with exposure to others eating her allergens nearby...as long as she doesnt eat them herself.
I've learned to bake food that feels good to know how to bake. Homemade yeast bread. Fresh pizza, simple tomato sauce, foods that taste good with only a handful of ingredients .... that I can cheaply make the old fashioned way instead of having to rely on expensive specialty products or flour blends.
I'm thankful that it is a very good accountability partner in keeping our budget down. I cannot just grab a meal. I'm required to plan ahead. I think way more than twice before getting food from the one restaurant I trust with her allergies (yes....really...one restaurant)
I'm thankful for the families I can better serve in the future from the things I'm learning now. I'm thankful for the training I am gaining to help me better care for children in our community who may have similar restrictions. I'm thankful for the moms and dads I can stand with in solidarity and compassion as we face these awful mysteries.
I'm thankful that we are avoiding a whole lot of additives in our home...even though it is infuriating that the labeling can legally be so vague as to not actually disclose all of the things on her list....at least we can take comfort in simplicity.
I'm thankful that one day I won't have to read everything my child eats because one day she will be made whole. I'm trusting that one day the Lord will remove this affliction in His perfect kingdom.
I'm thankful that as long as we dwell on this broken earth, food allergies and so many other illnesses and afflictions remind us that we need Him. We need His perfection. We are completely dependant on His restoration.
I'm thankful for knowing our brokenness and knowing his mercy.