Monday, March 10, 2008

Hannah's Testing

Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it,
'Why hast thou made me thus?'
~Romans 9:20

Hannah received devastating news that her blood tests show severe food allergies to all dairy, all wheat, gluten, spelt, rye, eggs, soy, nuts and much more. Her naturopath has never seen such a bad case and after some brief tears were shed, Hannah shared some new insights with me that amazed me and convicted me of my own bad attitude regarding these developments. We had suspected some dairy allergies as Hannah has had chronic headaches, even migraines, stuffiness, tired eyes, fogginess, fatique, needed adenoid removal and tonsillectomies twice as well as repeated ear tubes for unexplained chronic fluid. Mostly she doesn't let on to her suffering though. When the results came back she shared with me that she had feared being allergic to her favorite foods (dairy) and had even imagined how awful it would be to be allergic to lots of foods. So the worst of her fears were realized and this (in unexact words) was her response. Not five minutes after learning the news:

"Whell...(sigh)... this sure seems like bad news, but it's actually good news's what was the truth anyway, we just didn't know it. I think it's like why people don't want to believe in God Mom. They mostly know He is real but they don't want to obey...because it's hard. They just want to keep doing what they want to do even though it's not healthy for them and they don't feel good. And they don't know how good they could feel."

I told Hannah that was a very mature way to look at it. I also told her I was going to let her choose the pace and the degree to which she wants to eliminate these foods and that it is up to her to decide what's more important to her. That piece of birthday cake...even if a headache might follow, or no headache. I will try to provide the healthy/yummy alternatives.

Oh...but the days wore on, the little stalwart Hannah's mother's attitude was not so faithful as Hannah's. I questioned God why it had to be Hannah, why it had to be me... This happens to other people. Now this added burden while already struggling to cook healthy for a family without allergies and special orders seemed hard enough... why...God would you create your people incompatible to Your food? It doesn't make a ton of sense, Lord... (oh yes...I know...wicked Liz...) and, and how many more of the children have these allergies? Why God, why...

Hannah has chosen to go pretty much cold turkey-- eliminating those beloved culprits with the tenacity of a bulldog and the grace of a butterfly. As I have watched her I have been convicted so immensely by the greatness of her childlike faith. The fact is that her great gift of faith (unusual at such a young age) is directly connected to the suffering experienced in her life. It taught her and made her aware of her need for the Sweet Suffering Savior--Jesus.

Why would I wish that away from her???

Oh, that we would see the value in all trials, tribulations and anything that exposes the reality of the situation. If only there were a blood test to show in bold red graph the severity of each of our unique depths of total depravity.

Imagine the doctor walking in. "Well, here it is Elizabeth, your results are in. What we've always suspected. You are showing a severe "allergic" reaction to the concept of Biblical submission, to self-control, to trust and contentment.... there is also a moderate tendency to fear and anxiety and your grumbling and complaining is reading off the charts...

Food allergies are rather a good analogy for life in general I'm realizing. It's been hard for me to accept this idea of being allergic to food. But we are fallen, people. Death is inevitable. Allergies seem to be Hannah's lot in life and because she knows the truth, she was able to quickly see that it is a good lot. The sooner we accept the reality our sinfulness, and God's goodness, and of the eternity awaiting--once we really get that we need saving from our fleshly selves, the better off we are. Compared to many lots, food allergies is a walk in the park. By God's grace may we be able to face our lot in life with thankfulness, setting our hope on Him.

Let them fear death who do not fear sin. --Thomas Watson

"in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortailty, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. "


The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;

but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, [and my beloved Hannah], be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that you toil is not in vain in the Lord. -1Cor. 15:52-58


Mica Garbarino said...

Dearest Hannah, So sorry to hear of this news for you... may I give you some peace sweet little friend?? I also just found out my self that I may be allergic to dairy & Wheat too !!! I am so sad beacause I have always considered those staples !!!!! What about my cake and yummies I said!!!! hmmm.
i feel for you Hannah !!! Hang in there.


Anonymous said...

Oh, sweet Hannah. I can always count on her to be truthful and to the point:) I do not doubt that she will grow into a young woman full of wisdom and faith. And who knows...perhaps she will be a missionary to some remote tribe where they do not eat any of the foods she is allergic to and it will be no problem for her to go without! Can she have rice and beans? :)hehe. Gosh, there are so many times where you wonder why God allows us to go without something (the very things we like and desire) but ultimately it's for our own good and his glory. It produces character. Hmmm...Miss Marjie could sure take some tips from Hannah!!!! Love that kid...


April said...


ohhhhhhh my oh my oh my ...