Eating Pizza with a Thankful Heart

pizza

I remember eating strawberries with our daughter while she was in her highchair, and by the time I got to work, my eyelids were swelling and itching like crazy.

That was about twelve years ago.

What followed was a skin test that revealed I shouldn’t eat strawberries, shellfish, or legumes and that my throat would close if I ate peanuts. (Thankfully I was given an epinephrine shot after that test!)

A few years later, I started getting sick all the time. I dealt with severe stomach pains, fatigue, bloating that was so bad I’d start the day in jeans but by the end of the day had to switch over to sweatpants, hives that once grew to the size of silver dollars and sent me to the doctor for a shot, and some other unpleasant symptoms.

I was given a blood test for food allergies. I tested positive to over fifty foods. Fifty.

I cried a lot that day.

I tried not to talk about it too much, but I was deeply discouraged and depressed. There wasn’t anything anyone could do. I was simply told to avoid those foods. Of course I didn’t mind staying away from radishes and Brussel sprouts, but I hated giving up wheat, milk, and tomatoes which translated in my brain to one word: pizza. (Sure, I cheated sometimes. But I paid for it for days.)

But the worst part wasn’t saying goodbye to my friend, Mr. Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza, it was the social aspect, the feeling of not be able to join in when there were meals at church or going out with friends to dinner. Oh sure, I could go, but it was downright painful to look at all the food I couldn’t eat (the wonderful, rich, and delicious varieties of food) knowing I should stick with a salad (no cheese, tomatoes, or croutons, please!) and the dressing I made at home. I was asked if I was on a diet, why I didn’t eat more, and sometimes caught glances that said something like, “Wow. You sure are a picky eater.”

What did I do about it? Well after I cried a lot (I already mentioned that, didn’t I?), I went to God. More than I cried. I begged and pleaded. I prayed and prayed. I read Scripture about His healing. I read verses about hardship and perseverance. I read about Paul’s thorn and God’s grace.

And I went to the altar. I went forward during church services at our home church (then and now), when we were visiting other churches, during revivals. I was seeking God’s healing touch while I was in the store looking for xanthan gum and quinoa flour, while I was mixing my salad dressing and packing lunches at home, when I was making the trip to buy bulk rice and tapioca flours.

God knew what I was going through. Of course He did. But He didn’t heal me.

Not until October 28, 2018.

It was a Sunday, and our Pastor asked if anyone wanted to come forward. I can’t remember everything he said, but I know I heard, “If you want more of God…”

I was on my feet. I wasn’t thinking about food. Not one bit. I just wanted to be immersed in God’s presence.

And I was. God wrapped me up in His glorious presence and brought me to the floor and knocked those food allergies right out of my body. (Praise God!!)

I can’t even explain how my heart swells, how thankful I am when I stare at a plate of food (like pizza!) I can actually eat and enjoy; one that no longer sends me to bed for hours in my sweatpants or makes my face break out in hives. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve giggled over the taste of something I haven’t eaten in years or the kid-in-a-candy-store face I’m sure I make when I get to visit the buffet at a restaurant with friends.

There is so much more to write, dozens of things I’m learning from all of this; obeying God by using wisdom and moderation is a biggie. (An example of wisdom: the pizza I found in our freezer and used in the above photograph expired in 2017! So even though it smelled great when I heated it in the microwave for its little photo shoot, I’m throwing it out! 🙂 )

But today, my friend, I need to leave you with a few things I learned that I hope will help you if you’re struggling:

Don’t give up. Never. Ever. No matter what lie the enemy is whispering. No matter what’s going on with someone else. You. Keep. Going.

Keep seeking God. Always. In all things.

Trust God’s timing. Seriously.

Don’t be discouraged in your waiting. Take a deep breath. I know it’s hard. But you’re going to make it. Hang in there.

And always remember: God’s got you, my friend. He sees you. He knows you. And He cares.

Always.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV.)

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 NLT.)

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (Luke 18:1 NIV. This is the parable of the persistent widow.)

 

12 thoughts on “Eating Pizza with a Thankful Heart

  1. Wow! What a great testimony! I so get this post…I haven’t been able to eat anything with gluten in it since 2011! I miss food: especially cake and donuts, but maybe it’s better that I can’t eat it ;)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh bless your heart, Julie! I totally understand! I missed those things too. I honestly think God was (and still is) protecting me from overeating those things (and other things that are not good for my body) as I don’t have a sweet tooth but a whole mouth full of sweet teeth and God knows that! 🙂 I pray you can enjoy all that God has for YOU and that He will guide you to the food that is perfect and nutritious for your body. There is nothing better than obeying God and caring for the temple of His Holy Spirit…and feeling good in the meantime! Blessings to you!

      Like

  2. Oh, what a story!!!! I have a ton of food allergies, too. I’m so happy for the miracle God has blessed you with!! And it’s inspiring, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Jessica, I didn’t know you have food allergies. I pray God reveals His plan for you (protection? drink more water? – some He’s revealed to me) and brings you closer to Him through the entire process. Praying for you, my friend! Blessings to you always, and thank you so much for reading!!

      Like

  3. Amen to this story!! God really does want to bless us but He wants us right with Him first; just like waiting to heal you from those allergies until you just wanted more of Him aside from the healing! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. EXACTLY! Paul, that’s exactly right! God wanted to give me a blessing far beyond healing from food allergies – more of Him! You know, while writing this that’s what became clear to me (yet another lesson!): when I wanted nothing but more of Him, not what He could do for me, what I thought I wanted or needed, that’s when He wrapped Himself all around me and gave me Him and the healing. I hope to always look to Him, desiring more of Him more than anything else in this world. Thank you so much for your comment (confirmation!). Blessings to you!

      Like

    1. And thank YOU for reading and commenting, Nancy! You’re right…so many share in the food allergy journey. But our God is bigger than any ol’ allergy! (And thanks for the happy pizza eating!! 🙂 I’m SOOO praying about wisdom and moderation!) Blessings to you!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s