Let me begin this by saying that I am NOT a “be still” kind of person. It seems I gave up afternoon naps before I was a year old, and I can clearly remember hearing my K-5 teacher reminding me during naptime “Hold still, Shanna.” Until I started getting migraines a few years ago, I felt guilty if I didn’t work on a cross-stitch piece or other type of handwork while watching a movie. Unless I’m asleep, I feel compelled to be moving and working.
Right now, I am being still, just waiting to see how things are going to turn out. That certainly doesn’t mean I’m not moving! It’s taken me literally days of going over this post in my mind to come up with a few moments to sit down and type it, and that’s only because Benji (6 months) is the only one that got up on time this morning. Everyone else is still asleep almost an hour later. They keep me hopping, but the first part of Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God,” has become my comfort over the past couple of weeks.
Shortly after receiving the “nothing but baked goods, meat, eggs, and dairy” sentence from the allergist, I found what I hope to be the solution to my sudden food allergies. You have to use phonics in order to pronounce the word: Diatomaceous Earth. I felt compelled to go visit a missionary friend that I rarely see after that fateful doctor appointment, and she had some good suggestions for me, including the above-mentioned “dirt” (another word for it is fossil shell flour, which gives a hint as to what it actually is). I found a great explanation of how it could help my allergies on a blog http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/2013/02/foodless-friday-health-benefits-of-diatomaceous-earth.html, did some more research on my own, and decided to give it a try. We thought we’d found it, and I started taking it, along with the allergy shots and medications the allergist had prescribed. The shots were supposed to make my reactions weaker, and something has certainly done that! But we finally realized I’m taking some other kind of “dirt,” not diatomaceous earth. A woman here claims it helped her with pollen-related food allergies (my diagnosis as well), but it took about a year, not a week or so, and she also used a list of other natural treatments, some of which I am presently allergic to. Oops! I need to get hold of the right “dirt.”
I started to worry. The Lord whispered “Be still, and know that I am God” to my heart, and I finally got still. No, not that kind of still. I get up running! Formula to prepare (those allergy medications meant no more nursing), the family to get to the breakfast table, the rush to get dressed by 8:30, the daily attempt to start homeschooling by 9:30…I’ll stop there for now. In the midst of my daily whirlwind, I am learning to be still in my heart and mind.
What does being still look like to me? It means that when I start to worry about not finding the right “dirt” for my treatment, I am stopped short—be still, God is in control, and He will help me get what I need in His timing. It means that when I start to worry that I can’t eat healthy meals with my family, nor can I prepare food the same yummy way I used to, I stop again—be still, and be thankful for brown rice (after a 10-day brown rice fast, would you believe I still like the stuff), meats, eggs, dairy, and baked goods. It means that when, out of the blue, I react to cocoa on my ice cream and am ready to cry—be still, God is my ultimate comfort. Chocolate has been my comfort food this past month—though allergic to all my favorite foods and spices, at least I could have a bite of chocolate now and then. Now I’m afraid of it because sometimes I react, sometimes I can handle a tiny bit. But I can be still and remember that lots of other people can’t have chocolate at all! For me, being still means that I leave my worries in the Lord’s hands. He knows all about me and my allergies, and He is here with me at each moment. God is good. He is God. He is my God, and I am His beloved child. I can still my mind and heart and rest in Him—which means to me that I can continue my whirlwind of activity in the strength and peace that He gives my stilled heart.
I conclude with an update for those who are praying for me and desire to know better how to pray: I have been off of the brown rice fast for about a week and a half. I still eat brown rice once or twice a day, but I’m also eating meats, white sauces made with milk and cheese, eggs, dairy, and some baked goods. Praise the Lord, the reactions to smell have lessened to the degree that I can walk around the grocery store and even prepare many of the foods that I’m allergic to for my family. I’ve tried eating a few vegetables, but small reactions in my mouth scare me away from them most of the time. What if the next time brings a big reaction? Basically, if I feel repulsed by it and force myself, I find that a reaction occurs, so I’ve come to the conclusion that the repulsion is my body’s warning that it’s not for me, at least not at that moment. I’ve had to add garlic (oh, no!), cocoa, at least one of the spices in gingerbread cookies (which one, don’t know yet), and apples to my long list of allergens within the last week. I’ve had cinnamon and broccoli safely, but feel repulsed by them the last few days, so I’m staying away. So far, carrots are safe, but yesterday I reacted to something in the “safe” meal I had, and I don’t know whether it was the carrots or the bay leaf used to season the rice and pork. On a positive note, we have finally ordered some diatomaceous earth! We didn’t have it shipped here because of the high shipping costs, but a group that is coming in October is bringing it to us, and I intend to begin treatment as soon as I get it. Praise the Lord for the group and their willingness to bring it to me!
You can best pray for me that I will be content with my boring diet (I do love and crave vegetables, fruit, and spices—and peanut butter and chocolate), that reactions will remain mild, and that the right “dirt” coming in October will arrive safely with no trouble whatsoever in customs, and then that it will be an effective treatment. I can hardly wait to get started, but when I feel impatient, the Lord is faithful to remind me to “Be still, and know that I am God.” What a personal Saviour He is!