As I sit here next to the hospital bed that my oldest son is sleeping in & has been for 2 days. I am filled with so many emotions. First I am grateful he is alive. So thankful to Jesus. Also my mind is thinking about 19 yrs of being overly cautious and successful in keeping him safe from tragic allergic reactions to nuts & shellfish/fish. We found out when he was 17 months old he had these allergies. It was the scariest day ever! We never dreamed we would have a child who would be allergic to any food especially mine & Lance’s favorites. So this was brand new to us. We quickly became aware of the severity of food allergies. It was hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that a peanut could kill my child. So it began with Mother’s Day Out , then preschool , then so on, my mission to do my part as a mom to teach Connor as much as he could how to protect himself from these horrible allergic reactions. Ultimately we knew we could do our best & we would have to trust God who was in control. Thankfully we had never in 19 yrs had to use the epi pen until 2 days ago. It hasn’t really been a huge deal, just something we have become used to in being cautious about. He doesn’t feel like he has missed out on a lot because of it. He is a picky eater anyway. So he has been fine not eating those certain foods.
Now here we are, his senior year of high-school while on spring break vacation just a few months from graduation in the hospital. Two days ago, We were at a restaurant & like always asked if they cooked all of their food in the same oil as shellfish & fish. We asked the same about cooking with nuts. We were told they cooked them separately. We explained the allergies & felt good about the food he ordered, just like the past 19 yrs. Somehow food must have gotten cross contaminated. As soon as we got in the car to leave, Connor had his first reaction. Long story short, Connor injected 2 different epi pens two different times on this day & ended up in ER twice.
It’s been heartbreaking for me to see him panic in these scary moments feeling his lips & tongue swell , worried his throat may be closing up. I have reminded him along the way that we are not in control & to choose to use this experience to lean in to trusting God. He has done that & I believe this experience & struggle with allergies are part of his story. We all have something & no matter how terrible it is, we all have something to be grateful for & about in our situation. It’s a choice to see it that way & to choose to use our experiences & situations for his glory. So for my son, I know God wants to use this in his life to bring him to even a stronger level of faith & trust in him. For me, I choose to let this unnerving experience encourage me knowing that Connor knows what to do if he ever has an allergic reaction when he is living away own his own after graduation. Not only do I know now he knows what to do , but that he has already gone through the experience & can only help him even more in the future. I have gotten to see even more of how he is a leader & a fighter through this experience. He really is a man , not my little boy anymore.
It’s amazing how the scary experiences can be what actually brings us comfort. I would have never invited this experience into our lives, especially on our vacation, but God knew we needed to go through it. We only see that though if we choose to see it. Thankful for the Holy Spirit gently guiding my thoughts to see & embrace peace in the midst of turmoil. After graduation I won’t be with him every week going out to eat among other things, but God is whispering in my spirit in this chair as I look at my precious boy, “ I am with him, I will never leave him”. My heart responds “ Yes, you are God, YES , you are”!
Honestly, I have felt good about him graduating & leaving because he is ready, he knows where to go for in times of trouble. He is strong. He knows the Lord. He knows who he is in Christ. I have not shed many tears because I truly believe in my son, that he is prepared for this next chapter in his life, but I didn’t realize until this unexpected alarming experience that I needed this whisper in the hospital from our sweet lord. So the last few days have been hard, but he is good now. God is sovereign & again he works all things for the good of those who love him. What is God whispering to you?