By Elizabeth Prata
‘Eve! You shouldn’t have focused on what you can’t have! You should have focused on what bounty was available to you!’
Sure, that one is easy to spot.
I have food allergies. A lot of them. As I’ve gotten older they have crept in and gotten worse. A near family member is a celiac, and I have had to face a growing intolerance for gluten myself. I have an intolerance with dairy. I have to go on a low FODMAP diet, where certain foods from all food groups, varied and disparate, affect me terribly. It makes sense to go low carb at this stage of my life for heart health reasons. I dislike the texture of most meat.
It’s normal for people on the autism spectrum to have food issues, and I’m no exception. I was disappointed this past summer when I learned the FODMAP issue. These are foods that my body can’t absorb. It’s not just the usual suspects, sugar or carbs, but anything from onions to apples, blackberries to split peas, cauliflower or honey. Blueberries are OK but not more than 10, grapes are OK but not more than 17. And so on.
I sighed to myself and said often, “I can never have a bagel with lox again. No pizza. Muffins, bread, rolls, spaghetti. No rice, no peaches (I live in the Peach State!). No blackberries – which are my favorite.
Then our church watched American Gospel: Christ Alone. In it, a family is given extended interview time. The wife has serious medical issues. As her issues devolved, she was diagnosed with a condition that forced her to bypass her stomach and inject liquid foods straight into her intestine. She can ever eat again.
Never. Eat. Anything. No food passes her mouth. Ever.
I will not complain or sigh or mourn my limited diet. I HAVE a diet. I have, by God’s grace, many items I still enjoy. I love fruits and veggies and there are many of them I still can eat. As for the gluten, there are ever more choices on the shelves for substitutes, which others in my family did not have when they were diagnosed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. So I have that grace as well.
I must look at what I CAN eat, not the forbidden fruit hanging on the tree. Why focus on the forbidden fruit and not the allowable fruit. Duh. I have seen Eve and she is me.
By comparison, the garden of God’s delights is large, and it contains not only food, but many joys and comforts. I need to look at those and not at what I can’t have.
Because He really has given me everything.