I’ve always known God is in this. We have always believed that. We know that ultimately, in the end, God will get the glory. But, being really honest, that does not necessarily make the everyday struggle very easy. Most days I wake up and say, “I know You have a plan, and I know it is good,” with clinched teeth and tears. The amazing thing is that we serve a God that can handle those types of prayers. He knows where we are. He knows what it’s like to watch His son, blameless and perfect, suffer for something He did not deserve. When I get angry because “it’s just not fair,” I know I’m screaming out to the God who knows EXACTLY where my heart is because He has been exactly where I am. I know that McCall doesn’t deserve this. I also know that God has a plan because He tells us he does in Jeremiah. He tells us that he wants to prosper us and not harm us, and we have hope and a future. McCall’s future may not include nuts or corn or gluten or any of the hundreds of foods he is currently allergic to, but he will have a future. Or God can choose to perform a miracle and my baby will be eating apples and peanut butter for breakfast with his mama.
What’s amazing to me is that God has prepared this from the beginning. Do you have any idea how many things that had to happen for us to get here? To have all these resources? Let me list them out:
-In 2010, God brought some amazing music opportunities my way, enough opportunities for me to quit my job teaching High School English, put my house on the market, and make plans to move to Nashville
-During this time, I was lucky enough to play with my friend Michael, whose wife later became an integral part in helping us find foods that McCall could eat (when we found out about several allergies about 2 years ago).
-In this same year, I became pregnant with Sawyer. I was no longer actively pursuing Nashville, and I learned how to be a stay at home mom.
-During my pregnancy, I learned to be CONTENT being at home, and it became something I desired to do.
-After Sawyer was born, I became great friends with my neighbor who has helped me beyond belief through this process (who just recently pulled our For Sale sign out of our yard and hid in her garage!)
-To save money, I began couponing, which helped begin my passion for food, though I didn’t know much about eating healthy.
-In 2011, we learned of 2 of McCall’s allergies, and his eczema worsened, which led me to the allergist. Because of his results, he started a modified diet and started learning what it meant to do without.
-God placed people in my life who were knowledgeable about pediatric allergies, and specifically EoE. A Nurse Practitioner in my small group helped me understand that there was something more going on with McCall, thus leading me to MCG for testing, thus leading to the diagnosis.
None of this is coincidence. God walks every step in front of us, paving the way for us.
Deuteronomy 31:8 says,
“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.”
God knew it was all going to happen. He prepared for this when he made McCall in my womb. He made a resilient, compliant, sweet little boy who can and will overcome his disease. He surrounded us with genuine, selfless friends and family who walk with us, allow us to grieve, and help in any way to make this time bearable for us.
I recognize this is a choice. It could be easy to wallow in what we are lacking, especially a normal life, because we no longer have one. But we choose to see God. We choose to praise Him for what he started many years ago.
I know God protected us. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I were working full time, had no idea what EoE was, and McCall was a normal kid and never had anything taken out of his diet prior to diagnosis. Our lives would have been shaken, and I don’t know if we could have emotionally, spiritually, or physically handled all of those changes at once. Instead, God gave us two years to adjust to one salary and me being at home.
We even had a near death experience with McCall that taught me how precious and fleeting life is. Then we had a fire at our house that showed us how little material things meant to us. God is good. Really. I remember, as I ran out of my house (3 days before I gave birth to Sawyer) with McCall in my arms and smoke behind me, laughing at God. I wasn’t mad. I actually laughed. Maybe it was my “Sarah” moment, but I knew He was up to something. I knew we were in His hands. Maybe it was just to get free continental breakfast for a week and to watch cable for a while since we don’t have it, but I like to believe He was doing something else.
I can tell you that all we’ve been through has made us one tight Hydrick family. We are strong and we are weak, but we are held together by the love of a Savior who gave His life so we could live. We aren’t promised tomorrow, and we aren’t promised peanuts. But we are promised His plan, His love, His comfort, His grace, His mercy, His goodness as we walk through it all. I don’t know about you, but this gives me HOPE!