This year, I’ve received my Christmas present just a little early.  My son reached the top of the wait list and was admitted into the Southern California Food Allergy Institute Tolerance Induction Program earlier this month. Our 2020 will be sprinkled with cross country flights from the east coast to the west coast to attend our son’s appointments, in search of complete food freedom.  To say this will be life changing for us is an understatement.

My prayers have been answered

For close to a year, we have been on the wait list to enter this advanced, scientific, & analytical based approach to obtaining food allergy freedom, praying daily that this request would be granted.  Tears came to my husband’s eyes as we watched the orientation video, explaining the program and it’s unique approach to treatment of food allergies.  The words “food freedom” seem so unattainable to us after living with our son’s life threatening food allergies for over four years.  We have been living quite the opposite of food freedom and have been more in a place like “food prison,” confined by the boundaries of food allergies in order to keep our son alive and safe.

abandoned ancient antique architecture

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Serving a Sentence in Food Allergy Prison

We discovered Jaxon’s food allergies on his first birthday when his daycare fed him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, even though they were a self declared peanut-free facility.  He immediately reacted, with swelling of his face being so severe that he was unrecognizable.  Since that terrifying day, we have been fighting the food allergy battle as a family, all appointed soldiers in the daily battle to keep Jaxon safe.  For those that don’t live this ‘food allergy’ battle, it can be hard to imagine the focus, attention, & sacrifice we all face daily, even moment by moment.  One small lapse in judgement or attention can have deadly outcomes.  The level of anxiety is not something that can be put into quantitative words.  We all live with it, even our son, despite our best efforts to live a normal life.

black hanging bridge surrounded by green forest trees

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The Bridge

As I finish writing my book, a quintessential food allergy handbook for those new to living with food allergies, I dream of the day our family will obtain food freedom.  Follow me in this journey, as I document our visits, our emotions, and the day we finally achieve food freedom.  I hope to encourage you a little along the way.

Being in one world yet dreaming of being in the next reminds me of how we live here on earth but dream of being in heaven.  As the bridge is being built for my family to cross to food freedom, I’m reminded of the bridge Christ built from this earth to heaven.  May your bridges bring that same reminder.  In this new year, take some time to look for the bridges.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you: For every one who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

Matthew 7:7-8

 

Originally published on MelissaColeAuthor.com

 

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Melissa Cole, also know as "Teal Mom" is an author and food allergy advocate.  She is a devotional writer featured in The Secret Place. Melissa’s writing has also been featured in The Liberty Leader newspaper and The Courier-Times newspaper.  She is a featured blogger and guest blogger on AllergyCloud.com, an allergy resource page.  Melissa also serves as a Sunday School teacher at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Liberty, NC and has served in many capacities at Mt. Zion, including as the Mothers of Preschoolers leader, a Children’s Church teacher and a Girls in Action leader.  She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Christian Ministry from Liberty University.  Melissa lives in Central North Carolina with her husband Jon and four wonderful children, Ashlynn, Jonathan, Annemarie and Jaxon. Melissa is represented by Caroline George of Cyle Young Literary Elite.  Follow her blog at MelissaColeAuthor.com.

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