Grateful for the bad

People have been so lovely, so interested in my food journey! I was stopped in the newsagent this morning by a friend who asked me how I was feeling today. So I let her know that I’m still feeling pretty awful – wheezy and coughing, and lethargic and unable to concentrate – but that I was pretty grateful to be feeling this way because it is giving me an idea of what is going on with these sensitivities. I may have said, ‘I’ve never been so grateful to feel this awful in my life!’ But as I think back, there is a time in my life when I was even more grateful for feeling awful.

I’m remembering back to adolescence now, back to that time where everything is magnified and small problems can seem life threatening. Back to a time was when I was going through a messy break up with a boyfriend. It was messy because he (quite rightly) thought the relationship was over, and I (stupidly) thought that it wasn’t. I had told him it was over, but I was fully expecting our relationship to start again at any time. He was not expecting to get back together. And my friends were very helpfully telling me how well he was getting on with another girl. And I wasn’t coping.

So I prayed. I talked to God and I said, ‘I just need four days break. If I could have a break for four days, I think I could cope again.’ I think I prayed that prayer on a Monday lunch time and by five o’clock on Monday I had a fever. I was so ill.

I was actually so ill that I went to bed on Monday night and couldn’t get out of bed for anything but the absolute necessities for…wait for it…four days. I was sick with the flu from Monday night until Friday afternoon. I saw no-one from school and heard nothing about anything social for that time.

On Friday afternoon after school a very good friend came to see me. He sat on the end of my bed and said, ‘You will never guess what’s been going on while you’ve been away!’ and I thought, ‘I guess my four days is over’. And my break was over, but I was emotionally refreshed and I could cope again.

I know that people say that God doesn’t give illness. They would tell me that He allowed the illness to happen but that he didn’t give it to me. Maybe that’s true, and maybe it’s just semantics. I only know what I experienced, that I asked for a break, that God gave me a break – exactly as much as I had asked – and that I could cope again afterwards. I was so grateful for the illness he gave me then, and I’m grateful for the symptoms I’m experiencing today, and I’m grateful for a God who can work good out of any situation.

If I didn’t have the relationship break up way back then I wouldn’t have been free to begin my relationship with DH the next year, the relationship that is still going. We don’t know what good will come out of the ills of the day. We can’t see the future or the big picture.

I pray that if you are going through a tough time today that you can hold on to the hope that good will come out of whatever you are going through.

My symptoms from the sulphites are abating and I’m sure I will be fine in a couple of days, if not tomorrow, and ready to take on another challenge. Stay tuned!

PS I realised that some of you would be following this blog but not necessarily my Facebook page. Therefore you wouldn’t know that on Monday night after four weeks of eating very boring food, I ate four sausages that contained sulfite preservatives and then reacted to them quite badly. Which was  the point of the challenge. So now I know that I have an intolerance of sulfites in food. I have another 7 or so challenges to go.

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