When I got back from Malawi last summer, I became gluten intolerant. I know, I know. Isn’t that some new fad? Everyone trying to become more hip – drinking free trade, cold brew coffee (out of mason jars, obviously) with some gluten free, vegan pastries all the while discussing some super underground new type of music genre you’ve never even heard of. Or it’s a new diet attempt for ditzy blondes? Replacing cutting carbs with cutting gluten, in an attempt to lose 5 pounds. For me it was neither; it was a sad new reality. Mysterious health problems that appeared when I returned to the states refused to be treated by anything but a gluten free diet.
Let me get something clear: I. Love. Bread. Possibly more than the Pillsbury dough boy and the muffin man. So when this sad, gluten-free realization hit, I was in mourning. Mourning the loss of waffles in the morning, mourning the loss of sandwiches for lunch, and mourning the loss of create-your-own-pizza dinners. It was a sad season of life. Let’s not talk about it.
Why do I go on such a depressing digression? Because there is a happy ending in sight. I returned to Malawi and a wonderful, precious gift from God awaited me: the ability to eat gluten again. I don’t understand it, but I’m also not questioning it. Did the reversal happen to my body when I returned to the scene of the crime? Was God just testing my patience and will for a year, taking away all that was near, dear, and decent tasting? Did the fact that I was willing to sacrifice 6 months to move across the world earn me enough heavenly brownie points to win me a healing miracle? I don’t know, and I’m too busy eating cookies to care…
The first few weeks after my discovery were beautiful. Everyday I realized more and more food I could now again add to my diet and meals that I haven’t been able to cook for a year were an option again! Toast, peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese – those were obvious. But, pasta. Pizza! Hamburgers. DOUGNUTS. Let me tell you, it was an exciting time in the life of Krysti.
In the midst of my happiness, I was struck with the funny comparison that this is how new life in Christ should be experienced. We are told that His mercies are new every morning. We should be discovering His love notes in our life – in every second of every day – the same way I was rediscovering food I missed, and with the same excitement. His grace should blow us away – like I was blown away I could once again have cake. Cake! His forgiveness shouldn’t make any sense to us – like I couldn’t comprehend eating pancakes. And His love should always leave us in awe – like how awestruck I was eating my first burrito in over a year (Okay, it was a wrap. But I’m in Africa! It’s the best I could do).
I realize comparing eating gluten to being born again is a little ridiculous. I realize it doesn’t completely compute. I realize that half the people reading this think I’m crazy. But you know what? That’s what I love about our God – we learn things about Him and His nature in the funniest ways. And you know what else? I CAN EAT BREAD.