Just four days before I began my mission year, I found out that I had a gluten and dairy intolerance. I knew the world wasn’t going to end: a lot of people have this and it is very manageable, but I still became extremely anxious. I was worried that I wouldn’t know what types of food I could eat, or that I wouldn’t even have food to eat. Gluten-free things are very expensive and receiving a stipend that is just enough doesn’t really lend room for a lot of expensive items. I tried to offer my worries and anxieties to the Lord, but as the leave date for the start of the mission year got closer, I continued to be anxious.
As soon as I arrived at Covecrest, I knew that I would be taken care of. One of the moms in our community was on a gluten-free diet, and another was on a dairy-free diet. Throughout these past few weeks, different members of my community have made sure that I was taken care of during meal time. There is even gluten-free bread on fasting days and gluten-free brownies on feast days.
Now you must be asking yourself, what does any of this have to do with being a missionary?
This past weekend, while a retreat was visiting from just outside of Atlanta, I met a great woman who has been gluten-free for the past four years. She also has a few different health issues and had such a positive outlook on the entire situation. After having a quick conversation, sharing recipes, brands, and things to look out, for she gave me a bag of ginger snap cookies. I saw her the next morning at breakfast and she gave me a quick hug goodbye and told me she was leaving gluten free food in the pantry for me to use this week. PRAISE THE LORD! I knew at that moment that this was all going to be taken care of and I didn’t have to worry anymore.
A few days later in morning prayer, two beautiful things happened. Chris, our mission director, handed me a grocery bag and said “It’s from Michelle.” After holy hour was over, I looked in the bag and there was gluten free cereal and gluten free chocolate chip cookie mix. This may sound like a minor thing, but I was filled with complete JOY. Michelle had thought of me, and I would be able to finally eat chocolate chip cookies! By the time I finished shuffling through the bag, we began morning prayer. We began to read our “Rule of Life,” and here’s what it said:
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.” – Matthew 6:25
My heart was filled with peace.
In these few simple glory moments, I have been reminded of God’s love for me through the actions of others in my community, and also simply through this line in the Gospel of Matthew. How is God showing you His love today?