From Nate: Milking Allergies For All They’re Worth

Dear Lindsey,

My son, Nate, is my guest author today! My second born, he is known as a soccer player extraordinaire. He is full of personality and a spitting image of his father, in looks as well as scores on the Personality Plus test, which makes him extra lovable! You may know him for his license plate aiming, “reverse adult psychology” at age 3, and of course, his injured knee that took him out of soccer for the season last spring.  Nate is the one who has severe food allergies. (Humor story on that here.)  We have tried all of the doctor’s recommendations, as well as hours and hours and thousands of dollars into holistic methods, and there has not been relief.  Once on a long drive to see a “specialist,” he claimed he didn’t want to go, because he “liked his allergies.” I kept driving thinking he was just saying that to try to get back home to play, but his words below enlightened me to see his heart.

He wrote a paper last year, at age 11, for an online writing class through The Potter’s School.  The assignment was to write pros and cons of an issue. He chose the issue, made a list of pros and cons and put it into the essay below. I was surprised at what he saw from “his side of the story,” and I’m grateful that God has given him such insight! I pray it encourages anyone who deals with food allergies, (or any “thorn in a side” that won’t go away), as Nate shows admirable reframing of thoughts.

In his words (unedited…mostly):

After my sixth bite of the hamburger, I knew something was wrong. My throat felt weird and I felt like it was getting smaller. Then my eyesight went blurry and my face puffed up. I cried out looking for my parents, but they were nowhere to be seen!

I’m still waking up nine years later, having the same dream. I know that one false ingredient could cost me my life.  On the outside no one would guess that a sports fanatic kid like me could puff up and stop breathing after a couple bites of McDonalds burgers, but it’s true.  I mean it’s not bad. For instance I can’t eat most junk foods so I don’t have to worry about diets or anything. Although that can also be a bad thing, because junk food is awesome!  At least the junk food I can eat.  Since I’m allergic to milk and beef, most candy goes down the drain. 

.

My favorite part of allergies is that I feel that God made me a different unique creature. My worst favorite part is I’m always causing trouble for my mom. But it shows me that she loves me enough to go through what she does for me.  Folks might say that allergies are horrible, but to me, they’re a magnificent blessing.

No chocolate cake? No ice cream? How can you live? People say. It doesn’t matter to me because I’ve never tasted that stuff, so I’m fine without it.  I can’t say that at some dinners when my family is eating special desserts (while I’m eating strawberries) I don’t get a little jealous, but hey, who wouldn’t? It is very frustrating when some restaurants don’t try to cooperate with my mom about what I am going to eat. It causes my mom a lot of trouble, and usually we have to go to a different restaurant.  I’ve had my little brother and sister thank me before because we go to a restaurant that they don’t want to go to, and then I can’t eat anything there, so we go somewhere else -where they would rather go anyway.

 

Nate's Allergy testing.

Nate’s Allergy testing.

It makes me feel weird at parties when I can’t have the cake. Usually my mom gives me cupcakes to take. Unfortunately for my mouth, those cakes look good! I know though, that my mom made those cupcakes for me, and that makes them better than any cake could be.  I think that my allergies have made me come closer to my family. Because I know that they sacrifice a lot for my allergies. Sure I’d love to have a hamburger every once and awhile, and sure I want to be able to be normal at my friend’s birthday parties just once. Although if I had to choose one for a lifetime, It would undoubtedly be allergies.

My dad loves to go to Italy every summer and look at the historical buildings that were made hundreds of years ago. Unfortunately we still have to eat. If it was hard when we could speak the same language as the waiters and waitresses, it was even harder when we couldn’t speak their language. But after a lot of Italian learning, they can order me a meal!

I have passed on many birthday cakes, and I guess I will never taste ice-cream. Sometimes our family can’t even go out to eat for family dinners! I have never been able to get a kids meal at McDonalds. But  through my life I have seen that allergies aren’t all about what foods a person can’t eat; it’s about being who God created me to be and being thankful for my family who is willing to sacrifice for me.

What a special young man! I can honestly say that I had not seen the issue in the light that he shows in that essay. He is choosing to take the higher road of thinking like a champion.

In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, he talks about a physical ailment, a thorn in his side that doesn’t go away. Paul says: ( 2 Corinthians 12: 8-9)   “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

By God’s grace, may we, like Nate (and Apostle Paul), rejoice in our weaknesses as the Lord’s power is made perfect.

Blessings,

Terri

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28 thoughts on “From Nate: Milking Allergies For All They’re Worth

  1. Wow! What a mature son you have. I know his positive perspective is because you and Chris set such an amazing example of choosing your attitude! Thanks for sharing such an inspiring letter!

  2. As always, what an amazing post!! I love his essay! What a perspective!! Our kids limitless thinking will help change the generations to come!!!! Love you guys! Smiles and Hugs from the Great State of Texas!! Nicole 🙂

  3. Loved it, Terri! It’s even more special than you told me because I could read it from Nate’s own perspective. He’s unique—in many ways—and blessed to have you as his mom.

    • Lalanne, Thanks for the suggestion of “guest authors” of Brady kids. Isn’t it amazing how God works that you would say that the very week I was planning to post Nate’s essay?! You are a blessing!

  4. Wow what a brilliantly shining example Nate gives all of us! We adults who focus on how the negatives in our lives affect us, really need to look at life the way Nate does! You are Blessed and have Blessed us all! Thanks Terri and Nate!

  5. Terri,

    Nate is so amazing to have learned this lesson at such a young age. He is a true inspiration! I remember talking to someone about a year ago who said whatever the “problem”, learn to love it! Make it part of who you are rather than a disability or abnormality. Nate had scored big time in this area! Thanks for letting us all see his blessed prospective in something must people would have a difficult time living with.

  6. What mature insight and wisdom from an 11 year-old!!! One can tell he has excellent examples of viewing life from a positive perspective. Please tell Nate “thank you” for letting you share his story and that he will touch MANY lives. “A child shall lead them” – God told us that we will learn from children; we just need to be watching and listening for the lessons! We are so blessed to have you in our lives!! (and next time I’m deciding if I should REALLY eat that ice cream, I’ll think of Nate’s choices- and perhaps I can be stronger in MY healthy choices!) Thank you Terri and Nate!!

  7. Thank you for sharing! My daughter has severe food allergies as well and I certainly hope she can find the peace that your son has. You are amazing parents!

  8. I love the post! I printed it out and read it to my kids in the hopes that it would give them a fresh perspective on how “nice” they have it, and reminding them they always have somethimg to be thankful for.They were all in awe, so mission accomplished! It was a great reminder for myself as well.What a great little writer he is! A true inspiration. It also gave me some ideas on essays my own children can write. Thank you Terri!

  9. Wow, Terri, what a wonderful example of what happens when kids grow up with parents who always have a positive perspective on life. In his lovely words, Nate shows us all attitude, like faith, is “caught,” not taught. Obviously his parents are very infectious! 😉

  10. Terri, What a wonderful son you have! Of course, he never would have come to those conclusions if not for the parenting he has grown up with. Give yourself and Chris a pat on the back. Looking for the positive can be very rewarding. But I guess I’m preaching to the choir when I say that! God chose him to bear the ills of living with the allergies. And He chose you and Chris to be the special parents to teach him how to live with them. I think back to your post about not vaccinating Nate as a baby. Talk about Divine Intervention!! That brought tears to my eyes. Nate has learned a very ‘grown up’ lesson at a young age. Kudos to him and to the whole Brady family! I love reading your posts. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I believe you have set the example of this ‘specialness’ that God has placed on him because you and Chris are very special as well….all our gifts cannot be the same or what fun would that be!?! You have an amazing family and the impact just this blog can have on a child/person with an allergy is going to be amazing…cant wait to go share it! Thanks Nate….definitely a proud moment for your parents…and your heavenly Father as well! Amazing family those Brady’s!!!!
    Brenda Hatcher

  12. A thankful heart is a happy heart. I am pretty sure Nate is a very happy kiddo since he is so focused on the things about his allergies that tells him how much he is loved. Beautiful story, Nate! Thank you for teaching me. I look forward to reading this lesson to my children. xoxo

    Krista Beach

  13. Wow, talk about reframing! This just goes to show the kind of household that you are bringing your children up in. Thank you for being that example and bringing your children up in a Christian home.
    God Bless
    Jeremy Pethke

  14. Such a fantastic letter & awesome example of your parenting, example & raising up the next generation of leaders! Thank you for all you do! ❤

  15. Wow, what a perspective! Having dealt with some lesser food allergies in our family, Nate’s outlook rather leaves me speechless. Thank you, Brady Family, for being the example of excellence that you are!

  16. Wow you truly have an amazing son! I have a nine year old son who knows what your son is living with because he lives with the same MILK allergy, always taking his own food to parties and has to always be careful to not touch anything with milk. I always get told my son has wisdom way beyond his age and considering that he is blessed, and moreover we are so blessed that God has given him to us.

  17. Wow, what a great attitude Nate, and great writing skills too!!! You guys are doing a great job raising Gods children,Terri and Chris! Every time one of my children, who happens to live with a chronic health issue, gets a “Woe is me attitude” I point her to the Word and secondly, to the book titled “Dance Until It Rains”. After reading these, it quickly changes her perspective! It is a great book for anyone in need of perspective adjustment;).
    Great lesson once again! Thanks for all you do! Blessings!

  18. Thank you Terry for posting I have an autistic kid and that happend to him we had more hope after read this. god bless

  19. Thank you for posting. I too have an 11 year old son who has food allergies. I loved reading his perspective and the positive direction he has chosen to take. My son said, “we would get along great!” Blessings to you all for everything you do!

  20. Wonderful article my wife and I are members of Life Leadership, and our 3 year old is in the same boat with horrible milk allergies and this is such a promising look into the life of someone not only living with it but someone accepting it and living their life, thank you so much for sharing.

  21. I am a Life member and respect you greatly as a businesswoman, a wife, and a mom. I believe you are truly as amazing as your son portrays in this letter and it’s even more inspiring to know that you struggle with some of the same things I do on a daily basis. God bless you Terry Brady! And how awesome that you’ve raised your son so well that he can truly make the best out of such a difficult situation. You just gave me a lot of hope for my son, 3yo, who also suffers from severe milk allergies!

    • Holly, I wish I could take credit for my son’s awesome perspective, but truly to God be the glory. Great things He has done and continues to do in my kids! I pray He does the same with yours!! Blessings, Terri

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