At about 3 weeks, our son, Titus (now almost 7 months old), started showing the same MSPI symptoms his older sister, Hope, had as a baby. But after removing dairy and soy from my diet, he showed only mild improvement. He eventually had blood in his stool that wouldn’t go away. No matter what I eliminated from my diet. And trust me, I eliminated nearly everything. When he was 5 1/2 months I started to feel sick, and nearly panicky that I would have to eat ground turkey burgers and broccoli for the rest of my life. Or Titus’s. I finally texted his pediatrician and asked if we could talk about switching him to formula. Now, I knew what this meant. This meant cans of formula that would only last about 3 days and cost nearly $45. Each. But the blood and mucus wouldn’t go away, and I was not healthy. We have a pretty good health insurance policy, so we figured it would be simple to get it covered.
It was not.
For a myriad of unfounded reasons, our insurance company continued to deny us coverage. After a few tears and desperate emails to friends who have a little more experience with the formula aspect than I do, I found a lady selling her unused Neocate (the formula we needed) for half the retail cost. We bought 6 cans, paid cash, and made the switch. Titus improved almost immediately. We were denied by insurance again. We appealed. We saw an allergist. She wrote a letter. We saw a GI. She wrote a letter. Everyone agreed–Titus had, at the very least, Multiple Food Protein Intolerances and very well may have been reacting to my breastmilk itself. There was not much I could do and we needed to let his little system heal. Insurance denied us again. Our pediatrician had a peer-to-peer review with the determining physician with our insurance company. She actually told our doctor that if we had just let him get to “failure to thrive” status, the formula would have been covered. But we didn’t want that to happen, so they punished us for being proactive.
We cried. Well, I cried. We prayed. People heard what was happening and stepped in. A couple told their prayer group who all started praying for us. They gave us money. Our doctor called the company who sent us 4 cans, then sent another 12. Two more elders of our church gave us checks. A friend and neighbor had a garage sale to raise money for us.
Not two months before, a dear friend of ours stood with us in front of our church community holding our little boy calling on them, as the body of Christ, to help us raise our child in Jesus during his dedication. Little did we know how soon we would see this in practice in such a tangible way. It was surreal. Feeding our son had just turned into a community affair.
We had a physical need, and weren’t sure how we were going to have it met. And God provided in a big way. He used people from within the church and even outside to cause us to be glad in him and praise Him. And just today, I received a letter from an assistance program through Neocate that we had applied for several weeks ago. They approved us for 100% coverage for 12 cans of formula a month. In case you wanted to know the math on that one, that’s nearly $540 worth of formula a month. At absolutely no cost to us.
After nearly 6 weeks, countless prayers, tears and bottles, the fight was finished. We had everything we needed and more for our son to eat. We saw this passage of Scripture come to life for our family, and we are so glad to serve a God who knows just what we need and truly does provide:
25“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?g 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34)
He has provided for much more than our physical needs. It is Good Friday, and I can’t let the connection pass without comment here. Our Heavenly Father does know what we need. He knew all too well that we needed help to feed our son. But even more astonishing is that he knew we needed His Son to give his life on our behalf in order to be in relationship with him. We needed someone to stand in the gap for us, and he provided that person. Jesus gave more than food and clothing. Jesus gave his very life for mine. For yours. God became man, lived the perfect life we should have lived, and today we celebrate Jesus dying the death we should have died, and in two days we will gather and celebrate him rising from the dead–conquering death so that we might live in fellowship with Him forever.
He has already provided all that we need, because all we truly need is Him.