Perhaps one of the most important life lessons that I learned in college was that I cannot “fix” other people. While my intentions were good, I could only change my own behavior and reactions, not those of other people.
With that being said, I can show my support and love for other people, even if I can’t fix their challenging situation. One way that I often did this was through food. I had several roommates go through breakups. During one of my roommate’s breakup, she casually mentioned that she had barely eaten in two days. Well, I couldn’t make her ex-boyfriend behave like a civilized person, but I could fix the lack of food problem. I drove to her favorite fast food joint and ordered something that I knew she liked. She was still upset over the breakup, but I think she knew that I was trying to offer my support.
When my husband and I were engaged, he had a particularly busy day in which he needed to rush to the airport right after a final for his capstone course. He wasn’t going to have time to go get supper from the cafeteria before he needed to leave. During his final, I went and picked up some food for him from one of the better quality campus eating establishments. He quickly ate it as I drove from campus to the airport.
“Food is a love language,” I told him. “It makes me feel better if you get fed before a six hour flight.”
I really didn’t cook much until I got married. Since it was a newer skill, I was self-conscious about letting people besides my husband eat things that I had prepared. My husband will eat almost anything without a complaint, but I know that most people are not quite as tolerant.
Being pregnant has given me a new perspective on numerous issues. Before I had ever been pregnant, I knew that people typically bring food to new mothers right after their babies have been born. What I did not know is how much of a chore cooking can be when you are chronically nauseous. (As a side note, I also didn’t know that nausea can continue past the first trimester. I’m in my third trimester now and I’m still nauseous some days. What’s up with that?)
Anyway, I met a girl at church a couple weeks ago who is close to my age. She is due to have her first baby about three months after I have mine. She had mentioned not feeling the best lately, so I decided I would take the plunge and offer to bring over some chicken tetrazzini, a recipe that I ate a lot when I didn’t feel well.
It actually turned out pretty well, and she and her husband seemed to appreciate it. I’m glad I got outside of my comfort zone to bless someone else.
“Contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.” – Romans 12:13