Faith and Food Sheffield is a bi-monthly (the 3rd Saturday, every two months) Bible Study and Brunch event, combining two of our favourite things: our faith in Jesus and our love of good food and good company!
The next Faith and Food Sheffield Bible Study and Brunch event will be on Saturday 18th January at 12-2:30pm. The venue is TBC. Please fill in this form to book your place: https://paulamelissa.typeform.com/to/E2YCJs.
I 100% believe that the idea of Faith and Food Sheffield (FAFS) was given to me by God. It was, is and always will be, a God dream.
I developed IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) at some point in early 2018. I ignored the symptoms for months until it was no longer bearable, went to the doctor and was eventually diagnosed. My body was intolerant of gluten, dairy and caffeine mainly (and lots of other random stuff that would just be depressing to list out here).
The solution for a bit was again to ignore it and wait for my body to stop being childish and ‘grow out‘ of it. Eventually I had to accept that I just would not be able to eat my favourite food probably ever again since currently, there is no cure for IBS. Also, I quickly learnt that food is very much linked to my mental health and battling a constantly shifting diet wreaked havoc emotionally for me.
In a bid to avoid this becoming polemic and ranty – as I often am when talking about my intolerances because I can’t stand when someone says, “Just drink milk it’s fine. One slice of toast won’t kill you!”, I’ll explain how this links to FAFS’ conception.
One morning, I was in my prayer and devotion time with God. I was really upset about something, probably tired because I ate something I shouldn’t have the night before, felt sick all night and couldn’t sleep.
I was on the verge of tears asking God why I was being punished with this food disorder – prior to IBS, I’ve always had a love-hate mostly unhealthy relationship with food, but there was nothing I couldn’t eat.
“Why God?! Why is my life like this? I literally plan my days around my meals. My mind is always working overtime to think and plan what I can eat, when I will be able to eat, if I can even afford to eat (I won’t even touch on how gluten-free food is so expensive, you might as well give an arm and a leg and take out a mortgage, just for a loaf of gluten-free bread)? I just want to be free from this God. Why, why me, why?“
Why not me?
On Sunday 30th June 2019, I wrote “I want to organise Christian events in Sheffield.” and the seemly unrelated words “Faith and Food Sheffield” in my prayer journal.
Then a couple days later I created the Faith and Food Sheffield logo, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Gmail accounts, still not sure what it was going to be. But for some reason, sure it was meant to be.
On Wednesday 3rd July 2019, I wrote these words in my prayer journal: “What if all my intolerances and food fixations were always pointing towards a ministry relating in food??“
Then the next morning, I wrote: “I heard faith and food multiple times today (even from non-Christians) so I am excited to see You move, Lord.”
And I kept going and He kept speaking so I kept going. Please believe me when I say, this is a God dream.
Yes it is still hard having intolerances. It is still hard carrying antihistamines and ibuprofen everywhere with me just in case I have a reaction to something I eat. It is still hard feeling sick after nearly every single meal. Yes, it is still hard having insomnia because I feel both hungry and bloated at the same time. It is all still hard, but FAFS gives me so much hope that my food fixation and issues are not in vain.
And yes, I still believe that God can heal me.