A month on into the lockdown, and there was still no sign of gluten free bread flour or yeast in the supermarket. It had been a real struggle to find these ingredients and my options were severely limited as I’m intolerant to quite a few foods. I really begin to appreciate the struggle that others face when they don’t know if they can put bread on the table each day, and how draining that can be.
My last blog told how, God wonderfully promised me that I wouldn’t run out of ingredients while the problems persisted. Also of how He provided for me the first time, just as I’d run out of flour and yeast: But would He do it again?
Each time I visited a supermarket, I always checked for yeast and flour, but those shelves were always empty. As time went on, my own stocks dwindled. I made the best I could of the ingredients I had: Making some flat breads (which make the flour go further, but are very time consuming) and some loaves of bread. Friends were looking out for me too, and I had asked two local shops to try to order the flour for me, but it was to no avail. I heard rumours of yeast here and there, but whenever I visited there was none in sight.
As I used my last sachet of yeast, and the last of the bread flour, I wondered how I would manage if I couldn’t get more. I wanted to trust God’s promise, but this was getting close to the wire again. I decided the following morning I would cycle down early to the local supermarket to see if they had any before the shelves emptied again (i.e. to see if I’d been missing out by shopping in the afternoons). The next day was a fine morning, so I got going early try to beat the crowds and cycled down.
As I approached the store, my heart sank: The queue was longer than I’d ever seen it. I knew that in that supermarket there was a one-way system; so it was likely to take over an hour just to see whether they even had the two items in stock that I needed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite OK to wait in the queue for my weekly shop, but for two items that probably were not in the shop? The feeling was overwhelming, I just couldn’t stand in the queue. Should I go to another store? The queues may be just as bad at all the stores and it could take me all day to go around them all, increasing the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus as well.
I decided to approach the security guard at the exit to the shop. Fighting back tears I explained my situation briefly. The guard was very understanding and brought out a member of staff to help me. She was wonderful and checked the shelves for me, but sadly there was no yeast and no bread flour. However, she did take my number and offered to check whenever she was in and text me when any came in.
I cycled home via a small local shop for bread and milk, and took our dog out for a walk. I’m very blessed to live in a lovely neighbourhood with a green area running through it alongside a stream, it’s always calming to walk along the stream and listen to the birds.
A little later, I took one of the bottles of milk to a neighbour who was unable to go out to the shops because of the lockdown. I happened to mention the yeast problem whilst I was there and she piped up that she had some. She no longer needed it so was happy to give it to me. What a relief!
I walked down the hill to my home wondering what to do next. In no time, I received a message on my phone from our local zero waste shop: Their delivery had arrived and they had a sack of gluten free bread flour! Wow! Both things in one day. I seemed to fly to the shop this time on my bike to collect the flour with my own container, pleased to be able to support Pete and Kate in their venture.
The morning had been pretty hectic but I was relieved, I had enough to keep making bread at least for a while. Imagine my surprise when I turned over my Spanish calendar for that day and found this …
God does like to remind me that he had it all planned out in advance, if only I could fully trust Him!
Since then He has continued to provide for me. The supermarket shelves have remained empty of yeast and GF flour, but each time my supplies were dwindling, someone else would come up with what I needed: A friend from housegroup let me have some of her yeast when I asked them to pray about the situation, on another occasion my husband found some online, and another time my neighbour brought some over as her daughter had found some in her local shop. So I am truly grateful to each of my friends for their help: Pete and Kate, Sara and Rosemary and most of all to God for looking after me and keeping his promise!