GAPS-aversary: Year 6

Barbara Brown Taylor said, ” Sadness does not sink a person. It’s the energy a person spends trying to avoid sadness that sinks a person.”

There has been a lot of sadness and grief in these last six years. I’ve allowed myself to sit with sadness, feel the deep emotions and to try and work through them. I don’t think I’ll be done working through them for a long time as I am still learning how to really work through them. I often think of that movie Inside Out and at the end (SORRY: SPOILER ALERT!) the characters realize just how interconnected sadness and joy are. They belong together. And in our journey, as I reflect back on these six incredible years, I find sadness and joy intermixed. As I write this now I struggle to actually find words to describe what this journey has been. How do I sum it up? How do I convey the depth and breadth of all we’ve been through? I think sometimes there aren’t words to adequately convey an experience.

But I do know that sadness should be welcomed and felt. Any emotion, really. Maybe it isn’t sadness. Maybe it is anger or disappointment – I’ve felt those, too. But I have learned through this journey that the deep emotions won’t sink me. So I lean into them. I’m still learning to lean.

But today we celebrate. Today is a wonderful reminder that we decided to do the hardest thing, and we didn’t give up. It’s a gift to remember. It’s a beautiful reminder of God’s goodness and grace. I fully believe He led me to the GAPS diet. He asked me to partner with Him as I cried out for healing. He was faithful. I was faithful. Sometimes the journey doesn’t look like what you expect. Strike that: The journey almost never looks like what you’d expect and that’s probably a mercy.

Today, June 13th, 2023 marks 6 years since we began the GAPS diet to heal Raleigh of severe eczema, edema, asthma, many food sensitivities and some food allergies. Today, he is free of everything except the food allergies. We are still working to heal those, and they may require other modalities (more on that at another time).

When we began back in 2017, we never expected Raleigh to still be on GAPS 6 years later. We didn’t expect him to be on it beyond two years. Raleigh is in a really good place right now. He has a fun summer lined up with some things he has never been able to do before; like going to a week-long summer camp and a horse camp. He is currently on a modified version of the full GAPS diet with a few exceptions like potato, jicama, and plantains. So in some ways he is in the “coming off” GAPS stage but will likely maintain this status for a while as we work on the food allergies.

So his story isn’t finished, not yet, not fully. I still pray and believe that one day it will be. The journey continues to surprise me. I see God’s hand heavily upon all of it, and I am so grateful He chose to use food, His food – the food He created to heal and restore the body – and my willingness to give my life, to be the very vessel that brought Raleigh back into health. If this is the predominant story of my life then I feel blessed. Blessed to have traveled the road; even at its worst, most difficult places. Blessed to have found truth and beauty in the journey. Blessed to find a calling. Blessed to be given the opportunity to give my life away to a greater purpose.

So we have a lot to celebrate on this day. We truly do. We get both kids a gift and make it a big deal. Because it is a big deal. All of us have played a role, all of us have traveled this journey in different ways. So we celebrate the beauty He brought from ashes.

“…when i stopped trying to block my sadness and let it move me instead, it led me to a bridge with people on the other side.” Barbara Brown Taylor

It led me to a great many things. Let it lead you, too.

“And I will restore to you the years the locust has eaten.” Joel 2:25

Thanks for being here. You’re not alone.

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