When I began researching the GAPS diet I remember reading that the short end of healing for a child can happen at six months and the long end was eighteen months. I remember thinking that six months sounded short and long at the same time and when we began this journey on June 13th of this year, that six month short end was a persistent and curious thing that wouldn’t leave my thoughts alone. What would our six month marker look like for Raleigh? Would we be anywhere near the end at six months? But, after a few weeks being on GAPS, I realized the short end was likely not in Raleigh’s future because we saw quickly just how sick he really was, and I began praying the six month marker wouldn’t derail me.
We hit the short end, our six months on GAPS, this past week. The Lord spoke very clearly to me that morning in the early light of the day, before the kids had woken, and I felt confirmed, for a second time, that we are doing the right thing. We are meant to be on this incredibly difficult and narrow path. However, it didn’t take the devil long to really try and plant some doubt in my mind and throw down a few traps. I sort of felt like I was wandering through the Fire Swamp for most of the day. Raleigh seemed to embody every trap including, the R.O.U.S.es, and I may have tackled him a time or two before the day ended.
I really can’t believe we’ve been doing this for half of a year. I went back over photos of Raleigh in the months leading up to starting our GAPS journey and even up to a year before and found something interesting in the pictures. In every picture that was clear enough to see, I began to notice Raleigh’s eyes. They were red-rimmed, dark underneath and, in some, they even looked sunken in. He looked sick. I had never noticed that before, and I wondered if it was still the case now. I found a few post-GAPS pictures to compare and was shocked to see the redness and dark eyes were gone. To us this seems significant.
Sam and I took some time to talk about what we think are signs of healing. “Are we really moving forward?” is a question we circle back around to often. When we started this journey, Raleigh was waking multiple times in the night, as I mentioned in a previous post, and screaming, like mad-dog screaming, in the middle of the night. He would attack every part of his body and itch it to a bloody pulp. It was a living nightmare. No one was sleeping, everyone was exhausted and short-tempered. It was a special hell. Those days are behind us, PRAISE THE LORD. Raleigh still itches in the night, but we believe enough healing has happened because he is no longer screaming out in pain. Another sign is Raleigh’s asthma. We feel like we can say it is about 99% gone. He has had a few resurgences, but they are incredibly mild and clear up without needing any intervention with an inhaler. His skin continues to heal quickly and the overall tone of his face, most days, is clear to mostly clear, and, if he has an itching fit that turns a piece red, it evens out within an hours time. These are things that did not happen prior to being on GAPS. The skin on his mid to upper back remain clear. This past week he has woken with clear arms and legs and the overall texture and tone of his eczema is changing in an interesting way. He no longer has patches of red and raised angry eczema like you can see in earlier posts. Healing is happening. Healing is slow. Six months has felt like a huge milestone and a huge blessing. God has been with us every step of the way.
Here are some pictures PRE-GAPS from 2016 and early 2017:
Now here are pictures taken POST-GAPS:
Typically, his eye brows look red because they are a frequented itching zone for whatever reason. But his eyes in general seem to have more light and life in them, and they are no longer red underneath and sunken in.
This past week this is what his arms and legs have looked like upon waking:
His feet are still an area that bother him, and you can see the skin is visibly rougher here from constant itching and there are many cuts attempting to heal.
I know a lot of people going through a lot of really difficult things right now. I have an old friend who is living with a brain tumor; I have multiple friends struggling with their own health battles and an aunt who lost her son last year. There is so much pain in this world and sometimes hope seems scarce. It is easy to sit and stew and worry about the pain in your own life. I do often, but it achieves nothing. I find lately I’m spending more time in prayer for others to get me out of my own head and lift someone else up to the Father. Don’t get me wrong, I pray constantly for Raleigh and our family, but taking time to pray for others does something inside of me.
The church we attend puts on a women’s concert each Christmas and brings in a female artist and this year it was Ellie Holcomb. I have never listened to her music before, but one song really resonated with me called Red Sea Road. The song itself is lovely and Ellie has a charming and twangy voice that reminded me of Dolly Parton. So if you’re a fan of ‘ol Dolly, you’ll like Ellie. I’ve said before we believe God is leading us down this road. We believe God has a plan for Raleigh’s life, and we hope and pray that He will use our Red Sea Road to help others find healing in their own lives. Go listen to the song, it will minister to your heart and hopefully help give you some hope on whatever your Red Sea Road is. Merry Christmas!
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