The last few days have been surreal. I cannot really explain what it is like to start feeding the children who have never been free to just eat. Feeding them has always been a lot of work. At this point I can clearly see that we have traveled through three distinct seasons of feeding the twins. In each of these seasons I can clearly see how God has walked before us – leading us into his grace, truth, and healing.
THE FIRST SEASON
When the twins were babies the reality of what they ate was not really all that different from most babies. Though their formula was a medical food it was still baby formula. Our plight was not much different than any family bottle feeding a baby or two. But there were extenuating circumstances that made it different– more difficult – sometimes much more difficult. To begin with feedings took more than an hour for each child. Then there was the pain, vomiting, diarrhea or severe constipation, bloody stools, extreme fussiness… Even as these symptoms waxed and waned there was a sort of bondage to the routine. Because they were not able to eat solid foods we were always on the clock – getting ready for the next bottle. This was the routine until the twins were about 2 years old, and the routine doesn’t even speak to the heartbreak of denying my children of the basic instinct and desire to eat food. There is no way to describe that.
THE SECOND SEASON
When the twins were two years old we began a healing diet for something known as Gut and Psychology Syndrome. The diet – known as the GAPS Diet – is designed to heal the gut. It is really just as simple as that. Though the condition we were trying to heal did not really fall into Gut and Psychology Syndrome God had clearly led us to this diet. During my three seasons of petitioning Him to heal the children he answered me each time – very clearly – with this diet.
The logistics of feeding a toddler nothing but meat and broth (and carrots, their 1 food at the time) was overwhelming. The learning curve was steep, but the Lord provided me with a friend who was on the same journey at the exact same time. Together we forged ahead and in the power of the Holy Spirit we cast off our fears and went against the advice of the entire medical community.
The job was endless and the tasks were daunting. Ensuring that there was enough broth and meat – at all times meant there was always a giant pot on the stove, countless trips to the farm to buy safe meat and bones, sourcing reliable and honest farmers to buy from. Just the sourcing and traveling to purchase food was a part time job! Then there was the constant blending. The bone broth and meat had to be blended into a drinkable milk in order to nourish our little ones who couldn’t chew and swallow much of anything.
Then for our family came the food trials. The work and worry that was attached to each bite of each new food was exhausting – physically, mentally and emotionally. But for the twins the yield was more than a dozen foods that they could eat. These amazing little people never complained. From this vantage point that is overwhelmingly inspiring – and humbling. We complained a lot. I was devastated about not being able to feed my children. My husband was overwhelmed at the work involved. Somewhere in the middle of this season, I had become hardened by the monotony of these tasks. For one example, I had come to despise the broth pot. Near the end of this season the Lord showed me how all of these tasks were actually a part of the joy and blessing of being able to feed my children all the things they could eat – and not about the things they could not eat.
THE THIRD SEASON
We are only now entering the third season of this journey. It has only been four days since we entered this glorious time – since the twins received Divine healing. For four days I have been feeding my little boy and little girl like normal children. For four days they have been normal children.
It is difficult for me to describe what this feels like. It is a lot of work. I have spent a lot of time sourcing good foods for them to eat. I have spent more time cooking than I did with their time consuming GAPS menu. Overnight my children who have never complained about their safe foods don’t want anything to do with their vegetables! They want to eat nothing but fruit and muffins! They want to eat all the things they are familiar with (since watching their cousins and family eat them for so long). I am fielding constant requests – strawberries, pizza, pretzels, ice cream…! If I really had to express how this feels I think I would have to say – it feels normal.
I guess I don’t really feel like this is just the start of a new chapter. It’s the start of a whole new book.
This book will not be a story of illness; it will not be a story about striving for answers or healing. This new book will be the story of nurturing and nourishing my children – the very thing I was created to do.