Last week a sweet friend stopped me and said, ‘Hey! Isn’t it about this time last year that we did the prayer thing for Ellie?’
I had to stop and think. It is. To the month.
‘Can you believe how much has changed in a year?’
And she is completely right. Our life is hardly the same from one year ago.
I had to go back and take a look at old blog posts to even remember where we were. I had completely forgotten. That alone is crazy.
It was April of last year that I posted a wanted ad for Team Ellie. We already had her covered in prayer in a multitude of ways. Still, I had felt led to formally gather a team who would commit to pray specifically and intentionally for her needs. I had heard God say a 6 month prayer team that was to start with 10 days of fasting and prayer. So I went for it. And it was awesome. Team Ellie seriously rocked.
May 1 of 2012, after almost 15 months on GAPS, Ellie was still only eating broth, meat, and zucchini. I was pooped (no pun intended). That was a looooooong 15 months of trial and error, forwards and backwards, pushing and pulling. She was nourished. She was better. But things were hard. I wrote this:
“Today is May 1. Today Ellie is 33 months old. And she has been on an extremely restricted version of GAPS for 15 months. Every day I am torn between the joy that comes from seeing how far she has come, and the pain that comes with knowing the journey is far from over….GAPS is hard, but for Ellie GAPS is tremendously hard…..It is a slow and frustrating process, but I am comforted by knowing that on GAPS she is nourished completely. And when you have spent months being told you cannot feed your screaming baby under the false promise of ‘gut rest’, nourishment is something you never take for granted again.”
Then came Team Ellie. And by the end of the 6 months the eating had begun.
Here we are a year later and we don’t worry much about what we feed Ellie. We worry about chewing and feeding therapy and how to get food in her. But otherwise she currently has no issue with any GAPS approved foods (she is still primarily on a bottle which does give us some challenge and limitation).
She has way more foods than I could ever list.
The rest of us are working our way through the GAPS Introduction Diet now, too. The rest of us have had various levels of healing.
Not the same kid. Not the same family.
We have these amazing friends who we served with in ministry several years ago. They recently visited, and during his Sunday teaching he spoke of the Hebrew Passover song Dayenu. It stuck with me and I have been mulling it over for a couple weeks now.
Dayenu. It would have been enough.
The song is about being grateful for the abundance of gifts God gave to the Isrealites. Yet at the same time it declares that if He had only given ONE gift, it would most certainly have been enough. It would still be worthy of His praise, and it would still have shown His provision – even if He had stopped there.
The 15 stanzas of Dayenu are all miracles. They are grouped into 3 themes. The first 5 themes recognize the Exodus, and God’s freeing the Israelites from slavery. The second 5 acknowledge major acts He did in order to provide for their needs. And the last 5 celebrate being with God and in His presence.
The puzzling part is that all three of those things go together – the acts of liberation, the miracles of provision, and the comfort of His closeness. All three steps were a needed process for complete redemption, and to bring forth the blessings God had in store for His people. When telling the story today, not one of the 15 gifts listed in the song could stand alone; yet the song declares Dayenu – it would have been enough.
“If He had brought us out of Egypt” would not have been enough when being chased by Pharaoh’s army and cornered by the Red Sea.
“If He had lead us through to dry land” would not have been as miraculous if they marched through only to starve in the desert.
To say just one ‘would have been enough’ seems odd now, when we are reflecting backwards. We know what was coming. But it didn’t matter what was next. The reality is that in the moment, at each crisis they encountered, the amazing miracles gifted were all that were needed. He met their immediate needs. He saved them. And He was faithful.
All 15 stanzas of Dayenu are a direct reminder of His ability to save, of His ability to provide, of His ever being near,…. and of knowing that whatever lies ahead He will be there, too. That He is bigger. WAY bigger. And that we must continue to run the race of perseverance. It’s an entire life philosophy.
Dayenu. It is enough. As I reflect on Team Ellie, and look backwards, I can say confidently Dayenu – it would have been enough.
If He had entrusted us with a child with special needs – it would have been enough.
If He had provided chemical nutrients to help her survive – it would have been enough.
If He had led us to GAPS – it would have been enough.
If He had nourished Ellie with only meat, broth, and zucchini – it would have been enough.
On and on. And on. Each step showing amazing provision. Each step an absolute gift. And each step incomplete, because the race is far from over.
At the time of each major life event we can be sure that God will be faithful. We can know that He has an answer, a provision, and that He deserves all of the most amazing praise for the gifts He gives.
She still has hurdles to jump. She still has hang ups like the rest of us.
We don’t know what our family will look like one year from now.
We must only step out on the water knowing He promises that His answer will always be enough.
Dayenu is a philosphy. It’s a life mission. It’s deliberately acknowledging what He has done, and continuing forward towards the gifts He has in store.
So praise Him. Praise Him in the moment. Praise Him in the storm. And praise Him for each step of the journey. Reflect on His gifts and what it would have been like if He had stopped there, and know that it would have been OK. And be THAT much more grateful for everything that came after. And keep running.
Hope is contagious. Pass it on.