How I Came to Live Principles of Abundant Health
Welcome back to this series on principles of abundant health.
This is #2 in a 10-part series. My goal with this series is to provide information and inspiration to help you build abundant health. Life is so good when we feel well!
In #1 in this series, I introduced principles of abundant health and explained how they are principles with a promise. Magnificent blessings of abundant health are inevitable when we follow certain laws. The rest of the articles in this series help you implement these principles of abundant health into your life. See the end of this post for links to all articles in this series.
In this article I share my story of how I came to know and apply principles of abundant health in my life. I hope you will feel encouraged to start building greater health for yourself and your family today.
“You’ve got cancer.”
Those are the words I’ve always dreaded to hear. One of my greatest fears.
But I wasn’t hearing them for myself. My Dad had pancreatic cancer and was told he had about a year to live and was given the option for chemotherapy treatment. Not that the chemotherapy would heal him, but that it might slow down the progress of the tumors and give him more time.
In my grief, I turned to action. I searched for answers. For cures. Ways I could help him through this ordeal. To give him more blessed time in this life.
I found answers!
For me, when I’m being given spiritual insight, information glows like a neon sign in my heart and mind and I’m drawn to it like a magnet. Is it like that for you? Well, in my searching for ways to help my Dad heal from cancer, I found a few neon signs that ignited a fire inside me.
I learned that people were healing from cancer through nutrition. Even stage 4 patients. Eliminating processed foods, eating pure, whole foods, juicing, and using natural supplements helped people eliminate toxins, build immune systems, and beat cancer.
I already believed in healthy eating from studying nutrition for over 15 years. I knew the power of real, whole food as medicine. And of processed food as poison. Now, with cancer in mind, all the health principles I knew were validated – they proved to heal cancer. They brought health.
I felt hope! I was ready to commit my time to helping my Dad; to prepare foods that would help him heal. To at least give him wellness and a better quality of life as he fought cancer.
The Healing Plan
Eagerly, yet cautiously as I knew my dad was a creature of habit (like all of us!), I presented a healing plan to him:
- Stop eating all processed foods – even his beloved Diet Pepsi – because the cancer cells feed and thrive on sugar.
- Eat only real, whole food – no more fast food and sugary desserts.
- Increase fruits and vegetables like crazy – try to get at least 18-22 servings a day through juicing, soups, and salads.
- Use natural supplements that build the immune system to help him fight.
- Don’t do chemotherapy as it would just tear down his immune system. I reminded him that the doctors even told him it would not cure the cancer, only possibly slow it down.
In my dad’s quiet, even stubborn way, he refused to change how he was eating. He didn’t believe it would make any difference for his cancer what he ate or didn’t eat and wouldn’t give up the things he loved.
And, he would do chemotherapy.
Of course, it was his decision. I could see how giving up comfort foods at this difficult time would be hard for him. Comfort food could be some of the few joys he might have during this trying time. But I could see greater joys ahead for him if he would. But he wouldn’t.
I admit, I was angry and so disappointed. I couldn’t understand it.
Why would you not make changes that could increase your quality of life and bring wellness? Why keep eating the very things that were making you sick? Why not be willing to change?
I cried tears of grief and frustration. I knew the chemotherapy would just make him more sick. I knew what I offered could really help him and lessen the ravages of the chemotherapy. I knew there was a chance for a better quality of life for him. But no. He refused. He wouldn’t even talk about it again.
And it was true. The chemotherapy wiped him out and was the beginning of anguishing and desperate times as his health steeply and quickly declined.
I festered in my anger and sadness and grief.
Then one day while thinking about all this standing at my kitchen sink, a neon light burned in my heart and mind. The kind, yet firm rebuke was clear:
The voice in my heart asked of me, “Are you willing to make the changes you are asking him to make? If you know these principles are true why aren’t you living them today with exactness yourself? Why wait for a cancer diagnosis?”
I was humbled.
Was I willing to change?
I began searching, gathering all my knowledge from years of study and practice of healthy eating. Sitting at my kitchen table with books piled all around me, I scoured all the resources I had collected over the years.
I reminded myself of the truths of healthy living I knew but wasn’t living completely.
I sought inspiration as I studied and read from scripture about God’s plan of health for his children. Phrases lit up on the pages. Understanding came to my heart and mind. I saw the pieces fit together of what I needed to do.
A plan came to me and I quickly wrote it down, like a spiritual download. Here are my notes from that day. They are precious to me as it was pure inspiration flowing through my pen.
Once the plan was down on paper, and I realized what the Lord was asking me to do, I cried.
It would take a commitment of over 2 hours a day of food prep. It would mean a total lifestyle change. It would mean implementing ALL the principles of health I knew to be true into my life at the same time. And I understood the commitment was for at least 2 years.
It involved daily food prep, weekly food prep, and monthly food prep that would take me about 2 hours each day. It included being firm on eliminating processed foods, white flour and sugar. It meant eating WAY more vegetables and fruits and lessening how much meat we ate.
I would add all the healing foods I knew about: kefir, fermented vegetables, bone broth, sourdough bread, soaked grains, nuts, legumes, juicing. It meant adopting a schedule with time carved out for all this food prep, spiritual renewal, exercise, and to bed early.
It meant doing all the things I knew were the right things to do. Really doing them with diligence and exactness. Walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Living in-line with what I knew to be true. Living with integrity.
That’s what the Lord was inviting me to do. And it felt overwhelming. Did I have what it took to really follow through?
The thing is, I wasn’t sick. I felt pretty good. But my whole life I had cycled through unwell times which spurred me to seek healthier ways. That’s how I had acquired so much knowledge. I just wasn’t living it all the time. Now I was being asked to do just that. On faith. It was a huge commitment.
I determined I’d do it.
Although it took me a few days of deep contemplation and convincing of my heart, I committed. I took a deep breath and resigned myself to what I needed to do. I could not deny the confirmation I felt. This was what God wanted me to do and I knew these principles of health were true. That no matter the sacrifice, it would be worth it. I would make the changes I needed to.
What in the World???
After several months of living these principles of abundant health, I developed pain in my jaw that made it impossible to chew. I had just perfected making meals with tons of beautifully prepared vegetables, whole grains, homemade sauces and dressings, with flavors that made my mouth sing!
I craved my roasted vegetables and colorful salads.
And now I couldn’t eat them. I couldn’t chew one bite! For over a month my jaw was pierced with terrible pain, so I sucked on smoothies and licked up creamed vegetable soups.
During this time a thought settled deep in my heart. I realized that even if I did ever get cancer, it didn’t matter. I humbly came to understand that for me, living these principles wasn’t a guarantee against illness. It was an act of faith and obedience. I knew I had been asked to eat and live this way, and that was enough. I trusted God and that the inspiration I had received was from God. I would see this commitment through.
Even after living the principles for 8 months I didn’t have remarkable health. Matter of fact, I felt WORSE! My health was declining! I felt the worst I had ever felt physically in my life.
And emotionally I was spiralling into a come-apart as my family faced one stressful life event after another during that year my Dad was diagnosed with cancer.
Here are the highlights:
- We prepared for and said goodbye to our second son who left to serve a 2-year mission for our church across the country. I felt all the joy and heartache of a proud mama missing her boy.
- I had hand surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome yet even after 6 months it still wasn’t healing right and hurt. It was a real worry to me.
- My Father in-law had emergency open heart surgery.
- My mother had major hip surgery and needed care.
- My oldest son got married with only a 5 week engagement and the reception was in our backyard! An avalanche of happiness and stress crashed upon me.
- After months of crushing difficulties at work, my husband was offered a fantastic career advancement OUT OF STATE with a new company which meant he commuted home to me and my two daughters on the weekends.
- We faced an unexpected move to another state in the near future that would uproot our family.
- I began developing more random pain, weakness, and ailments that seemed to have no cause or cure. My anxiety increased and I experienced severe panic attacks that were like none I’d had before. I could not find help after going to doctor after doctor. I felt great despair over the loss of my health. I was down in bed more than I had ever been before.
- I pushed through a commitment of teaching a weekly World History class to our youth in our homeschool commonwealth school while experiencing neurological symptoms of memory loss and inability to connect thoughts to words. Trying to give lectures each week while losing my words mid-sentence was unnerving and made me feel like I was losing my mind.
- My Dad suffered terribly through the chemotherapy treatments for many months. He grew weaker and sicker all the time. I spent many sleepless nights with my parents helping them through the roughest times. It was heart-wrenching.
- Less than a year after his diagnosis, my Dad passed away.
But, through the stress, I lived the Principles of Abundant Health the best I could.
Yet I sure didn’t see how it was helping me one bit!
I just took it one day and one crazy life event at a time trying to stay afloat.
Yet even amidst all the stress, illness, and grief, I felt Abundance!
That year really WAS the hardest year of my life. I was stretched beyond what I thought I could possibly do on my own physically, emotionally, and spiritually trying to care for my parents, keep my family together, and push through the daily pain I was feeling. Although I was white-knuckling it, I WAS ABLE TO DO IT. I made it through.
Amidst all that hardship there was joy too! Our family and I were taught lessons of love, sacrifice, peace, courage, and understanding. We grew closer together. We felt God’s love and guidance. The neon arrows led the way.
I could write a book of all the tender mercies and sacred, blessed experiences given to us that year. You can read about many of those experiences here on this website!
The end of the road.
But after my father’s death, the funeral over, and a few weeks helping my mother adjust to her new life alone, I crashed. My health was so poor I could not get out of bed. I just stayed in bed, feeling the weight of my grief and the toll of that year. I could go no further.
And I didn’t have to.
God had carried me to the finish line.
Shortly after I found a doctor who was able to tell me what was wrong with me and that he knew how to help me get better.
And, by the way, it wasn’t cancer.
It was chronic lymes disease – or more accurately Multi Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome. I had had it for years. But the deep and continual stresses of that year triggered a bacterial flare-up, ravaging my body slowly and painfully.
Living the Principles of Abundant Health gave me the strength to make it to the finish line – to get through that year and all the hard things I had to do. I’m convinced that if I had not been nourishing my body consistently and supporting it nutritionally the bacteria would have overcome my immune system long before I was done with the work I needed to do that year.
The nutrition carried me through the hardest year of my life.
And I was sustained with peace, strength, and endurance that came from my efforts of obedience to what God had asked me to do.
Now the bacteria were so prolific that I couldn’t fight with nutrition alone. And just when I needed it and was able to slow my life down for healing, I was guided to the right doctor that could diagnose the problem and start me on a treatment plan – which included living the exact principles of abundant health God inspired me to live all those months ago!
I felt delivered!
I learned that people with this disease can become debilitated. They can’t walk anymore, they become bed ridden and can’t function at all. But I know I was spared that extreme because I lived principles of abundant health…I’m so grateful!
I shudder to think of what could have happened had I not followed that inspiration! I believe I would have lost the use of my legs had I not had the arsenal of nutrition fighting for me all those months. I would not have been able to be there for my parents during that difficult time. I would not have been able to support my sons in their exciting life events. I could not have completed my teaching commitment. I would not have been able to hold my family together during my husband’s job change, move out of state, and weekend commutes. My health would have failed me before I was finished with the work I needed to do that year.
God knew. And sent me a memo.
When I received the inspiration for living the Principles of Abundant Health, I didn’t feel sick. I didn’t know that an army of bacteria were amassing in my body ready to wreak havoc on my health. I didn’t know that I would be facing the hardest year of my life.
But God knew.
And He gave me a heads up.
He helped me.
He upheld me.
He gave me the tools I needed to survive.
He delivered me.
And I know He will deliver you too. From whatever you need delivering from.
We just have to be willing to walk into the dark with the light illuminating one step at a time as He directs.
Read the next article in this series to learn more about the principles of healthy eating that were the foundation of my inspired health plan. I believe these principles can be a foundation of healing and wellness for you too.
You can also read what happened next for me after our move – the continuation of this story and another testament of God’s goodness here.
Read the entire series:
No link yet? Coming soon!
- Principles of Abundant Health: An Introduction
- My Story: How I Came to Live the Principles of Abundant Health
- Healthy Eating Part One: What to Eat
- Healthy Eating Part Two: Prepare Food Traditionally
- Healthy Eating Part Three: How-to & Practical Application
- Spiritual Connections to Abundant Health
- The Things You’ve Gotta Get Rid of for Abundant Health
- How Fasting Regularly Brings Abundance
- Movement is Medicine
- Abundant Health Mindset