My Life-changing 40th & the Beautiful Gift that God gave to Me
I just celebrated my 40th Birthday March 2 and to say that it was life changing is an understatement. It all started when I went on a vegan diet this past January to try to become even healthier. I felt much better initially and then I began cutting even more things out of my diet such as lentils, grains until I was only eating some vegetables, olive oil- almost the same thing every day. I stopped taking any vitamins as well and started taking several different herbs, thinking it would be better for me.
Fast forward to going out of town with my husband for an entire week while he went to college for classes for his job. We ordered in Mellow Mushroom pizza & I decided to have a cheat night & I had pizza with steak, cheese, gluten, mushrooms. The next day, I felt horrible and I began having issues with my throat closing up and having problems swallowing. My husband was in classes all week, so being sick in a hotel room all by myself was really scary. I hadn't really talked to a couple of my sisters because we had become estranged but I ended up texting my one sister because I was so afraid and she called me and I started crying. She ended up being there for me through the entire ordeal. I also talked to my Mom daily and also my Mother in Law and they all prayed over me and with me, telling me it was going to be okay.
I thought that I would get better the next day, but as each day passed, I continued to get worse and worse. My tongue became coated in white, which I thought was maybe strep throat, but found out later, I had Candida Thrush which is a yeast overgrowth in the body. I also started getting fevers and at night I would shake so badly that my whole body was almost in seizures. Every day, I would pray all day and ask God to breathe life into me. I was so afraid, but I just knew that God was going to get me through it. I also was at the point where I was so afraid to eat because I felt that the pizza had triggered some allergic reaction in me. My Mom begged me every day to eat, but I would only eat a couple of bites of apples or kiwi, just to make sure I wasn't going to have a reaction 8 hours later. I began to get malnourished. The only thing that I was doing right, was drinking tons of water and hot tea.
Feeling so close to death really broke my spirit, until I was on the bathroom floor, begging God to heal my body and to give me some relief. I poured everything out to God that night, I repented for things that I had done to hurt others and the resentment that I had allowed to grow in my heart against my siblings and other family. I promised God that I was going to change my ways and I meant it! I immediately removed a book from Amazon that I had written that I felt reproved on. I also made up with my other sister and mended every relationship that had been broken in my life. I was determined that I wasn't going to have anything in my heart that wasn't pure. God showed me how unkind that I had been and as I looked back, it broke my heart into pieces, at the things that I had done and the relationships that I had allowed to become broken. I saw all of the time that I had wasted on petty little things that didn't even matter. It's amazing the silly things that Satan will have us focus on, just to keep us at odds with others. I was so remorseful and couldn't believe what I had allowed to happen. I felt like I had been out of body and someone else had taken over my body. But once God opened my eyes, I could see everything so clearly and I knew that I was going to pray daily to keep my heart pure, never to allow Satan to trick me again.
We left the hotel at the end of the week and we drove home. At this point, I wouldn't even have a Starbucks coffee, because I was still scared of eating or drinking anything that would set me off. I believed that as soon as I got home that I was going to get better immediately. The first night that I was home, my blood pressure dropped so low that my heart almost stopped and I felt like I was going to pass out and my sister talked me through it and prayed over me and it came to me that I needed to drink something with salt. I made myself a hot water with pink Himalayan salt and that helped me temporarily.
My family convinced me to visit my Mom's for a Sunday gathering and I hadn't seen anyone since we had gotten back home. When I arrived at my Mom's and opened the door, they had a surprise birthday party for me! It was so beautiful! My sister had decorated my Mom's house with pink + white balloons + a beautiful cake + fresh flowers. I walked in and began crying; I was so overwhelmed with the rough week and what I had been through. My sister came up and just hugged me. I felt like the prodigal son returning home and that I didn't deserve such a wonderful welcome from my family. My sister was so sweet to plan such a beautiful surprise for me, especially considering since I hadn't been the kindest sister to her. I felt so undeserving, but it was such a beautiful gesture.
The next few days, I started spending time with my family that I had been estranged from. We caught up on life over coffee, lunches- it was so wonderful to have my family back! My Mom told everyone that my transformation was the biggest spiritual transformation that she had ever witnessed in her life! And I felt it, everything was so different, my heart was full of pure love for everyone. Everything that I looked at was so much more beautiful, the way the trees swayed in the wind, the sunshine, it was like God had given me new glasses to wear. I felt like I had one foot in Heaven and I never wanted that feeling to leave! It gave me a small glimpse into what Heaven would be like. I can't wait to go! Not just yet, I still have so much work left to do here, but I can't wait to be in Heaven one day for eternity.
As the week progressed, I still couldn't swallow well and I had to blend all of my foods to get anything down. I kept losing weight and my family began to get worried. My Mom took me to a Naturopath and she put me on Probiotics, Homeopathic Candida Medicine and Silver Hydrosol. I began to take the combination and started having horrible detox effects such as heart racing, fevers, swollen lymph nodes and blurred vision. My family was worried and told me that I needed to stop taking those homeopathic medicines and get to the hospital. By this time, I had lost 20 pounds in just under 2 weeks. Every night, to keep my anxiety down, I would listen to worship music and pray, asking God to stay with me, until I would fall asleep. Having God by my side was the one thing that would calm me down.
There were many nights when I would call my sisters, scared to death, asking them to pray for me and they did. My one sister kept encouraging me, telling me that I couldn't go yet, that we had lots of shopping + Starbucks to catch up on since we hadn't had a relationship in years. Having that in the back of my mind, kept me going. I was determined that I was going to make up all the missed time with my nephews, nieces, sisters, brothers, my Mom and my Mom in Law and that things were going to be different. No more missing family reunions, family gatherings such as Easter, Thanksgiving, etc. Things were going to change when I got better.
God had changed my heart and I wanted this new girl to stay. She was so much kinder and loving than the other one that had taken over my life for years. God had opened my eyes to show me how Satan had taken over my mind and caused me to hold on to anger, past hurts and become bitter. He showed me how in my hurt, I hurt others just as bad or worse than they had hurt me. Satan made me think that it was everyone else and that I was a victim, but I played a big part in hurting my family as well and looking back it broke my heart to see what I had done. But I couldn't change the past; all I could do now was get better so that I could make the future better and make up for all of those years. One day as I was walking, I was feeling guilty and remorseful for the things that I had put my family through, but God spoke to me and said, "If others hadn't seen that sinful side of you, they couldn't witness the spiritual transformation when you changed into this new, loving person." People needed to see that I was a walking miracle and that was the only way that they could see it! If I had been a perfect angel all of my life, where would be God's miracle in that? If you read the bible, God always used people that were drunkards, murderers, etc. to show how through God's power, they could be transformed and renewed!
This picture was about 2 weeks after the hospital and I went shopping with my three sisters. We had the best day! We shopped, had Starbucks, lunch- it was so much fun catching up like old times!
So I did end up in the ER finally. I was out with my Mom and sister shopping in town. We had breakfast and cappuccinos at my house that morning. My Mom wanted to run into town for some vanilla coffee creamer for my brother because she had run out. I decided to just wear my pj's, t shirt and moccasins because we were only going to one place. As soon as my Mom ran into the store, I began having breathing issues and I told my sister that I had to get to the ER asap. My Mom ran out of the store and we rushed to the ER, by then I was having an anxiety attack and started crying at the ER desk. We ended up waiting for about 2.5 hours and they finally got me in a temporary room and began taking my blood, vitals. They had me do a barium swallow which was the scariest thing ever. I prayed that the radiation from all of the scans wouldn't harm my body. God was with me through every moment of my journey. All of my life, I have had issues with trust, even with God and throughout this trial, God taught me that I could trust in him and lean on him and that he wouldn't let me fall. That is the best feeling, I have to tell you!
My other sister showed up that I hadn't talked to in years and as soon as I saw her, I gave her a big hug. We had been at odds with each other for years, but God took all of my old hurts and resentments and I had nothing but pure love for my sister. We started catching up on life and we talked about how she had been through neck surgery and was showing me the knot in her neck and I asked if I could pray over her. She said yes, so I prayed over her, right there at the hospital. It was like old times, but even better! My Mom and sisters were still in awe at how God had miraculously changed my heart!
My sister ended up having to push to get me admitted to the hospital. The initial Doctor that saw me didn't want to admit me and told me that I just needed to eat some potassium. At this point, I was still eating blended foods and my sister responded, "And how do you expect her to do that? She can barely get food down, that's why she has has lost 20 pounds in less than 2 weeks & if she doesn't get admitted she will continue to lose more weight and die." If it hadn't been for my sister's persistence, I wouldn't have been admitted. I know that God put her there to help get me admitted to the hospital so that I could get the care that I needed. I told my sister that God was in control and that we would pray that God would make a way to get me admitted and the next Doctor that came in to see me was so kind and amazing. She put me at ease and she confirmed that everything that I had self-diagnosed, I actually did have. I ended up having Candida Thrush, H. Pylori, Acid Reflux/GERD. It was a relief knowing that it wasn't all in my head. I knew that something wasn't right with my body in the middle of February when I was having issues with my throat.
The next few days in the hospital, my Mom and two of my sisters, were there pretty much every day. My Mom and I even took a nap together one day, she barely left my side. My Mother in Law came by with some healthy green juices & snacks and we played Scrabble and even in the hospital, I actually won (or maybe they felt bad for me and let me win). My two other older sisters came by to see me as well; it was so nice catching up with everyone. A couple of my brothers called and sent well wishes via video. I felt surrounded by so much love by all of my family. Satan had convinced me for years that no one cared about me and that no one would even care if I was gone and I hate to admit it but I believed him for years. But God showed me that my family does love and care for me and I didn't realize how much I had missed spending time with all of them.
This is a few of us at my Mom's house on Easter Sunday. We had so much fun! Even the adults had an Easter Egg hunt!
After 3.5 days in the hospital, I was so ready to go home. They finally told me that I was cleared to leave and gave me my medication order from the pharmacy which my Mom went and picked up for me. I don't think I have ever packed up so quickly in my life! We had the cart ready to go by the time my husband came to get me. We loaded up the car and headed home. I was so happy to be home that I wanted to kiss the floor! It was amazing to be outside, to be able to bask in the sunshine and to have a fresh new start on life. I was so grateful to God for giving me a second chance at life to make things right and to spend more time with my family and hopefully be a light to others. I will have to tell you my story of how God healed me on another blog post! (How God healed me of Acid Reflux/GERD, H Pylori and Candida Thrush).
I kept up my end of the bargain that I made to God and I began spending more time with my family. I went to Easter and family reunion for the first time in years and I had the best time! I have spent days with my Mother in Law, my Mom, my sisters and my nephews and nieces; shopping, farmer's markets, having coffee and chats, the flower market. I planned a family dinner about a week after the hospital and it was so wonderful having family in our home, some for the first time. Everyone had such a beautiful night, you could feel the love in the entire house and everyone was so happy! I am so grateful every day that I wake up and I don't take anything for granted any longer. God gave me a second chance at life and I praise him for it! I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful birthday present than God giving me a pure heart and restoring relationships with my sisters and all of my family!
There has been so much more that has happened since this post, but I will have to share in a later post so stay tuned for that!