God brought me to the ground in the summer of 2013 and it changed my life. In February of that year, I injured my back while improperly lifting weights. For months I bounced around to different healers looking for relief. After six months, my back had become so tight that one night coming back from the bathroom I hit my hip and I couldn’t keep my balance. Consequently, I was sent to the ground and didn’t get back up for three weeks.
It was during this time that God spoke to me. Looking back, it’s so clear, but at the time I had no idea it was God. My partner at the salon, Annie, told me about the book You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay. I brushed it off, but then a week later I was lying on the floor watching tv and saw it in the stack of books under the tv: that very same book! What? Weird! So, I cracked it open and then didn’t put it down.
Shortly after I was up and walking again, I joined my mom at her spiritual center, which happened to be a few blocks from my house. I soon found out that Louise L. Hay was a minister for the same organization. AND that my copy of the book was a signed edition.
There were a lot of coincidences piling up, and that told me I was on the right path. One of the biggest stepping stones on the path was my gratitude practice. The first thing I did every morning was find ten things I was grateful for–
a bed to sleep in
a roof over my head
food in the fridge
a body that works
friends and family that support me
a dog to cuddle
a car to transport me
the love of God
Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18)
Before this turn of events I may have wanted to throw myself a pity party, but after, I wanted to find gratitude in any circumstance. I would say to myself, “I’m appreciative of this bed that supports my healing back.” I found a rhythm with my gratitude practice. However, it took a good amount of time to make this practice second nature. I realized later, my gratitude practice was a form of prayer, and the more I talked with God, the more present I was with living a life that would support healthy habits.
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34)
By December my back was completely healed, and I was regularly attending the same spiritual center and learning about how we create our reality based on our relationship with God. This was when I met Zach, my next big stepping stone and future husband.
Where I had never defined my love of God, Zach knew whole heartedly that he was a Christian. I hadn’t opened my Bible in many years, but because I wanted to connect with him in his language, I dusted it off and began my study.
Much to my surprise, I found that all I had been learning at the spiritual center was in the Bible. I just needed to learn how to translate it into a language I was comfortable with. Thank God for giving me that awareness. I found comfort in finding similarities and it made for many exploratory conversations as we discovered what concepts we agreed and disagreed on. Even though some of these conversations were disastrous at first, I thanked God everyday for bringing a godly man into my life. Finding our footing as a God loving couple was a huge challenge. We had many ups and downs before we made it to our wedding day. Through it all, I was grateful for the journey because I learned how to put God above a boyfriend, and how to dedicate my life to God.
For we walk by faith not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)
During our three years of dating, I bought a house, remodeled my house, received my foster care license, went to Kenya to work with Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika, joined a nonprofit board, took six foster kids into my home, adopted a plant-based lifestyle, went through three breakups with Zach, watched my dog Bella die of cancer, and adopted two kittens. It was a lot, and honestly I would not, could not have predicted any of it! I took peace knowing that as long as I put my faith in God, and continued my gratitude practice, I would be on the right path–even if I couldn’t see it yet.
Now I have a healthy marriage, a healthy body, and a healthy spiritual practice.
I don’t have it all figured out, I struggle everyday with one thing or other, but I don’t give it much weight. I’m now an eternal optimist and find the little nuggets of gratitude in everything I can. Gratitude is the cornerstone of my spiritual practice and of having a healthy, abundant life.
Here are some affirmations for common obstacles:
I am so appreciate having funds in my bank to pay this bill
I am blessed to have a credit card to use when funds are tight
I pay this bill with joy and ease
I appreciate unexpected income (when someone buys you a cup of coffee, or lunch, or flowers)
I appreciate saving money to afford my wants and needs
I appreciate having this problem arise so I may learn to clear it up for good
I appreciate having a friend/partner brave enough to tell me the truth
I am grateful to my friend/partner for giving me something to look at to either keep or change
I appreciate a body that supports me
Every cell in my body is happy and healthy
I appreciate that my body tells me what it needs
I appreciate being tuned into my body so I can hear when it tells me what it needs
I am strong and healthy