Every season we walk through, whether good or bad, is another thread that is woven into the tapestry of our lives. I never could have imagined what was ahead when I decided to study abroad in Spain during my senior year of college. It's been over 6 years since I was there, but the impact that season of my life has had is still very present and will always be a turning point in my story for so many reasons.
Not only did living in Spain open my eyes and heart to the world, it also helped me solve the greatest mystery of my life. My entire childhood had been spent in and out of the doctor's office. Constant issues with my stomach, skin, throat, migraines, etc plagued me for almost 22 years. It was my 6 months abroad that revealed that the root cause of these problems did not lie within me, but was either related to something I was eating or something in the environment I was living. For 6 months, I was healthy for the first time in my life. All the problems listed above miraculously disappeared. It so perplexing, but I pushed the questions away and just enjoyed my experience.
Upon arriving home, I got extremely ill after eating my first meal (it was TexMex!) and it was a downward spiral for the next 6 months as I went to countless doctors begging for answers, but none were found. Instead, I was just given labels for all of my symptoms - IBS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and more. After falling into a somewhat depressed and angry state, I was given the name of a doctor who would change my life.
Together we discovered the root cause of my problems was related to food. I immediately cut out gluten and began to start feeling how I did in Spain once again. Since then, I have done a lot of research on our food system and uncovered a lot of unsettling things. I now live and advocate for a natural, green lifestyle - one without all the added chemicals, toxins, and words you can't pronounce.
I don't live this lifestyle because it's trendy or because I am wealthy and elite (ha! far from the truth). No, I live this lifestyle because it saved my life. If I wouldn't have discovered the root cause of my issues and cleaned up my diet, skin care products, household products, etc, I wouldn't be where I am today. I was teetering on the edge of becoming a diabetic before I met my doctor aka hero. I couldn't make it through the day without taking a nap. I felt like an 80 year old trapped in a 22 year old body. It was taking its emotional, psychological, and relational toll on me as well.
I am so thankful that I have the knowledge I do today, which is why I'm so passionate about sharing the gift of natural health and wellness with others. This discovery also made a way for me to discover other things that continue to be at the forefront of my life today, which I'll share about in another post. I simply want to encourage you that if you're struggling through a season that's hard, doesn't make sense, and is full of pain, anger, and every other emotion you can think of - it's going to be okay. It is being used to refine you, transform your heart, and further reveal your purpose. If anyone would have told me what all would transpire as a result of my 6 months away, I wouldn't have believed them. I gained the gift of health, uncovered my passion, and am thriving today as a result.