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My Testimony

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This is a very personal page for me.  My spirituality is a very important part of my life.  I have been blessed with opportunities to grow and be challenged many times over my life, but each time, the Lord has been faithful in being there to comfort and guide me.
I was blessed as a child to have a wonderful Grandmother who, even though she did not attend church, she was very spiritual and had a reverence for the Lord.  Her quiet example and the things she taught me during my visits with her helped greatly in building the foundation for the faith I would develop later on.  This faith would be tested and strengthened many times.  I praise the Lord for the opportunities He has given to help me to grow closer to Him.
One of the areas of my life that grew me the most was my health.  Back in 1993, I began having chronic pain that first started in my shoulder, then over time spread across my entire back.  The pain later affected all the joints of my body.  Doctors over the years kept mentioning that I had "arthritis of the soft tissue" or fibromyalgia.  By early in 2006, I was having to use a cane or walker.  If I were shopping at a store, I had to use a motorized cart because I physically could no longer walk the length of time it took.  In October, 2006, I went to the ER because of bad chest pains.  We found out the pain was from the muscles in the chest wall contracting and cutting off my breath.   Stress made the condition even worse.  I was put on prescriptions for pain meds that if I had taken them as prescribed, would have made me groggy.  With a baby in the house, I just couldn't do it.
In early January, 2007, I finally reached out in prayer more intensely than I had previously.  I knew that with the Lord's help,  I would be able to find the answers we needed.
I checked on the internet, looking for natural alternatives to help to ease the pain.  Abbie was becoming more mobile, crawling around alot, and I needed to be able to keep up with her.  I finally found through my reading that there are many who are finding relief through dietary changes.  I didn't realise it at that time, but I was about to have my life change in a dramatic way.
I have had problems with meat off and on throughout my adult life.  I could eat it without much problem for a time, then without warning I would become very sick whenever I ate it.  I would have to go without meat for several months before I could start eating it again.  This was my first thought when I read about how diet affects your general health.  I gave up meat and began eating a lacto-ova vegetarian diet, meaning that I also eat dairy & eggs. 
Two weeks after I started the diet change, I was cooking dinner at the stove and the realization hit me.  I had just had a full day with no pain!  Tears began to fall as I absorbed the enormity of this blessing the Lord had given.  Joe came into the kitchen and saw the tears, instantly thinking that maybe my pain level was high.  When I told him I had no pain all day, he also had tears.  That day was the first of many.  With the exception of a few instances, I have been pain-free ever since.
The times I have pain now is if I eat non-organic meats or if I over extend myself physically.  Stress or working too hard physically in hot weather can still cause the chest muscles to contract and make breathing difficult.  But, if I am being sensible in my physical activities during the hot temperatures and I stay away from the non-organic meats, I am pain-free.
What a wonderful blessing this has been.  I have been able to go without a cane or walker since early February.  As Abbie is learning to walk and getting more active, I am now able to keep up.  I am able to do just about anything that needs done.  I am still working on building up my endurance levels, but I feel better now than I have in a very long time. 
I have tried re-introducing meat into my diet and get sick or feel the heaviness of pain start to set in.  Most recently, Joe and I tried grass-fed organic meat and I was able to eat it without any bad affects.  This is huge!  We are now working towards raising our own meat.  This way we can enjoy the benefits of organic, grass-fed meat without having to pay the higher prices.
I have also extended the organic food to our gardens and herbs.  This year, I am planting 3 gardens.  The largest one has the black weed-barrier plastic sheeting stretched across the garden.  I cut holes into the sheeting to plant the transplants or seed.  This has cut down the work considerably.  In this garden, I have tomatoes, eggplant, 3 types of squash, cucumbers, pickles, and later on will plant my fall crops such as brussel sprouts.  In my 2nd vegetable garden, I am using strips of the weed barrier sheeting in between rows of beets, spinach, and other root crops.  The 3rd garden is for herbs.  I am striving to grow all of the herbs that I use.  In the instance of orgainic spice/herb seeds that are hard to find, I am trying to plant the organic whole seed found at the health food store. 
It is my goal to be producing as much of the food items as possible.  In having the organic diet, I am seeing such a difference in my health.  I am so grateful to the Lord for leading me to this change.  I know it is because of His guidance and grace that I was able to find these answers.
I don't know if going organic will relieve every person's chronic pain, but I do believe that it can help. 

October 30, 2008
From time to time, I have received emails asking for updates on my health and if the diet changes are still working.   I am thrilled to say that, after nearly 2 years, I am still pain-free and not taking medications for the fibromyalgia.
I am staying with the diet of not eating non-organic meats.  We use organic practices in our garden and also in the feeding of our sheep.  Next fall when we are able to start butchering, I will be able to safely eat the meats without any negative affects to my health.
I do still have fibromyalgia.  If I over work myself, have an injury or sickness, I have a tendency to have a flare up, but they are short in duration.  I am also able to get through them without prescription medication. 
We have been blessed also in another way.  My health had improved so much that we were able to have another baby.  Last spring, we had our son.  This is something we would never have considered trying to do had my health not been so improved.  We thank the Lord each day for the precious gift and blessing of our daughter and son.