This had been a long time coming, this breaking of sorts serving to tear down and root out what was keeping her down. For years she resisted the knock, ignored the chisels and the cracks, would start afresh and then go back to her own way. Her name really isn’t that important as her story mirrors our lives at one time or another, maybe even now. But I want to tell you her name so you know who is gaining victory over her flesh to seek the best—naturally—that God has for her.Meet Ajene Gailliard, Musings of a (Recovering) Strong Black Woman Eat Well Live Well t-shirt giveaway winner, wife and mom of four, and a Spirit-filled Christian who blogs at Kingdom Mommy. The following is largely her words, presented here to spur you on your quest to heal yourself naturally:
I come from a family of very diseased people. I was faced with my mother’s health challenges: lupus, brain tumor, a lot of other issues and diabetes. I saw her in and out of the hospital, back and forth to the doctor, pill bottle upon pill bottle.
I didn’t have any health issues until college when I broke out in hives. The doctor couldn’t explain it.
I gained 50 lbs in my master’s degree program; it was a 10 month program. I had a health challenge that didn’t get any better and doctors said could only be cured with surgery. I read Patient Heal Thyself, by Jordan Rubin. A co-worker gave me the book. I then started (Rubin’s) The Maker’s Diet. The day I started the diet, I was healed. I had no more pain, no more issues. Obviously it was a supernatural touch from the Lord.
I was committed to losing weight. I went on a liquid diet through my job. I lost weight, but gained 20 lbs back when I got married. My husband and I ate American fare. I skipped the diet. I did a lot of fast food eating when I was pregnant with my oldest child. After I had her, I started having the symptoms (of that major health challenge) again. I knew it was because of my eating. I started The Maker’s Diet again. I fell off. My husband and I saw a documentary about fast food. That was 2005. We haven’t eaten fast food since. We stopped doing the pork. I just didn’t like it. It just didn’t do it for me anymore.
Even with ceasing to eat fast food and pork, Ajene still didn’t get a handle on her diet. While pregnant with her second child, she was put on bed rest so she wasn’t able to exercise or prepare her own foods. After having her second daughter, her symptoms returned yet again. She had a C-section and had just had one 17 months before with her first child. So even after having her second child, exercising was hard. With her health challenges came financial challenges. Her husband wasn’t working full time and Ajene had recently gotten laid off from her job as a social worker, counseling at-risk children and families and conducting a prevention program in the Detroit Public Schools, which she simply loved. She was depressed and discouraged.
I didn’t grow up overweight so (being overweight) was a challenge for me. I began to see the connection between seeking God and exercise. I didn’t have a lot of people in my family who were health nuts so I would be going back and forth, trying to find what worked. I was working with some health pastors, who were helping me but they were manipulative, saying things like ‘You have to serve us.’ That turned into a very devastating experience for me…. That relationship ended. Last year when I went to the doctor in March 2010, feeling led by the Holy Spirit to go (I hadn’t been to a primary care doctor in about four years), I found out I had high cholesterol. I was feeling light-headed. My mind was fuzzy. I went on the strict diet that the health pastors put me on. My cholesterol went down, but I had gained 10 lbs. Wrestling with her weight and the emotional scars from her relationship with the health pastors, Ajene says “I began not to care.” But she could no longer ignore the promptings from the Holy Spirit to trust Him and to change her health habits.
Over the last four months the urging to change has been strong. It’s now been more of a prompting from the Holy Spirit, being aware of what I put in my temple. Before, it was more about the weight. It’s now about health. God showed me that weight was my thorn in the side.
Recently Ajene found out that she had inflammation in her body, and I was led of the Lord to go on the Daniel fast. I had done it before and I would lose weight, even though I wasn’t trying. For the last month I’ve been following this diet. Not only has it been natural, it has been a discipline for me spiritually, to grow up even more. To be in tune with Him. To hear from the Holy Spirit, what He is telling me to eat. Before I would just eat what I wanted. I have to think more and surrender more to the Holy Spirit. We eat every three hours. Imagine how my prayer life has to be. Ajene says now she knows that (w)hatever issue could be developed down the line can be handled if I listen to the Holy Spirit. Before I would get the promptings but I wouldn’t listen. I wouldn’t care because I was so broken. The Lord is showing me that I can eat well if I follow him. It’s been more than just the food, my weight and my health. It’s been about following the Holy Spirit. Not only am I dropping physical weight, I am also dropping spiritual weight. It’s been a journey. I haven’t mastered anything. I’m still working and know we must follow the Holy Spirit in everything we do, even with what we eat.
Follow Ajene at Kingdom Mommy, where she encourages Christian women with young children to raise them to be strong believers in Christ and is currently featuring the series Not So Extreme Couponing to help you navigate the coupon combining world.