Eileen is a 56-year-old mother, grandmother and retired registered nurse who began her healing journey began at the age of 49. Through the Daniel Plan, God has helped her rebuild her life and she is now a triathlete. Here’s Eileen’s story:

“I started the Daniel Plan in January 2011 and at that time I couldn’t walk for more than 15 to 20 minutes without my lower legs and feet going numb. Shortly after starting the program, I lost my nursing job, which shattered me. A few weeks later, my eldest brother passed away during heart surgery. Three months later my sister passed away, and two weeks after that I chose to have elective surgery to repair a severe pinching of my spinal cord in my lower back. The surgery was expected to go smoothly but instead went horribly wrong and nearly cost me my life. After coming out of surgery I was in a coma for three days. Upon awakening, I then suffered the loss of my peripheral vision in my left eye as a rare side effect of anesthesia. I was devastated. I was extremely weak physically, mentally and emotionally. In my grief from the loss of my eyesight, I claimed God’s promise from Psalms 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye.”

I was extremely weak physically, mentally and emotionally.

Since claiming this promise from God, my life has changed in ways I never could have asked for or imagined. I went to the Daniel Plan rally at Saddleback in January 2012 and I began to implement the Daniel Plan principles. I cleaned out my pantry as suggested and I totally changed my diet and lifestyle habits. Everyone who struggles with weight issues will have a weakness in one or more of the essential areas and my area of weakness was food. I didn’t grow up in a home with good nutrition, and consequently I never knew how to cook. That carried into my adulthood, but the Daniel Plan totally changed that. I have actually learned how to cook and I love it!

Within weeks my body and mind started to change. I slept and rested more, and spent more quiet time alone with the Lord. My blood pressure normalized and my thinking became clearer. My experience on the Daniel Plan was enriched by being in a small group with supportive friends. I’ve learned growth doesn’t happen in isolation, and it’s easy to lie to ourselves. Having friends who hold each other accountable is very helpful, as well as having people to share recipes and meals with!

My experience on the Daniel Plan was enriched by being in a small group with supportive friends.

After being on the Daniel Plan for six months, I was able to eliminate multiple medications that I had been taking for the past 15 to-20 years. Since 2012, I no longer suffer from severe clinical depression, a panic/anxiety disorder, auto-immune disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Raynaud’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, post-menopausal symptoms, leaky gut, chronic hyponatremia, chronic hypoglycemia and severe lactose intolerance. I believe my dedication to my quiet time with the Lord every morning and having the desire to be the healthiest person I can be to serve God really helped my body and mind to heal.

I had already experienced positive changes to my health by the time I had my final back surgery in July 2012 and three months after having my surgery I was able to implement the final principle of the Daniel Plan. I saw a post on Facebook advertising the first meeting of the Saddleback Church Triathlon Team. Never would I have thought it possible for me to swim, bike and run, given the condition of my body, but God knew better. My son and daughter joined the team with me and the three of us completed the Pacific Coast Triathlon on September 7. As I was approaching the finish line, I yelled to one of the helpers at a water station, ‘Three years from a coma to being a triathlete! Woohoo!’ I have remained active with the Saddleback Triathlon Team and five to six days a week I am with my son and daughter and I do various fitness activities such as swimming, biking, running, and CrossFit. Fitness has become a regular part of my life.

“Never would I have thought it possible for me to swim, bike and run, given the condition of my body, but God knew better.”

Through this process, the Lord has given me unshakeable faith, an incredible new family of fellow team members, a new way of eating and an appreciation for wholesome “real” food, physical fitness like I never thought possible, and a whole new focus on what God’s purpose is for me. I am so grateful to God for rescuing me from a life of destruction. I once thought my life was ending but now I’m just getting ready for whatever adventures God has in store for my future. The best is yet to come