Michael’s first exposure to The Daniel Plan was in 2011 when unhealthy habits, depression, and anxiety were taking a toll on his family. His story is one of hope, willpower, and what happens when you surrender it all to God’s transforming power.
Hope in Sight
When I first came across The Daniel Plan through Saddleback Church’s internet campus, I was immediately interested. My wife, Rebecca, was suffering from depression and anxiety. For us, the launch of The Daniel Plan came at just the right time. After watching the videos from The Daniel Plan Rally, we both felt a huge sense of hope. I learned so much. When I saw the before and after brain scan images from Dr. Amen, that was it.
I was ALL IN.
Or at least I thought I was. I made some initial lifestyle changes and began to lose some body fat. But, looking back, I can honestly say I wasn’t really “all in.” Pieces were missing. I wasn’t in a small group, I wasn’t relying completely on God, and much of what I was doing was fueled by willpower.
When Willpower Isn’t Enough
Willpower could get me to the gym everyday. Willpower could keep me from making unhealthy food choices. But, willpower could not lead me to a restful place in my marriage or even in my own body and mind. I thought I was doing everything I could to lead my family to a healthy place, but my striving left me feeling burnt out, angry, alone and scared. A little over 12 months after experiencing the rush of hope from The Daniel Plan Rally, I found myself in a desperate situation. My wife had a severe reaction to a doctor-prescribed anti-depressant and I realized that I could not do this alone.
I needed God’s help.
God brought to my attention the importance of having a quiet time and giving Him the best part of my day. I decided to make it a habit to begin each day with prayer and a time of quietness with God. Through this habit I have sensed God’s hand at work in my life.
A New Attitude
I’m happy to say that by the grace of God I am now living The Daniel Plan from the right power source—not willpower alone. God has used The Daniel Plan to change my life in so many ways.
- My fitness and energy levels are now are now better than at any time in my life.
- Rebecca has given up wheat and milk and has gone off all anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications. She has become more beautiful and gracious than ever!
- Our two boys Isaac (9) and Josh (6) have fully embraced The Daniel Plan and are thriving.
- We do 5k runs regularly as a family and also enjoy hiking most weekends. The kids love to explore the outdoors!
- I used to simply view food as protein, carbs, and fat to give us energy but now I see food as a wonderful gift from God.
I realize now that God wanted to do so much more than reduce my body fat. He wanted to revive my marriage and teach me to value love and relationships over results. He wanted to renew my mind, restore my strength, rid me of unhealthy habits, relieve my wife of her anxiety and depression, and reignite my passion for serving Him.
Words can hardly describe the feeling of moving from a place of almost constant conflict to a place of peace, comfort, love, and joy. I don’t expect the journey ahead to be easy but with prayer, God’s presence and Daniel Plan resources, I am hopeful of seeing God’s power at work.
Michael lives in Australia with his wife Rebecca and two children. He is blessed to be sharing The Daniel Plan with many others. Michael and Rebecca are planning to host a Daniel Plan study and help others in the journey toward healthy living!