I was born May 20, 1991 to a tomato farming Dad and horse loving Mom in the beautiful west coast of Canada. After me, came two more girls to complete our family. I owe so much to my parents for shaping me into who I am today and to my sisters for always being there to play with, talk to, and cry with. I am so blessed to be able to call my family, Family.
|Hawaiian Christmas 2011|
I became a Christian at the age of 5. I grew up going to Church and attended a Christian elementary and secondary school. I was involved in a lot. Volunteered. Worked. Went to youth group.
Looking back, I have always been busy. I would say I am an extroverted introvert if that makes sense. I thrive when I am helping others. I have a hard time saying no. I end up over committing myself often, but always seemed to make it work.
My life was forever changed when I was 16 and went to Guatemala on a short term missions team. The country, culture, and people have stolen a piece of my heart. My faith became my own when I was there and for the first time I felt a calling on my life. I felt God calling me into nursing, as it was something I could use to tangibly help the suffering, sick, and dying. Something I could bring to others in need around the world.
So after graduating from my small high school, I applied to only one university as I knew it was where I was meant to be. I went straight into Nursing at Trinity Western University as a naive girl with big dreams.
I got involved at TWU and found myself going back to Guatemala. I lived there for 2.5 months and fell even more in love with it. I also went back summer of 2012 with my dad to show him the place that stole my heart.
He was greatly moved and has started The Seeds of Tomorrow Project with Impact Ministries. But that's a long story for another time. If you are interested and want to hear more, you can view the video and read some more at www.houwelings.com
I returned from Guatemala that summer even more impacted and began to dream even bigger dreams.
In the fall of 2012, I returned to TWU for my fourth and final year of Nursing. I was loving the semester, busier than ever, physically maybe the healthiest I had ever been, and growing closer to God. Life seemed almost perfect. It was what I wanted and I would soon be a real nurse and be able to go and change the world!
But then November came and my life was been thrown upside down. I was forced to drop all my commitments and move back home from university. I was stuck in bed, wasting away, and was unable to get any answers from the doctors.
January 2013 I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). I was told it was a mild form and I should be able to start back to more of my normal. I moved back to school and tried to finish a couple courses from the fall semester. I even ran for a position on the student association for the 2013/2014 school year. I was in denial towards my diagnosis and ended up drowning in the waters I had tried to swim in far too soon.
At the end of February I ended up back at home and was also diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). I was completely drained of any of the energy sources I had tried to run on in January and the beginning of Febuary (even though it was much less than what I was doing before) and began to sink into depression.
I started this blog in May 2013 as I felt I needed to share my story. I felt it impressed on my heart. I am not sharing it because I feel like it is any better or more worthy a story than anyone else.
I think all our stories should be shared - our real and raw ones. Our stories of struggle, confusion, and the messiness of life. I wore a mask for far too long to try and convince others that all was good. That I was good.
All is not good. I feel like my life has been taken from me - at least the life I dreamt for myself.
But I can say that God is good. That God is always good and always with me. And because of that I can still hope. Hope for healing. Hope that I will be able to change the world with the dreams and passions He has given me. Hope for a better tomorrow.
So that's a bit more about me.
Thank you for joining me on this crazy journey they call life.
I can now say that I know that hope and know that He is good. I have the better tomorrow that I was praying for - and it's actually even better than I could have dreamed it to be. I am back to me. Weaning off of medication and living life to the full! God is a God of miracles my friend. He is so good.
Love and blessings,
Click the following links to read more about my journey with CFS:
The Beginning of this Journey
May We Remember
Awake. Alive. Blessed.
I want you to know...
Or go to my page About CFS/ME for more information!