There probably aren’t many college sophomores who turn to the Bible for answers to the meaning of life. But Chelsea Carena is used to being unique. After all she started life as the one girl in a set of triplets! Trying to keep up with her brothers, she excelled at sports and received a scholarship to play fast-pitch softball for Oakland University in Michigan. 

Naturally a social person, Chelsea found the party scene at college to be an exciting new sport and embraced it a little too much. But when she was put on probation for excessive drinking, she decided to look for answers to the meaning of life by reading her Bible. She joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes on campus in hopes of making friends with Christian young people who could help her figure out this new way of living.

A fellow member of FCA by the name of Andrew invited a group of students to his house for Bible studies. The basics of Adventist’s beliefs were completely new to Chelsea, and though she was fascinated her other friends weren’t quite so enthusiastic. They told her the things she was learning weren’t true and she should forget about them. 

Bewildered as to what to believe, Chelsea asked God to show her truth. God impressed her to search the Bible for herself. As she continued to read and study, she came to accept the truths of Adventism. Chelsea believes that because she had already begun to develop a relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit revealed truth to her.

After completing her degree in Health Sciences, she returned home to her parent’s house and waited for God to show her the next step. She found an Adventist church near her home and was baptized. She worked a couple of jobs while she continued to grow in Christ. Within a few months Chelsea discovered the 8 Natural Laws and implemented them in her own life.  She then became convicted that she should share this information with others. Massage therapy seemed like a good career to both earn a living and to share health principles and the gospel with others.

More skills, more adventures 

Chelsea’s search for massage schools felt like a dead end until an ad for Black Hills School of Massage in South Dakota popped up on her Facebook page. It wasn’t long before her car was headed west to The Hills and her six months in the program flew by. From contacts Chelsea made in 2016 at the ASI meeting in Phoenix, Arizona,  she was hired by Eden Valley Institute of Wellness while still a student. After graduation, she headed south to Eden Valley in Loveland, Colorado, to work as a massage therapist. 

But God had bigger plans. Chelsea soon found herself doing hydrotherapy as well as massage, making poultices, teaching classes to guests, and hiking the mountains. A visit from Barbara O’Neill to Eden Valley brought Chelsea an invitation to Misty Mountain Retreat in Australia for three months in 2018 to learn more skills and have more outdoor adventures.

Today, less than five years after graduation, Chelsea is the lifestyle director at Eden Valley, leading a team of therapists and sharing Christ on the campus, as well as in her community. Through her persistent prayers and personal example, members of her family (including one of her brothers and her mom) have taken more of an interest in spiritual things. From party girl to health leader, God fulfilled Isa. 61:3 by exchanging “a spirit of heaviness for a garment of praise” and her life is truly bringing glory to Him.