Running Toward: Faith

There are 3 main focuses on this site: Faith being the biggest because it’s the foundation of everything in my life. Without that, nothing else works. At least not in my life. The other 2 are Family and Fitness, the other passions in my life. Together, all 3 intertwine daily to create this life that I’m living and these places that I’m going.

When my little girl was born last fall, something in me shifted. Not a subtle little move but a big, full, punch in the face (repeatedly) kind of shift. I was basically knocked flat on my arse and had no idea what was happening to me. I was so uncomfortable in my own skin, I could hardly sit still. My mind was racing constantly and I felt a sense of restlessness that was so overwhelming to me, I couldn’t handle it, let alone describe it.

God had been trying to get my attention for years and after all His subtle attempts failed, He went for the full on, shake me hard and smack me upside the head approach. Sometimes, I need it, I can be quite oblivious to the obvious.

This time, I was finally ready to start listening.

My underlying unhappiness with my life was nothing new. I had felt restless, antsy and anxious for years but could never put a finger on why I felt that way. My life was good. Good job, good family, good home. I just assumed that I was feeling regret over not accomplishing what I had thought I would in life and that I was just coasting along the waters’ edge. Never putting a foot fully in the water but never taking it all the way out either. Just skimming the surface. Trying to stay in the safety of the familiar.

What God was trying to beat into my clueless brain gently tell me is that He had more for me, much more. Over the years, He’d been giving me hints that I’d largely either ignored or misinterpreted. I had anxiety being in my own house and had an overwhelming need to purge a lot of our possessions and begin living more simply. I assumed it was anxiety that would be cured, but it was preparing me to have more time to focus on Him and less on my “stuff”. That was a year-long process that we are still participating in. Simplicity brought a sense of peace in the house. Less stuff meant less distraction. In that year, I would estimate that we got rid of half of our stuff. And not just junk, but stuff we didn’t need that were still in good condition. It was liberating.

But it was only the beginning…no where near the end.

Next, there was an undeniable feeling of parring down the media in the house. That was a tougher one….at first. After all, who wouldn’t want to be up to date on the latest shows so you could discuss them with co-workers the next day or be in on all the inside jokes with friends who also watch the same shows. Media gives us both a sense of escape but also a sense of belonging with those around us. There was comfort in both for me but in giving that up, I feel ok. My brain isn’t filled with a million images I probably don’t need to see and my days aren’t filled with escapism the way they once were. We still watch TV (Netflix is quite possibly the greatest thing ever) and you’ll be hard-pressed to convince me to jump on the treadmill without something to watch to keep me from throwing myself into a wall out of boredom. But I think you get what I’m saying.

And then the whopper…the call to leave both my photography business and my day job behind. Two things that I associated the most of my identity with. Thanks God. I never in a million years thought I would not work after babies. I’ve been working since I was 15 and I’m a good worker. My sense of self was more centered around my work identity (the identity I had the most control over) than anything else. God was essentially saying that it was time to surrender that identity and create simplicity in my home life. Oh how I fought this one. How could I not work? I earned a good income, we needed the money, we wanted the money. Not working was so risky because of the unknowns. What if hubby lost his job? I don’t have the education to get a high paying job to support us if he can’t find work right away. Giving up that, which was familiar and secure for something unfamiliar and insecure was terrifying to me. It still terrifies me. And it made absolutely no sense. And yet in that, I knew it was the right decision because I knew that there was something else right on the other side of that. Something far greater but far scarier. I needed (and continue to need) faith to see me through those days when doubt threatens to override my obedience. When fear skews my thinking and I try to reach for something tangible to hold on to.

This is the journey I’m on. It’s no where near the end and even though I’ve been muddling through it for a while now, I know that I’m just barely passed the starting line.