Recently, I went through a program called Faithwalking at the Duluth Vineyard. The principles of this beautiful experience have changed my life. The concept is that growing up you have an experience (actually several experiences) that can be positive as well as negative. You make a meaning from this experience that results in making a vow to yourself to stay safe in future situations. As you live into these vows, you develop destructive habits that become sins.
Because of experiences I had as a child, I made the meaning that I was not wanted, resulting in a vow that I would perform in order to be loved. I became a people pleaser. I was the “perfect little Christian girl”, working hard to please my parents, teachers, and friends. I strived to control my environment including always being nice, ignoring my own feelings and not standing up to people in authority because I was afraid of being rejected. I was exhausted from living in this constant fear of rejection. I even projected these fears onto my Heavenly Father.
Faithwalking has helped me become aware of these vows and habitual sins. Because of this awareness, I have been able to bring these sins to God without shame and fear of rejection. He is teaching me how to interrupt my behavior and live in a way that is aligned with His will. As I have continued to practice living into who God says that I am, I am experiencing more and more freedom! I am realizing I am already loved by my Papa and will always be loved, even in my mistakes. I can risk freely and know I am dearly loved; he will never leave me nor forsake me. There are still days when I want to slip into people pleasing, but they are becoming less. Faithwalking has given me tools to not only recognize but to coach myself through the physical and emotional signs of my habitual sins. As I practice these tools, I am recognizing these signs and interrupting my behavior sooner. I am being set free of the fear of rejection which has caused me to control my environment. I am less exhausted! I am becoming fully alive and discovering more and more how God made me!