“Faithwalking is teaching me a new God-given true way of being. My relationships and life are being beautifully transformed one thought at a time. I am covered in peace now instead of anxiety.” – Linda Blanden Naumowicz
Linda Blanden Naumowicz is a Faithwalker in Scotia, New York. In the video above and text below, Linda shares about her experience with Faithwalking. Listen to a podcast episode featuring Linda.
Q: Describe something in your life that you were not aware of before Faithwalking. What was the impact of that lack of awareness in your life?
I always knew I was an anxious person. As a child, my mother gave me a plaque that said, “Don’t just sit there…worry!” I was always a “What if the sky falls?” type of person.
Fast forward to adult life. My anxiety was the fuel to my productivity in my career and home life. I am a nurse…a caregiver. I would always flip into my caregiving mode to make a situation better for someone.
Through FW, I discovered a vow I made as the result of a bad experience with an elementary teacher I had. I felt very separate from the rest of the class. I was treated differently from the rest, and made to feel that I was not like the others. As a result of this, my vow became that I was never going to let anyone make me feel inadequate again. I began to “hustle for my worth.” I gave 150% of myself in every aspect of my life…my work, my home life, my extended family, my friends and church. My anxiety was my autopilot and fueled everything I did to go above and beyond to fix situations. In return, I received feelings of validation for it all. Through my FW journey, the uncovering of this vow was huge for me! It was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I have learned that “true compassion” isn’t fixing a situation for another. I learned that it is enough that I can just be there, walk alongside of someone and “wonder” with them as they figure out what the best solution is for their challenge. I have found that it is so empowering for them as well.
Faithwalking is helping me to recognize who I really am, as God has created me to be. Now, I am so aware of my anxiety. I have developed tools to decrease it in my life. I feel for the first time that I can just breathe and be “me.”
Q: What has changed through Faithwalking? How are you different?
So much has changed in me! I am now able to dig deep to expose my vulnerable inner feelings. I am able to figure why it is that I feel the way I do about a situation. I describe vulnerability as something that I had to work very hard to get to. Once I was able to find it within myself, it became breathtakingly beautiful. I was then able to break old chains, find forgiveness and grace within myself, and attain freedom from past mistakes. I also found permission to move ahead within myself. It was intensely healing. I learned how to recognize when my “shame voice” shows up in my thoughts and how to deal with it in a healthy manor. I have found that “I am enough, just the way that I am” – also…that it is ok to be messy sometimes. I now know how to clean up a mess when I make one. I now can spend time in solitude with God every day. My spiritual workout is extremely important to me. I see how it affects me when I don’t have my alone time to connect with him on a daily basis. I love to “wonder” with someone. It is a sight to behold to take a negative situation and watch it transform into something lifegiving and beautiful. I am learning the mission and power of connecting through true listening and dialogue. I am learning how to transform into my authentic self…the person that God has created me to be. My autopilot of anxiety is becoming a thing of my past.
Q: Describe the vision you have of your best self.
My vision of my “best self”…well, that is also a work in progress! I love the “endgame” words in Module 4 of the Foundations course [curriculum]. I am currently taking that and will begin FW 202 as soon as it starts. I desire a “wholeness” within me. A wholeness that can only come from having God as the center of my life. I desire to use the tools that I am learning in FW to continue my transformation to becoming my authentic self that God intends me to be. I desire to partner with God and hopefully spread that wholeness to others in this broken world. I think of a storm at sea. Many boats are being tossed around in the rough waters trying to survive and get to a safe place. Finding wholeness is seeing the lighthouse. The lighthouse offers a safe harbor, love and hope for a future of calmer waters in life. We are all struggling to get to that lighthouse. I desire to shine that light both in me and through me to others.
Q: Describe Faithwalking in your own words.
Friends have asked me to describe what FW is. I struggle with putting it into a concise group of words because FW is an immense subject! As I try to explain, I often find myself going off on tangents because different points will pop into my head and they are all so important not to leave out. It is such a transformational process. It’s about learning tools to peel back the layers like an onion to get to the core of our being…the true being that God has created us to be. Those layers surround that core with all the “secular fluff” of the world…expectations, protective walls that shield wounds from the past, perceptions, guilt, shame, vulnerabilities, stories and vows made, love, happiness, sadness, grief…it goes on a on. It can be very hard work to peel back these layers and can bring out all types of emotions. It required patience and a lot of self-reflection to dig deep and expose that vulnerable core of myself.Once I reached “ground zero,” only then could I look at myself with God’s help, decide what was true and not true about my innermost thoughts and stories or vows. Through this process, I was able to find forgiveness for myself and others. I found grace, healing, love and inner peace. This enabled me to put to rest some stories and vows that haunted me for years. I could now replace those old vows with new positive ones. I could move ahead with exploring how to view myself, my relationships and life in a beautiful new light.I describe myself as a huge work in progress. I am under construction as I continue to transform into the authentic person that a God intends me to be. Before I say or do anything, I stop and ask myself, ”Is my response lifegiving”? I think about how I want to show up in the world. I am more able to separate my emotions from the situation and not jump into my old autopilot of anxiety.FW is teaching me a new God-given true way of being. My relationships and life are being beautifully transformed one thought at a time. I am covered in peace now instead of anxiety.
Q: What is the most helpful tool you have learned in Faithwalking?
There are so many tools that I have learned…it is very difficult to narrow it down to just one. All the tools that I have touched base on in my answers to these questions are all very important, and there are many more that I have not mentioned as well. One tool that crosses my mind several times a day is the one I spoke about in the last question. I ask myself, ”How do I want to show up?” “Is my response lifegiving”? When I keep these on the forefront of my mind and heart, it stops me in my tracks. It keeps my anxiety from kicking in, and keeps me centered and responding in peace.
Q: Tell us about you. Who are you? How did you connect with Faithwalking?
My name is Linda Blanden Naumowicz. I am a 61-year-young semi-retired RN. I live with my husband of 39 years, Ed, who is a PA and carpenter. We have 2 grown children Abby and Michael. They are living nearby and on their own. We have goats, chickens and dogs. I love to be involved with community outreach through our church First Reformed Church of Scotia. I became involved with FW last summer as our ministers offered FW 101 over a 4-week timeframe at church. It was right after our son had a traumatic brain injury from a tree falling on him. At the end of the course, I didn’t know how to come up with a vow. All I could do was cry. I didn’t even know what I was crying about, but I couldn’t stop. I knew then and there that this class struck something very deep in me and I had to continue on. Our group just finished FW 201 a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t cry at the end this time. I worked very hard and learned so much. I now know that FW is transforming my life and I need to keep the tools alive in me. I hope to be a part of this community and continue to learn and explore for a very long time. I so desire to be an instrument of peace in this world we live in.
Sharing and promoting Faithwalking