This fall, Faithwalking will be offering its first open course, “Creating Wholeness with Our Families of Origin.” Below you can read and watch some of the testimonies of those who participated in the beta group for this class. For more information, click here.
I was invited to be a part of the pilot of the Creating Wholeness with Our Families of Origin Faithwalking class at a unique point in my life. In general, everything was going well (far better than it was during Faithwalking 101, 201 and 202). And, really, I personally was doing far better than I’d ever been doing (thanks in large part to Faithwalking 101, 201 and 202). Frankly, things were going well enough that, while I knew I’d probably benefit from the class, I was dreading it – fearing that it’d be as intense as the other classes had been for me and would adversely impact my currently nice, calm life. But I’m so glad I went ahead with the class anyway! Little had I known when I was initially invited that, while participating in this pilot, my estranged mother would pass away and I’d get engaged. I’m so so grateful I had the space to process the many expected and unexpected facets of these two events with others who had been or were currently on similar journeys.
I can say lots of positive things about this class. For instance, it was so helpful to be with others who were in the Faithwalking “family,” who knew the language and the processes, and who were courageous and committed to doing this hard work, too. It was encouraging to be around others who had similar but different struggles with their parents and families of origin, to really know that I wasn’t alone and my experience wasn’t unique. And, more than anything, it was so helpful to have the space to process parent and family-of-origin issues at a deeper level – especially during these two major life events. This chance to go deeper into these issues, after having had the very helpful foundation of the earlier Faithwalking classes, was priceless. The work wasn’t any easier this time than it was in the former classes, since there’s always work to be done if we’re brave enough to keep pressing into it. BUT, it was quicker. Pieces came together faster. Truths were grasped more eagerly. Challenges and encouragements by Todd, the facilitator, were received more openly. And really, the kingdom vision of getting to live as the “fully alive Natalie” while also having a deep and rich relationship with my father was (and is) so alluring that the hard work, anxiety and discomfort were worth it. I’m not “there” yet (as in, that vision isn’t fully realized yet), but the hope of that vision is. And, this class was definitely a big catalyst in my allowing that hope to emerge and in believing that its eventual fulfillment is possible.
Throughout Faithwalking, I have been told that doing this work with your family of origin has the most impact. This course solidified that for me. I realize the importance of continuing to push into my family of origin to learn how to show up in a healthier way. This is impacting my relationships with my family of origin. This is impacting how I see myself and how I see them. I have found additional healing from the past. I have found freedom in that healing.
Hearing other people’s stories and doing this work alongside them is a really powerful experience. There is so much learning and it is encouraging to know you are not alone in hard family relationships. I don’t think this is the type of work that can be done alone. God used these other voices in my life to show me places of grief, disobedience, thankfulness, and truth.
This is hard work. My autopilot shows up the strongest with my family of origin. The intentionality of this course to dig into that stuff is allowing me to see my automatic reactions more quickly and has allowed me to make progress in changing those unhealthy reactions. I am not successful every time but have made progress.
The more I do this work, the more I see this is a lifelong journey. I would recommend this course as a powerful continuation of the Faithwalking work God has started in you.