Gail Edmonson has been serving in various Faithwalking leadership positions since 2014, most recently serving as chair of the board of Faithwalking while also serving as a Faithwalking Circle leader. Vocationally, Gail is the Director of Leadership Development and Spiritual Formation in her local church and is a trained spiritual director. In her spare time she enjoys reading, writing, and distance running with friends. She is married to her dearest friend, Jerry. They have three grown and married children and seven grandchildren.
Question: Describe something in your life that you were not aware of before Faithwalking (FW). What was the impact of that lack of awareness in your life?
Answer: I struggled with perfectionism for as long as I can remember. And though it sounds funny to say it now, I didn’t see anything wrong with being a perfectionist. The one word that sums up the impact of my lack of awareness of perfectionism as habitual disobedience is pride. I actually took pride in my perfectionism. I spent a lot of my life before Faithwalking on a rollercoaster ride of addiction to approval as well as being critical of both myself and others.
Q: Tell us about you. Who are you? How did you connect with FW?
A: I am a passionate follower of Jesus. And I am passionate about offering opportunities for others to know and encounter Him in meaningful ways. I do that in several ways which include being a spiritual director and being on a church staff as director of leadership development and spiritual formation.
I long to be found sitting at the feet of Jesus, like Mary. But I show up like Martha way more than I’d like to admit.
I am a wife. Mom. Grandmother. Daughter. Sister. Friend.
And I am a listener. It is how God has wired me. I especially love listening to the Spirit of God in the presence of others.
I like the way I feel AFTER a run. But not necessarily DURING a run.
My greatest desire is to long for God with abandon. To follow Him in such a way that I will abandon all for Him.
I connected with Faithwalking through my husband, Jerry. He began the Faithwalking journey and invited me. I was VERY against doing Faithwalking because it seemed like incredibly painful work – especially for me, hiding behind my perfectionistic ways! But once God began His transforming work in me, I could see the incredible value of the work and began inviting others on the journey as well, eventually becoming the director of Faithwalking for my church.
Q: What has changed through FW? How are you different?
A: Paul says in Ephesians 4 that we must take off the old and put on the new – and I love to quote Jim Herrington in reference to that scripture, “We can’t take off what we can’t see.” What has changed for me since beginning my Faithwalking journey is that I now refer to myself as a recovering perfectionist. The struggle is still present, and it is real, but the awareness of how perfectionism impacts my relationship with Christ and with others has brought hope to my brokenness. I am forever grateful for the work of the Holy Spirit in my life through Faithwalking.
Q: Describe the vision you have of your best self.
A: Living out of my true self, as God intended and created me in Christ.
Q: Describe the vision you have for FW in 5 years.
A: The vision I have for Faithwalking over the next five years is to continue to raise up and multiply Faithwalking leaders in order to offer it to individuals and congregations in all 50 states. Faithwalking is now being offered in a few other countries, so my vision is also to see us grow stronger in those areas and begin spreading into other countries.
Q: What was the most helpful tool you learned in FW?
A: It is really hard to narrow all of the tools I learned in Faithwalking down to THE most helpful…so I’ll mention the tool that was the turning point for me: learning to manage anxiety. I think without learning that tool, it would be really hard to implement any of the others.