On December 22nd, when my sweet baby girl, Faith, was born too early at 16 weeks, I had been free from anxiety and depression for two and a half years, thanks to the freedom I’d found in Jesus Christ. I was worried I’d end up back in the pit of depression where I’d spent nearly twenty years of my life.
So I went to Father God and said, “Lord, I cannot do this. You’re going to have to do this for me. Tell me what to do. “
He never disappoints. He says He’ll carry us and the last three months have more than proved His faithfulness. He heard me and told me exactly what I needed to do.
“Charyse, you need to walk every single day.”
As usual, He was right. But why walking? Why was it exactly what I needed?
I needed a reason to leave the house. Spending time with friends seven days a week, week in and week out was not a feasible long-term solution. Putting on clothes and leaving the house to go for a walk every day was. This kept me from spending days curled up in my pajamas, making myself more and more depressed.
It made me feel happier. Exercise of any kind produces good endorphins which improve your mood. For a grieving mama, an improved mood is a lifesaver.
I needed to have purpose. My baby girl was dead and I needed to find a purpose for myself and I needed her short life to have purpose. Walking made me feel like I was accomplishing something, even if the only thing I did all day was get a walk in.
I needed to get healthy. When I got pregnant, I was significantly overweight. I still am; walking hasn't lost me that much weight as my hormones are just now starting to balance themselves out from pregnancy. But I needed to help my body regulate itself and I needed a big kick in the pants to get my body on the road to healthy.
Others needed to hear my story. While I was asking God to get me through a hard time so that I could overcome a tragedy that happened to me, He knew that I am only a small part of His great plan. Others needed to hear my story because it helped them. I wasn't just walking for myself and my own health, God told me to walk because through walking I would be able to help others.
Now that I’m feeling healthier and happier, I know that God’s sovereign plan is much bigger and greater than my own. Through walking, I learned that Faith’s life, short as it may have been, will continue to touch others, so long as I stay faithful to God’s direction to keep walking.