my faith story

I’ve had so, so many requests for this post. Friends out there were curious about my faith, what deepened my faith, and how it plays a part in my life. You guys know I don’t typically write about these types of topics here on the blog. I never want anyone to feel isolated, and I respect and LOVE the fact that we all have different views and backgrounds. With the overwhelming requests I’ve received, I decided to write a post about about all of this. It’s a vulnerable one and I just wanted to say thank you in advance for being kind to me for sharing my heart, and also to those who choose to leave a comment.

Please keep in mind that this is my story; it doesn’t have to be your story, and if you don’t believe the same things, it’s ok! I have friends who have different beliefs and genuinely feel that it makes life way more exciting and interesting. I’m also friends with people who think that creme brûlée is a real dessert (it’s not), but even though we have different beliefs, we can still love each other. 😉

My Faith Story

As many of you guys know, I grew up Catholic. We went to mass each Sunday, prayed the rosary, and the Catholic environment was a large part of my adolescent and young adult life. At the same time, I wasn’t a great Catholic. I tended to daydream during the homily (I still do sometimes), and was really there for the music more than anything. But, I was there.

While I don’t agree with *everything* in the Catholic faith, I agree with a lot of it. Most of all, I love the rich traditions and the comfort of it all. Mass reminds me of a hot yoga class with a set flow; the structure is the same each day, and I know what to expect. Sometimes I give it 100%, sometimes it’s more like 60%, but I’m there.

While I went to mass pretty much my entire life and absolutely believed in God, I never really felt super close to Jesus. He was a man who did miraculous things, but when people talked about having a relationship with Jesus… I didn’t get it. I was like yeah I respect the guy who gave his life for us, but we don’t feel like BFFs, and that’s ok. That’s how it was until a couple of years ago.

my faith story

For some people who have a sudden draw towards Jesus, it can be after a huge life change or event.

For me, it was when the world flipped upside down. We all have our own struggles, and 99% of mine never see the pages of this blog, but I was going through an extremely difficult time. I was here, still trying to work and make an income for our family, the kids were home from school (Liv had SO MANY zoom classes and so.much.damn.homework), I was trying to keep P from bouncing off the walls and injuring herself, and the Pilot was traveling internationally with the airlines during an unpredictable time. Bella passed away, which broke my heart into a million pieces, and a relationship with someone very close changed in a devastating way.

It hit a point where it was a lot, and one night I cried on the bathroom floor. I cried for Bella’s death, I cried to lose a human who was also so close to me, I cried for the children of the world, I cried for those who were sick and dying without their families, on and on, and had a giant, sobbing, pity party.

Afterwards, I felt the slightest bit of relief… and I also knew in my heart that deepening my relationship with God and with Jesus was going to be the only thing to get me through all of this.

I needed hope, and that’s what it gave me.

On a whim, I ordered a daily devotional, I ordered a Bible, and I started making my way through the devotional. I did a page each day after my daily meditation, and found that it gave me a positive outlook and an extra bit of peace as I made it through the day.

I met a friend through another friend, and we started hiking together, chatting for hours about the world. She mentioned her weekly bible study and asked me if I’d like to join one day. It turns out that the leader of the bible study was someone I teach with at the gym, and we had recently started to become closer friends. It’s like all of these pieces fit together, and I believe that God put them in my path for a reason, because our bible study has changed my life.

The first time I went, I was super nervous, because even though I’d been Catholic my entire life, I’d never studied the Bible. I didn’t know who a majority of the people were in the pages, and felt like I didn’t know enough to participate. There are women in our group of all ages – I’m the youngest, and the oldest is 83 – and all in various points in their journey. Our meetings are more conversational than anything, they tend to get pretty vulnerable, and we ask questions and challenge some of the things we’ve read. I’m surrounded by beautiful perspectives and so much kindness and wisdom every single week.

One of the ladies was talking about how this group is so much different than some of her other close friend groups.

The reason she gave:

they have hope. 

For now, my weekly faith practice goes a little something like this:

– I complete whatever bible study homework we have. Usually it’s a couple of chapters and discussion questions. We’re currently doing Don’t Miss Out, which has been very interesting. (I literally thought the Holy Spirit was a ghost my entire life, not a person, so there ya go.)

– We meet weekly for an hour and half to discuss what we’ve read

– We meet up for extra activities like dinner parties, movies, or coffee house patio chats

– I cap it off with a passage from Jesus Calling before bed

– Still Catholic and still go to mass each week. But now I understand and recognize some of the passages and Gospels they’re reading. 😉

While I feel like this has changed my life, I still have a long way to go.

It’s my goal to constantly be a better version of myself; more patient, loving, kind, and positive. I know that having these women in my life is a huge blessing, and I treasure the things they teach me in addition to their friendship.

As far as the kids and our family goes, it hasn’t had a huge effect on them. The girls go to a religious school, so up until this past year, they both knew more about the Bible than I did. I try to implement and share some of the things I’ve learned. (“Hey Liv, you want to know something funny? I thought the Holy Spirit was a ghost until this afternoon and I learned he’s actually a person.” P asked more about it, and I told her that the Holy Spirit is always with us, and she never has to be worried that she’s alone. “Even when you’re scared or nervous, or going through something super hard, he’s always with you. Isn’t that cool?” She told me a few days later that she was scared about a quiz, but then remembered that the Holy Spirit was with her.)

So that’s it! I’m somewhere in the middle of my journey and am excited to keep this up as a part of my life. <3

Have your beliefs changed or evolved over time? I’d love to hear more if you feel like sharing.

Thanks for reading and for being here.



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  1. Andrea on February 7, 2023 at 6:45 am

    Thank you for sharing! Very well written.
    “Most of all, I love the rich traditions and the comfort of it all” – growing up catholic, I can relate to this!

    • Mian on February 7, 2023 at 11:06 pm

      Yes I love that sentence too!! I thought it was very well written as well

  2. Jan Donovan on February 7, 2023 at 7:15 am

    Your story is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I love studying the Bible and enjoy your all your book reviews.

  3. Sarah on February 7, 2023 at 7:48 am

    This was lovely to read. Thank you for sharing! I know this part of our lives can be the most vulnerable and private, even if it’s the most transformative.

  4. Allison on February 7, 2023 at 8:35 am

    Thanks for being brave and sharing. Interesting timing to read this – yesterday I listened to this podcast episode where the host shared questioning her faith and the stages of faith. For people thinking of how their faith changes or evolves, it is good listen.

  5. Faith on February 7, 2023 at 8:51 am

    Thank you for sharing your story! I’m so glad you found something that gives you comfort and peace. Always remember to give yourself grace on the journey!

  6. Mel on February 7, 2023 at 10:24 am

    I grew up Christian and deconverted in my 20s. It always surprises me when older adults become religious. We know so much more than when we were younger and have access to resources and research that debunks a lot of the Bible. Yet, grief seems to be a major trigger for most to go back to a religion from childhood that never stuck then, or made sense, but as adult somehow makes one vulnerable. It’s fascinating.

    • Reena on February 8, 2023 at 3:23 pm

      I have a similar experience and 100% agree with your observations

  7. Alex on February 7, 2023 at 10:37 am

    Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your journey! I can relate to SO much of what you said. One of my goals this year is to meet a group of hopeful, uplifting women who I can share my journey with 🙂

  8. Lauren on February 7, 2023 at 11:02 am

    Thank you for sharing your heart! When God prompts and draws you closer it’s hard to turn away from that! There is nothing that compares to the peace we have in Him!

  9. Cindy on February 7, 2023 at 11:53 am

    I have adored your blog and all you do all you share with us. Your family is beautiful. I am in my 60’s and started to read shortly after a huge chest surgery in 2011. Sidelined from my daily workouts… my beloved knitting needles my husband ( 40 years married next Sunday), bought me an I pad. Our daughter set a reader list of fitness-knitting-food -faith blogs… rest is history. I am a Christian Woman . I love my daily devos… love Jesus Calling. I read my Bible daily through U Version. Love Enduring Word by David Guzik.( online commentary ). He illuminates and helps me in my daily readings. I love staying in the word. As well really enjoy Faith ND, a daily reading from University Of Norte Dame. I am not a Catholic but the insights are just so down to earth. Their LENT and their Advent dailies are just inspiring. Thank you for sharing. Please thank your Husband from me and mine for his service to our country. ( you too as the families serve too). God Bless you!

  10. Dominique on February 7, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! It’s wonderful to read about how God used people and circumstances to draw you closer to Himself. I was raised going to Catholic Mass, Catholic school, etc. and although I’m Baptist now, I’m thankful for my Catholic upbringing and the comfort that I find in the Mass (for example, I love how the Catholic church does Lent, and Good Friday services are so reverent and moving).

    If you’ve not checked out the Pints With Aquinas (Matt Fradd) podcast, you might love it! I’m a huge fan and love how he discusses theology and the interviews he does.

    • Fitnessista on February 8, 2023 at 12:38 pm

      i’ll check that out – thank you!

  11. Chelsey Hoffmann on February 7, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    Such a wonderful post. I think many of us, post-COVID lockdown, are recognizing the importance of having a more structured/intentional faith practice. This post offers several different ideas to get started or go deeper. Much love to you for sharing your personal story.

    • CyndiTX on February 8, 2023 at 7:42 am

      Love this post, I too had a true experience to Jesus at 36. Though I grew up in the Episcopalian (love and miss the tradition & ritual) and Methodist faith I just didn’t get it. I didn’t know what I believed and came to a point where I felt drawn by God to understand. Lots of people were placed in my life that helped guide me. Beth Moore studies deepened my knowledge tremendously. Love how God works! Thanks for sharing & may many be blessed and drawn to discover the deep love of Jesus!

    • Fitnessista on February 8, 2023 at 12:37 pm

      thank you so much, chelsea!

  12. Erica on February 7, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! So often I read about people who turn away from their faith, and it’s encouraging to read your experience of drawing closer to God.

    • Fitnessista on February 8, 2023 at 12:37 pm

      yes, i feel the same way! it’s refreshing to hear of those who have become closer to god over time

  13. Lauren on February 7, 2023 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story! I am Catholic as well and grew up in a very devout family, but when you said you never really felt close to Jesus, I complete relate. I’ve always felt very close to the Blessed Mother, but have actually prayed in the past for a relationship with Jesus but have never felt it. I’m taking your story as a sign for me to try a little harder. I’m ordering that devotional and going to pray on it. Thank you for sharing!

    • Janelle on February 7, 2023 at 3:08 pm

      I love this Gina ! I found Jesus a few months back. He is moving in a powerful way . So happy for you.

      • Fitnessista on February 7, 2023 at 10:29 pm

        i love that so much sending you a hug!

    • Kate S on February 7, 2023 at 10:45 pm

      Lauren, can I just encourage you with Jeremiah 29:13: “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” God wants a relationship with you! Keep praying that prayer, and ask God to reveal himself to you. He is willing.

      • Fitnessista on February 8, 2023 at 12:57 pm

        i love this so much

    • Fitnessista on February 8, 2023 at 12:37 pm

      i love this so much. he genuinely wants to build a relationship with us. sending you prayers and hugs on your journey

  14. Joanna on February 7, 2023 at 3:29 pm

    I think you’re right about the events of 2020 (and today) being a catalyst for many hearts turning to God. I truly believe that anyone who is willing to humble themselves – and who truly desires to be found by God will be.

    Like you, I was born/raised in the church, and believed in Jesus, but didn’t understand all the theological components of why Christians believe what they do, the historical & archeological evidence for it, etc. I was also extremely sensitive to things that are considered supernatural/spiritual in nature. Which actually sent me down a dark path (that I thought was a love & light path) for most of my life seeking answers in world religions, new ageism, occultism (the things that have become so normalized & popular today). Basically seeking for answers in everything and everyone except The Truth, which is Jesus Christ. In late 2020/early 2021, I called out to God and he intervened in my life in a huge way – he revealed himself, rescued me & I knew I was ‘born again’. I literally woke up a completely different person and he’s been sanctifying my life ever since.

    A word of caution about that Jesus Calling devotional for anyone reading here – I know it’s found in Christian sections, and it makes you feel all warm & fuzzy, but it’s a false Jesus depicted in there. As you know, there are counterfeit Jesus spirits enticing people with fake doctrine. Which we’re warned in Scripture that this would happen. That many would claim to be Christ. I recommend doing a search on the heresy/deception of Jesus Calling for a deep-dive explanation into why! 🙂 <3

    • Fitnessista on February 7, 2023 at 10:29 pm

      i loved learning more about your story and your journey. thank you for letting me know about jesus calling – i don’t take it super literally (more like an exercise each night to be mindful about jesus) but i’ll definitely do some more research

  15. Brianne on February 7, 2023 at 5:31 pm

    This was lovely and vulnerable. Thank you for sharing. ❤️
    I love new devotionals and have really liked the ones that Candace Cameron Bure published. They always challenge me in some way, shape or form.

    • Fitnessista on February 7, 2023 at 10:28 pm

      thank you so much for reading! i’ll definitely check those out – thank you!

  16. Jenn on February 7, 2023 at 6:43 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your faith! What a brave and generous thing to do. I am a Christian and a public school teacher, so it’s hard to know with whom and when to share your feelings and faith. I also appreciate you noting that not everyone is where you are in your journey, and that’s ok! Maybe this will touch someone who is searching for that HOPE and just encourage them to start their own journey, as slow as it needs to be.
    Thanks again for being so real on here!

    • Fitnessista on February 7, 2023 at 10:28 pm

      thank you so much for reading and for the lovely comment

  17. Stephanie on February 7, 2023 at 9:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing!! I grew so much closer with Jesus as an adult also and particularly in 2020 when I went thru a lot of similar things you mentioned, and diving in to the word and prayer helped so much! And getting plugged in to Bible study is so great too!

    • Fitnessista on February 7, 2023 at 10:28 pm

      it’s amazing how difficult things can bring us closer to Him. <3

  18. Denise on February 7, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    Love this so much!! I am waaay stronger in my Christian faith. I grew up Catholic and while I value that upbringing we love our Bible-preaching church! Our whole family is involved and my kids know way more than I did about Jesus and the Bible. Sooo thankful He redeemed me!! And so thankful you shared your story. Proud of you!! You’re beautiful!! God is good all the time! And all the time He is good! I wish I could be in your Bible study. ☺️

    • Fitnessista on February 7, 2023 at 10:28 pm

      thank you so much! i wish you could be, too!!

  19. Whitney on February 7, 2023 at 10:45 pm

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Kate S on February 7, 2023 at 10:49 pm

    Beautiful, Gina! Thank you for sharing so candidly. You are undoubtedly planting seeds and watering seeds of faith through your testimony—I admire your courage in sharing and I celebrate with you for the new life you’ve found in Jesus!

    • Fitnessista on February 8, 2023 at 12:56 pm

      that means so much. thank you, kate!

  21. Angie on February 8, 2023 at 5:47 am

    Thank you so much for sharing something so deeply personal. I am 65 years old and the one thing that has sustained me through life is my faith. There is great comfort in knowing that I am being held in the arms of Christ. God bless you as you continue this journey. I am sending love and prayers your way.

  22. Brittany on February 8, 2023 at 7:05 am

    I’ve been a loonggggg time reader of yours (like 12 years at this point!) and I’m so glad to see you sharing about your faith! Thank you for your vulnerability!

    I grew up in a family with no faith, but became a Christian in my 20s. I think you nailed it about having “hope” in something greater than ourselves. Before becoming a believer, I found my hope in things like success, material things, relationships, etc. Im far from perfect, but I would never trade the peace of knowing that this world is only one part of our story for anything. It’s actually not about “religion” at all, but about relationship with Christ.

    I appreciate you so much for sharing your heart online where we all know people love to judge. I will say a prayer for you and your spiritual journey!

    • Fitnessista on February 8, 2023 at 12:56 pm

      thank you so much for reading for so long!! i couldn’t agree more – it’s given me peace and comfort that i haven’t been able to find (even though i sought it) from anywhere else

  23. Kristen on February 8, 2023 at 11:16 am

    I truly believe there is a reason so many of us are intuitively drawn to Him in times of struggle. I love you even more for sharing this, and I really hope people refrain from negative comments❤️

  24. Sarah on February 8, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Gina,
    I don’t believe in God or what’s said in the Bible so maybe I’m missing something here.
    While I totally respect other people’s beliefs, I’m genuinely curious about why you would choose to remain catholic after all we’ve learned about the abuse that has been going on in the Catholic Church? Why not choose another denomination and keep your faith?

    • Fitnessista on February 8, 2023 at 1:44 pm

      unfortunately, there are horrible things that happen in all denominations and all religions. it doesn’t make it ok by a long shot, but the unfortunate reality is that evil exists everywhere. it’s especially prevalent in the world we live in today.

      i have a large hispanic family, and catholicism is a huge part of our culture (we go to mass as a family) and one that i align with the most closely. the priests i’ve known have publicly condemned the abuse in the catholic church. like i mentioned in the post, i agree with a lot of the catholic faith, but not all of it, and remain a part of the church.

  25. Melissa Caulfield on February 8, 2023 at 6:43 pm

    So beautiful! I’m a Christian and I know there is no way I go make it through struggles apart from my relationship with Jesus. I absolutely love how God works, how personal the Holy Spirit leads is & how Gods relentless pursuit of us is never ending!

  26. Miriam on February 8, 2023 at 10:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I’ve been around a long time and had noticed a change in you and wondered if it was Jesus! Wow! God is always at work. ❤️❤️

    • Denise on February 9, 2023 at 3:34 pm

      Love this!!

      • Kara on February 10, 2023 at 9:57 pm

        Thank you for sharing. I was raised Protestant but converted to Catholicism about 15 years ago. I still miss the heart connection that I felt
        in my Protestant church—I always felt the message reached out and grabbed me where the Catholic Church feels more subdued & subtle (just my own personal thoughts). I will say that I grew up knowing NOTHING about the Holy Spirit, but now that’s mostly who I feel the closest connection to. I truly feel his presence and guidance…and to people who don’t understand, I have always said that organized religion is imperfect, but God is perfect. That’s all I need to know. God bless you and your family, and thank you for your vulnerable post <3

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