What am I doing? I don’t belong here. What lie have I bought into that made me think I could – or even should – do this?
As we drove to the airport I was overcome by anxiety and doubt.
I was headed to Arizona for a week-long immersion retreat to complete my 200-hour instructor training and certification for Holy Yoga!
I would easily be the most out of shape. Most overweight. Most inexperienced. Most ill-equipped. Why did I ever think this was a good idea?
The plane ride was long and even worse than the drive to the airport. Alone with my own thoughts and doubts, I longed to just turn around and pretend none of this had ever happened.
But that wasn’t an option.
You see, when God lays something on our hearts it is nearly impossible to escape. This journey started over three years ago, and I have spent most of that time fighting it.
Long story short is, God is up to something … and I am just now beginning to discover what that is.
My health has been a roller coaster for the last 8 years, a myriad of chronic pain and joint issues coupled with having babies and just the business of being a mom and the military life that has really done a number on me. Yet in the midst of that, this thing called Holy Yoga intersected my path and I have been forever changed.
One of my favorite people in the Bible is Gideon. He was a simple man out in a field harvesting wheat when the Lord called upon him to save the people of Israel by leading them against their enemy. At first Gideon doubts his ability to carry out such a huge task – but God had bigger things in mind for Gideon! Even though he was greatly outnumbered in battle, Gideon’s trust and obedience in God led him to great victory for his people. And ultimately God’s glory was shown to all.
Much like Gideon in the Bible, I was full of excuses as to why I couldn’t teach Holy Yoga. I just wanted to be a student. But with the nearest class over an hour away, that wasn’t going to happen. For almost two years I stood before God with a laundry list of reasons why I shouldn’t take this step into instructor training – even though I knew in my gut that was where God was leading.
I was overwhelmed and intimidated, feeling ill-equipped, unprepared and unworthy of such a mission. Yet God spoke boldly to me, just as He did Gideon, and said, “Go with all the strength you have – for I am sending you and I will be with you.” (Judges 6:14)
He was calling me to be brave. To simply trust, taking the strength I had that day, and take one step forward, knowing He would meet me with all the rest.
Upon arriving at the immersion retreat, I was surrounded by people who were everything I thought they would be – athletic, bendy,
beautiful. And my stomach wanted to drop in comparison and shame.
It wasn’t until I laid down on my bunk bed that first evening that I made the choice to really be brave. As I closed my eyes, I thought of the scripture found in 2 Corinthians …
God’s grace is enough.
His strength is made perfect in weakness.
I will boast of my weakness so that Christ’s power will be seen.
When I am weak, then He is strong.
My flesh believes all the things wrong with me. My selfish nature sees all the flaws and inabilities. But when I look through the lens of Jesus, everything changes.
I learned a lesson that week. Or perhaps it’s one I re-learned in a new light. It’s one I have come to hear often now:
God rarely calls the equipped. But He always equips those He calls.
The week turned out to be both life-changing and life-giving. Choosing to be brave and do the hard thing anyway taught me so much about who I was, and more importantly it taught me more about who God is, living and breathing in me.
After completing my 200-hour certification I knew in my heart God wasn’t finished. Following His lead, I signed up for the Masters training and that is where I found true transformation. You see, before Holy Yoga came into my path I had been feeling God telling me to rest. Our life was (and still is) so busy and hearing God whisper the word “rest” to me felt like an impossible task – but I tried. I did all the things the world tells us we need to do to find rest. I stepped away from extra commitments. I learned to say “no” so that I could choose my best “yes”. I built in extra time for my family. And yet, I still didn’t feel rested.
I wondered why God would be leading me to another “thing”. Why would He ask me to take an intense training at the same time He was telling me to rest? It wasn’t until halfway through the Masters training that it clicked . . . God wasn’t asking me to rest by the world’s understanding. He was inviting me to experience His definition of rest.
My study time in the Masters training revealed to me what God’s definition of rest is. And friends – it is so much better than what the world has to offer! In all my attempts to try and rest I had completely missed that God wasn’t asking me to quit things or even to scale back on things. He was inviting me to come sit at His feet. To simply sit there. To rest there. To just breathe. And then when it was time to work, He was showing me how to live my daily life from that place of rest. Somewhere along my path I had bought into the lie that I can’t do my “work” and be with Jesus at the same time. So many times we go to Jesus for rest and then we leave that space in order to go serve Him. I don’t think that is what He intends for us. I believe we achieve true rest when we never leave His feet. We live and serve and eat and sleep from that beautiful place of resting at His feet.
For me, living in this newfound truth didn’t just happen that one time on the mountain top. It is something I have to choose every morning. Just like God’s mercies are new each morning, so is my ability to choose. I can choose to believe the lies. Or I can choose to believe the God who created me.
And so, with one foot in front of the other, step-by-step, I am traveling this journey of learning, and resting, and sharing the experience of Holy Yoga with those around me.
It’s a journey of choosing to be myself and be vulnerable with God and with those I come in contact with. It’s a journey of showing my flaws so that others might find a common ground and thus find their path to the freedom, peace, and rest I am finding in Jesus.
What is scary to you today? Is there something, big or small, that Jesus is whispering to you?
I challenge you to be like Gideon – take the strength you have and just go. Just start. Just take the first step. I promise God will meet you where your feet stop. God called Gideon a mighty hero, and you are a strong and mighty warrior of God – a mighty hero whom He has called His own. Live in that today!
Interested in starting a journey yourself? Check out the first-time instructor training today!