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 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 two years ago and I have spent most of that time fighting it. You can read more about how I got to this point here, but long story short is, God is up to something… and I have no idea what that really 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 mom and military life has really done a number on me. Yet in the midst of that, this thing called Holy Yoga intersected my path and has never left.
Much like Gideon, I was full of excuses as to why I couldn’t teach Holy Yoga. I just wanted to be a student. But with the closest 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 which I knew in my gut was where God was leading.
I was overwhelmed and intimidated, feeling ill-equipped 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.”
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…
My grace is enough.
My power 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.
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.
For me, being brave 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 both learning 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 a path to the freedom and peace 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 woman of God – a mighty hero whom He has called His own. Live in that today!
Holy Yoga embraces the essential elements of yoga: breath work, meditation, and physical postures. In all of these elements, Christ is the focus of intention and worship. Holy Yoga practitioners believe that in a broken and hurting world, everyone deserves a place to belong.
Jen and Planting Roots will be offering an introduction to Holy Yoga and classes each week in July (click here or the image below)! More information will be added to our Holy Yoga Resource Page throughout the month.