What immediately came to mind, when the instructor told us to choose our intention for the yoga class.
What I learned was so necessary, after spending a weekend in fresh, powdery, slippery snow.
What I’ve realized I’ve been lacking as of late.
I missed my friend’s funeral. How surreal that sentence still feels to even type – aren’t I far too young to have a friend‘s funeral?? My shock feels a bit first world-y and yet also very real. I’ve sat at my corporate desk job for far too long, it feels. And yet I can’t shake this small voice asking, “What if this is the rest of your life? Will that be enough for you? Will you allow Me to be enough for you?” I read the tweets of people dying in Aleppo this week; I fought the urge to dump my bank account in relief funds. Instead, I settled into feeling utterly helpless. I went from non-stop-crazy to complete stillness this past year, and I’m still reeling from the impact. It’s the holiday season and yet Christmas cheer feels a bit out of grasp.
Grounded. It came out of no where, and yet felt so perfect. I’ve lost my footing in life, it seems.
And yet, at the same time… maybe this is just growing up? My post college years have felt like a continual lesson in holding celebration and mourning in the same hand. In simultaneous processing, learning, and growing. In seeing the small yet also not losing sight of the big.
My prayers for this season have looked a little different than years past. (Oh, how my life looks different than in years past…) I’ve found, in re-orienting my life, a very disorienting truth: the God I used to know was no longer available to me.
I used to interact with God like this: Oh-my-gosh I am so overwhelmed / I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I-can’t-do-this / Jesus I need help, Jesus I need You / There is noooo way I am going to survive this alone, where you at, God?
And He’d show up. He’d provide. He’d make His presence known and continue to remind me that He’s got this, He’s got me.
But then, all of a sudden, I wasn’t so over-committed and overwhelmed. I was actually sitting on my couch reading a book and I felt like, hey, you know what? I can do this no problem.
…God? What do I ask you for? God? Where are you? Um, God? Who are you?
One of my favorite authors talks about sometimes needing to go into the wilderness to find God. I went into the wilderness. You know what I found? Wilderness.
So much wilderness. So many untraveled paths and unseen views and unasked questions and the absolute worst: simply the unknown.
But, wait – just like every good infomercial – there’s more!
In the midst of all that, I somehow also found hope. Hope of a new way of living. Hope of a future I never considered. Hope of a God I didn’t know existed.
Hope. Isn’t that something we could all use, in this season? Isn’t that something we’re supposed to be focused on, in this season??
“A thrill of Hope
the weary world rejoices”
Forever my favorite Christmas carol; forever my favorite line. Because even at our darkest, even at our most lost, even in the midst of mourning and Aleppo and all the crazy 2016 brought – there is a thrill of hope to be found. No, that doesn’t mean we don’t hurt. That doesn’t mean we don’t grieve. That doesn’t me we ignore pain and pretend to be happy, simply because it’s the holidays. It means our weary souls will always, always have a Hope to look for in this broken world of ours.
Grounded. That was my intention, my quality I want to cultivate both on and off my yoga mat. That is what I’m choosing to work on this second, this day, this week. Grounded in this strange season I find myself in. Grounded my decision to celebrate and mourn, however messy the process. Grounded in the Hope that is promised to break yonder: a new and glorious morn.