Here's the scene: My 16-year-old daughter and I are sitting on her bed and I'm begging her to come with me to my first yoga class. "Please Taylor, I won't know what to do and you can help me when I get confused. I'm nervous to go by myself."
"Mom, you'll be fine, you don't need me," she says. I'm recognizing how funny this scene is as I flash back to this same conversation (with roles reversed) we had on her first day of kindergarten.
I really wanted to try yoga. Since my shoulder surgery in December, multiple signs have been telling me I need to take better care of my body and many of my friends have told me I'd love it. But I've never been very athletic and anything physically challenging brings out my insecurities.
I bribed my daughter to go with me with the promise of a smoothie afterwards (just like the first day of kindergarten!). While I was sitting on my mat waiting for class to begin, I started reflecting on how trying something new physically is the same as trying something new spiritually. No matter how much time I put into my relationship with God, there'a always another level or new practice I'm nervous to try.
Can you relate? Maybe you have the nudge to go back to church but you're afraid, or maybe you've been going to church for years and you're feeling the urge to join a bible study but you feel intimidated, or maybe you've been hearing about one of my retreats and are nervous to attend one. Is there a deeper level of prayer you're being called to but you're not sure if you want to meet God there?
If you can relate to one of these scenarios, I invite you to ask yourself what gets in the way of taking a step towards spiritual growth? Is it the need to feel like you're in control and know everything? Is it the fear of being judged? Are you wanting to avoid that awkward feeling of being vulnerable and out of your comfort zone?
I have felt all of those things at different times in my life. I used to feel like I needed to know everything before trying something new that was spiritual or religious. (The only reason I joined a ministry for the first time was because it was called Ministry of Mothers Sharing. I figured I qualified as a mom so I could join!)
I don't feel as nervous now and one of the reasons why is because of the scripture verse we started out with in this Retreat Moment.
This verse reminds me that I don't have to be anything more than who I am: Someone who knows a lot and doesn't know a lot. Someone who sometimes has it together and other times totally doesn't. Someone who can be compassionate and generous and other times selfish and impatient.
This verse reminds me I'm a human full of strengths and weaknesses and that's okay.
It reminds me that when I walk into a new spiritual or religious practice all I have to be is a human committed to the journey to growing closer to God.
Most importantly, this verse reminds me that if I walk into a new spiritual or religious experience and someone is making me feel like I don't belong there, there is something going on within them, and it has nothing to do with me. God's grace will be sufficient for me and will work within me and that dynamic doesn't depend on or have anything to do with someone else's approval or disapproval.
I invite you to think about where God is calling you. Is it something new? What will help you take that first step? Do you have support? Is there a baby step you can take first? Can you make friends with that place within you that doesn't like to feel vulnerable?
The few yoga classes I've taken have been such a blessing to me spiritually and physically. I use them to center myself on God's love and strength which helps my perspective in the middle of a busy week. Every time I go I can't believe how much time and energy it took for me to try it out.
I hope you'll allow this scripture verse to help you feel God's strength shining through you. You don't have to know anything, do anything, or be anything. Just be and let God do the work. Know that God's grace will be sufficient to help you take that first step.
I'd love to hear from you.
Have you ever had a hard time trying something new?
What gave you the strength to try it?
Do you think this scripture verse can help you?
Blessings on your journey to a more peaceful you.