I tried to repeat the mantra my 3 year old taught me as the miles ticked away, but the voice of fear proved to be much louder than my sweet girl. In just a few minutes I would be stepping into the unknown. What would be waiting for me at the Holy Yoga retreat? Surely, I hoped that God would meet me there in profound ways, but did I really trust that He would go before me?
The beauty of the Lost Canyon Campus escaped me as I struggled to roll my suitcases through the gravel parking lot to my cabin. Clear Creek. I was greeted by nine other nervous, but friendly faces: my cabin mates. We unpacked our suitcases and claimed our bunks through a combination of nervous chatter and silence. Little did we know, that God would soon knit our hearts together in a way only He can.
I was there less than a week, but the experiences I had breathed life into me in a way that I have a hard time putting into words. In his book “Experiential Worship”, Bob Rognlien talks about the feeling of disappointment we get when sharing vacation photos with friends. It’s not that the photos didn’t turn out, or that our friends aren’t genuinely interested, it’s just that there is so much emotion and experience wrapped up into those that can’t adequately be conveyed unless you’ve experienced it as well. That’s how I feel when I try to put my experience into words. Yet, I will try.
The Holy Yoga retreat was intense. We were up early in the morning and went until late at night. Our bodies and minds were being stretched as we journeyed through yoga, anatomy, and the Word of God. The program is so rich, so deep and so beautiful. I feel blessed to have been lead by such knowledgeable, genuine people who know Jesus and yoga in such a deep way.
The sweet souls that learned alongside me are some of the most inspiring, God-glorifying women I have ever met. With hearts for seeing the Lord glorified and people blessed, I was among company I am blessed to now call friends and sisters.
These are the hands of world changers, comforters, healers and warriors. Hands that lift in surrender and embrace all that He brings our way.
Each day brought new challenges, opportunities for growth and powerful experiences. The yoga classes, the bible studies, the breakout sessions and small group discussions did wonders to the soul. As we were sent out on the last day, into the world as new Holy Yoga instructors, our leaders performed a beautiful graduation ceremony. They anointed each of us with oil as they spoke truth and prayed over the ministry God is preparing for each of us. The beauty that unfolded there was unparalleled. I was honored to document my cabin-mates turned sisters as they were sent out with purpose.
Each day, the weather changed, mirroring the medley of emotions going on in each of our hearts. It rained. The wind blew. The sun shone. And then on the last day, the rain turned to snow. We bundled up as we walked together one more time to the dining hall. Through long embraces, we said our good byes and I made my way back to the parking lot that I stood in less than a week before. I brushed the snow off my windshield with one hand, anxious to return to the warmth of my car. But as I stood there, snow falling upon my face, I couldn’t help but smile. For I realized that this is exactly as He sees me and wanted me to remember as I return home.
He has washed me white as snow.