If I had to take 5 things to a deserted island, it would be the five things you see here. My Bible, my peppermint essential oil, my yoga mat, my yoga wheel and my inversion stand. They each transform my yoga practice in different ways and without them I know my practice would not be the same.
Funny thing about this thought today is that I had been living in a deserted space for quite some time and didn’t even realize it. I got by, day by day, through prayer and belief that God is good and will provide, but inside I was empty. It was deserted space. I was surviving, not thriving.
Three years ago I was at, what I would consider, a prime time in my life. I was part of a large community of yogis, I was closer to the Lord than I ever had been, my family life was perfection and I was practicing yoga with Jesus every day. My skill had improved greatly. It was an amazing time. My space was filled with all the wonderful things I had been searching for, but one by one each aspect of my life began to crumble and slowly my space became deserted.
The community I thought I had was not what it seemed. My marriage began to struggle. My children were struggling. My heart was struggling but at least I had my time on the mat with Jesus, or so I thought, until one day that was taken in an instant with one wrong step. We had taken a trip to see my kids and grandkids and as I turned to walk to the car to leave I stepped wrong and both ankles gave way. Today I can still hear the snap as my ankle shattered and I fell to the ground. I looked down to see my foot hanging off the side of my leg. I knew I would need surgery. I knew I would be dependent on my husband, who at the time, was one of my biggest struggles. In the moment, I gave up. I could not understand why my amazing life had to turn upside down and I became upset with God and I gave up. I gained more weight than my body can handle. My health declined. My emotions were everywhere. I had given up.
Why did He call me to community just so they could reject me? Why did He give me a husband just so we would struggle to love and forgive? Why would he give me children that would turn their backs on Him? Why would He give me yoga, running and the desire to be healthy and then take it away? Why would He give me an autoimmune disease that would be a lifetime battle and cause my healing to take much longer than it should? WHY?
It was in that moment, that I saw that ankle, that I entered a desert. A very dry one. I questioned everything. My heart hurt. I was angry and frustrated. I gave up on teaching yoga, on my desire to use yoga to help others, on my marriage, on my kids, and on myself. I told myself that I could not give up on God, but my time spent with Him became shorter and shorter. I did not know it then, but I was angry with Him.
Fast forward three years later. I am in a state of healing. Healing from rejection. Healing from trauma. Healing from pain. I am healing and today, as I spent my first really good day back on the mat, I realized I am no longer in a deserted space. God is filling it. He is replacing the people I lost with an abundance of amazing people that benefit me in my walk. He is replacing my anger with acceptance and forgiveness. He is building a stronger marriage and growing my children. He is right beside me in my battle to live a life where my autoimmune disease does not affect my quality of life. He is building a pathway to the dream I have always had to help veterans and first responders.
My space is not deserted anymore. It is full and it is overflowing because over the past three years because I had to let go of people and things in my life that were standing in the way of God’s call for me and even when I was angry at God He was not with me. He never left my side and when I veered off into the wilderness He came and found me. He is my solid rock and foundation. I have grown closer to Him and love Him more today than I did three years ago and as I look back at it all I realize that maybe I needed that broken ankle so I would learn how to depend on God. Maybe I needed to learn how to let go of my pride and allow my husband to care for me. Maybe I needed to have a community reject me so I would begin looking for the one that I belonged with. Maybe I needed to go through trauma so I would understand what I meant to overcome it. Maybe, just maybe, God knew what He was doing.
No….He defintely KNEW what He was doing.