*Stephanie is a contributing writer and primarily writes for The Little Way
When I stumbled into Holy Yoga, I was a wanderer. I had been wandering my entire life. I like to think that J.R.R Tolkein had it right when he said that “not all who wander are lost”, or something to that effect. Because, it’s not that I was lost. I wasn’t searching even. I was just wandering. My feet had found many paths, all labeled “Jesus” and all pointing to the same destination, but all taking different highways to get there. I’d been trying them out. I hadn’t necessarily been loving them.
Most paths made me feel shamed, different, misunderstood, mislabeled. Most paths felt like mountains I wasn’t meant to climb.
So, when I stumbled into Holy Yoga, I was already weary. I had already spent most of my life trying to do the right thing, and failing. I didn’t find a new religion in Holy Yoga. I didn’t find a new church or a new theology. I found something better – gloriously flawed people who were completely capable of loving me in the midst of my own flaws. I found accountability that didn’t strip my humanity. I found mercy and the kind of friendship that will enter into deep heaving moments of crying out. I found women who would let their true, often messy, hearts show. I found a deep hunger for the Word of God embedded in an hour and fifteen minutes together. I found peace on my yoga mat, because I wasn’t questioning the motive or intent of my instructor. I found community. And that’s where I’ve learned community. I found family.
Brooke was a woman who had been broken and knit back together. She was just a human being who was willing to let God lead her. That’s it. She was the first woman I sat and learned from. She was my teacher, and she is my friend.
If you are ever called to the Holy Yoga Instructor Training you will know just what I’m talking about. You will hear her teach you Jesus and you will remember this post. Your heart will take you back to this moment because there is something vivid and earth shattering about a woman who has been bought for a price; a woman who has been redeemed and who has wholeheartedly committed herself to teaching the love and mercy of Jesus. We need more of that. We need women, and men, who aren’t turned back by the fear of others. We need people who will stand in the light because they have spent time kneeling in the dark night. We need people who don’t live for fame or acclamation. We need these warriors of hope, these creators of community. We need truth bearers and mercy seekers. We need them because we need Jesus.
If you’ve been a wanderer like me, you know that Jesus isn’t just in buildings or gatherings with clever names. Jesus can be there – he’s big enough. But Jesus is unashamedly in these little communities. He is in unexpected and healing spaces, giving us the freedom to join him, or keep on wandering. He’ll find us, or we’ll find him. He’s not afraid of our twisty paths. He’s not concerned about how long it takes our tired feet to reach him.
I say this because I want you to know that, if Holy Yoga isn’t your path, that’s okay. It will always be for some, but not for all. I wandered through communities that weren’t my path either. I hope you know that that doesn’t mean it isn’t Jesus’ path. I hope you, as a fellow wanderer, know that God is big enough to fill our spaces, no matter how vast and different they are. I hope you know that community grows where there is fruit, people are healed and reconciled – even when it doesn’t make sense to us.
Where have you wandered, friend? Where have you found community and healing? Share with us.
Your story is important.