light in the darkness

I have most recently began practicing yoga again after taking a season off. I will most certainly say that yoga has been a lifesaver for me. I never actually realized how good it was for my emotional and physical well being until I get into child’s pose and come to center on my mat. For those of you yogis out there, you know exactly what I am talking about. For those of you who don’t practice yoga, there is a phrase I go by:  “Because you can, you should.”

Anyways, back to sharing my most recent yoga practice experience with you.

I come into class and the instructor asked each of us to set an intention for our practice. This intention can be a word, phrase, or sometimes for me, a verse. I chose the word “endurance”. These intentions really motivate you when your practice gets harder throughout the session. I found this word, more often than not, come into my thoughts as I was struggling to hold certain poses, and yes, even falling down during one of them because I had zero ability to balance on one leg. Go ahead and laugh. I did.

I got back up and kept going. My favorite part is when I am able to stretch and breathe deeper when holding each pose. I truly felt like an amateur as I have been out of the game for quite a bit of time and have lost all flexibility and strength, especially when I look around and people are flying their crows and posing in a half moon for lengthy periods of time (sorry-yoga jargon). Of course as I immediately start to compare my practice to the experienced yogis around me, I constantly catch my thoughts and bring them back to the fact that today, I have decided to at least show up to class.

As my practice concluded, I laid on my back with both arms stretched out to the side, palms up. I arranged my body so that all my muscles were 100% relaxed. The instructor dimmed the lights, and provided time for us to conclude our practice with quiet meditation. I LOVE the fact that when I laid there, I felt time was actually on my side in that moment, and it wasn’t against me, creating stress and major “rush” in my life. Time actually forced me to lay there, to be still before Father, and listen to what He had to say to me in that moment.  Anytime I sit in carved out quiet time, Father never ceases to stop talking to me. Recently, I heard on a podcast that “God is always talking to us, we just don’t take the time to listen or recognize his voice”. So there I laid. Centering myself on the mat.

I opened my eyes, even though I probably shouldn’t have because that wasn’t fully relaxing myself. My eyes became fixated on the light above me. My eyes soon adjusted to the light, similar to when I was a little girl seeing how long I could stare at the sun on a hot summer day. I know, so stupid. When I was no longer squinting at the light, my eyes scanned the other parts of the ceiling, unable to see as my eyes were slowly adjusting back to the darkness. It took a good portion of time for my eyes to not see spots from the light as I scanned the ceiling and other areas of the room.

That’s when He spoke to me.

“Do you see me? I am everywhere. You need to stay CLOSE to me to begin seeing more of me.”

When my eyes trickled away from the light, I was able to see the light for a short time frame after, and eventually, my eyes adjusted back to the darkness.

I feel that is exactly how it is with our walk with Father. It’s only human for our eyes to be able to see in the darkness; however, when we spend significant time with Father, our Beloved, we become so deeply rooted and fixated on Him, our light, that we are unable to see the darkness around us. As long as we are on Earth, living out our day-to-day routines, we will experience the weight of sin in this world. Maybe your darkness is your character is being ripped to shreds that you worked so hard to keep and maintain. Maybe your darkness is your job where you have given away your boundaries and allowed your boss and coworkers to walk all over you. Maybe your darkness is rejection from a dating relationship. Maybe your darkness is struggling through school, wondering if you chose the right program that will determine the course of your life. Maybe your darkness is going off birth control for months, even years, and still not being able to get pregnant. Maybe your darkness is your spouse is choosing pornography or another’s love over you. Maybe your darkness is unresolved conflict and hurt in the relationship with your earthly father. Maybe your darkness is fear of the unknown and what your “next steps” will be.

No matter what your “dark cloud” is, God is talking with you and wanting you to stay close to Him. He wants you to come sit with Him in the quiet, free of the distractions of this world. He wants more than anything for your eyes to be fixated on HIS eyes, and His presence only, so that when you go about your day, you see the Light’s spots everywhere you look. 

When our eyes are on the Light, the Light is all we’ll see.

Psalm 139:7-12

“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day Darkness and light are alike to You.”

I asked myself these couple questions after the yoga session that day:

  • What am I currently allowing in my life that is preventing me from staying close and spending time with Father?
  • What am I actively doing to pursue my relationship with Father, first and foremost?
  • How am I combatting lies of the enemy, and not allowing these lies to be a stronghold in my thoughts and life?

Please give me some feedback and/or future topics you would like me to touch on. Thanks for taking the time to read this today!

Remember how much He loves you today,

Janelle

come.

After reading a devotional the other day, I reflected back on my life and came to the sad realization of how I am always asking, asking and asking God for His intervention in my life and actually not coming back to simply express gratitude when He (always) redeems the situation. I found myself literally on my hands and knees pleading to release me of what He was allowing in my life at that time. The quote I read from She Reads Truth made me step back to consider how I actually respond to God, my Father, when He indeed lifts those burdens from that season in my life. When you are in the midst of “fighting” a battle in whatever season it may be, as humans we tend to not look for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Over the past couple months the Lord has allowed me to undergo specific circumstances that would strengthen my faith and dependence on Him, increase my confidence in who He has created me to be, and exercise my voice on behalf of others. I have never felt stretched so thin in my life! It was truly one of the most trying seasons of my life. But God… God in all His goodness and greatness heard my plea. Day after day of fighting for what is right for the sake of another and my voice not being taken nor even considered was a humbling reality of Who really IS in control. Trusting in the sovereignty of God does not seem so simple when you go through a trial or situation that requires patience and endurance. 1 John 2:28 says, “And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.”

“Abide, Janelle. Abide in Me. Come.”, He told me.

Those sweet words were spoken softly to me as I surrendered it to Him. I told Him I couldn’t do it anymore (I actually yelled). I was frustrated. My voice was not being heard. I was fighting…so…hard. After my frustration and yelling passed, He continued to bring His words to remembrance from Psalm 40:2 which says, “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”

“Janelle, I am drawing you up. You’re secure. You’ve been faithful. Come.”, He said again. 

He did in fact release me of that burden. He heard my cries and answered my prayers. My voice was heard BY HIM. He hears and knows what is best in all situations. He fights on our behalf when our words do not even suffice.

“Jesus, thank you. Thank you. You have lifted me up. Thank you.”

We are constantly in a battle that is called the process of life. The process that He is making us look more like Himself. Take the time to go back and praise and thank your Father for all He does in our lives. He always provides strength to get through the day, and His mercies are new every morning. Renew your body, soul and spirit in the Father today as we rejoice in our current sufferings. He WILL draw us up. He will plant our feet on solid ground. He will fight for us. Let His will be done.

Exodus 14:14 – “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

Still.
Be Still.