I felt out of place.
It was my first Yoga/Barre class. I wore black leggings and a long sleeved light-weight hoodie. When I looked around the class, it was clear that I was overdressed. Way too many clothes. Too much coverup.
And then I realized why.
It was a thousand degrees in the room.
OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration. It was more like 500 degrees. The next class was hot yoga, and evidently they started cranking up the heat in anticipation. I knew it wasn’t appropriate to take all my clothes off, so I kept my clothes on and internally my body felt like it was in a desert.
I walk a lot. That should count for something, right? Yet I quickly discovered that there are parts of me that have remained untouched through those miles. I also noticed that most of the women in the class are far younger than me. Far bendier. Much less desert-impacted with their shorts and breezy gym shirts.
Can I be honest with you? I wanted to give up. I needed water. Lots and lots of water. The fifth set of “just 8 more” felt like fire in my arms and rear end (how is that even possible to feel both at the same time?). I was staring in a mirror, standing next to the bendiest, youngest person in the room.
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But I kept on.
Because going to this class isn’t about the woman standing next to me. It is about me. I want to walk a little lighter, be a little more flexible, and be a lot stronger in those areas that are starting to feel less than strong.
In today’s Encouragement for Today devo, I shared how Richard and I walk most days and evenings. Richard, as a counselor to children, comes home with a heavy burden many days. There’s a point in our walk where I can almost see the burden fall off and there’s room to breathe.
Each of these — Richard and I walking, me venturing into a hot yoga room to move muscles that need it — both help us walk lighter.
But let’s be real.
The most difficult part of carrying a heavy burden is the first step. It feels easier just to stay where we are. Not a whole lot different than our faith. If you are carrying a spiritual burden — anger, hurt, confusion — taking that first step can feel impossible because the burden is so weighty.
Yet there’s an invitation.
Come with me, daughter.
Walk with me.
Let me walk through this hard place with you.
You hear the invitation, but you look around and it seems easier for everyone else. Or it feels impossible to move, even toward your Savior who loves you.
So, what can we do?
Take that first step. Know in advance it will be challenging. Know that you’ll be tempted to look in the mirror and see how far you have to go. It’s not about anyone else in the room. It’s not about how far you have to go. It’s not about your burden compared to the size of others.
It’s about walking lighter.
The more we walk with Jesus, saying yes to the invitation of “Come with me,” the lighter that burden becomes. It drops off bit by bit. Our spiritual muscles are challenged and strengthened. We take our eyes off of others and realize that our faith is a one-to-one relationship and we are not measured by anything but God’s love, which is immense. Our burden becomes shared, rather than managed alone.
If life is heavy for you right now, listen for that sweet, unending invitation.
Come with me, daughter.
Walk with me.
Take that first step and I’ll meet you there.
Say yes to that invitation. Move toward him. Hand him that burden carried for way too long, and celebrate, for this is where walking lighter begins.
I don’t know if I’ll conquer yoga/barre or not, but that’s not the point. It’s showing up. Looking into that mirror and smiling at the woman looking back at me, knowing that I’ll get stronger over time.
If you are struggling today with a heavy spiritual burden, show up. That’s the first and most important step. Don’t try to fix it. Don’t look at others. Listen for that invitation and say yes.
- Just show up.
- Be honest about the weight you are carrying. Show God every part of it.
- Say yes to his invitation to walk through it with you.
- Don’t define what that should look like. Take it day by day, moment by moment. Let him lead.
Do you need something to deepen your daily walk with Jesus? Suzie’s new devotional, Come With Me Devotional: A Yearlong Adventure in Following Jesus will help you get started.