When “Yes” Isn’t Easy

image These are some of my Holy Yoga sisters in Humble Warrior…we bow and surrender.  This posture is about being strong and soft…accepting God’s majesty and my need for Him. I love this pose and these people. They remind me of who I am when I forget.

Saying “yes” to God isn’t always easy.

It’s not the same for everyone but my experience has gone something like this: the God of my childhood faith is introduced to me and He is loving and generous and powerful. I say yes to Him but He remains “other”. He is different and therefore I distance Him. He is like a long lost relative that shows up occasionally and I love Him and I know about Him but I don’t know Him. I do know that there is a list of things I “should” do to please Him. Or else.

Then a friend introduces me to Jesus claiming I have to “ask Him into my heart” to get to heaven. This sounds a little scary like, “Wait, I’m not going to heaven?” Then all the “should’s” became louder and a little more confusing.

This sends me off on a quest…I become a seeker…going to every church and reading lots of books and trying to “figure everything out”. It became the central question for me. Who is God and how can I know Him better?

Did you get that? How can I KNOW…I didn’t realize that what I was seeking wasn’t going to be found in me DOING but in just BEING  and inviting God into my life so He can know me.

I had moments of clarity…mountaintop moments…kisses from God.  I experienced His love and grace. I worked to serve Him but I kept Him at a distance. Intellectualized the story of salvation. Fought for Him like an attorney but didn’t live for Him. I squeezed Him into my life. I fit Him in where it wouldn’t make me too uncomfortable.

But all of that has changed. By the merciful grace of God, He has continued to pursue me. He pursues all of us relentlessly because He loves us. He is interested in transforming our hearts.  Jesus has become my friend, my shield, my hope. I have asked Him into my heart but not because I’m afraid of what will happen if I don’t.  I’ve asked Him into my heart and my mind and my soul and every dark and dusty corner of my life because I need him.  He does not need me. I need Him.

When the big questions come up for me now, I turn to Jesus. I pray and I wait. He calms my fears and He shows me the way.

He hems me in on all sides. He goes before me and behind me.

Our lives are like winding roads with lots of different ways we can go. Because of Jesus I no longer fear the missed turn or the dark night or the new road.

Wherever I go there He is.

He takes away my fears and gives me courage to say “yes” even when it isn’t easy.

©2014 Sue Bidstrup Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

It’s a “get to”

I posted this picture on Instagram (@suebidstrup) and Facebook (Great Big YES) yesterday. If you are not following, please do! It’s fun!

image

I have been thinking about this picture and how awesome it is that this person is out there trusting, letting the wind carry him.

We don’t have to kite surf.  I’ve never done it. But that doesn’t mean the wind isn’t blowing.

That guy purposefully got on that board, put the kite up and launched off into an experience he didn’t control but with every expectation that it was going to be good. Fun. Exciting.

He doesn’t have to kite surf.  He “gets to”.

We don’t have to walk with God.  We don’t have to read His Word.  We don’t have to trust the Holy Spirit.  We don’t have to do any of that.  It’s a “get to”.

Regardless of what I do, God is still God.

image I’m so grateful I “get to” be on this ride…trusting in Him.  I am grateful that He is near and He doesn’t hide from me.

I picture Him watching me as I relinquish my perceived control and look up into the sun, open my heart and my hands and with my hair flying in the wind, I answer “Yes, Lord, here I am.”

And together, we ride the waves.

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

 

Intentional Rest

rest

It’s July!

In July, Holy Yoga rests.  Ministry wide, we take a sabbath…on purpose. It’s intentional.

And challenging.

I’m tempted to say, “Who? Me? I’m good with resting.  I like to lay around and be lazy.” But the truth is, I may look like I’m resting.  Feet up and coffee in hand but I’m always thinking. Planning. Dreaming. Preparing.

Sometimes our mind is working even when our body isn’t.

This is why Savasana or Corpse Pose in yoga is so challenging for some people.  Our minds may keep racing while we are trying to lay still.  The key word is “trying”.  I tell my yoga students to just let everything go…don’t force anything…surrender…listen for God’s voice.  But that’s tough for some of us, right?  To turn off the “trying”.

When does the surrender come in? When does the rest just happen? How can we do this thing called downtime?

I don’t have the answers.  July for me this year is an experiment.

I’m a little scared I have to admit.  Even in resting I want to achieve.  I want July to be nourishing and rejuvenating.  I have preconceived notions about what it looks like to rest.  I want to rest well.  Even resting brings up striving tendencies.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the more I read God’s Word, the more I pray and build a relationship with Jesus…the more I hear His voice telling me to rest.  I feel He is asking me to join Him, to step into what He is already doing…I am invited but this is His show…I can join in but I am not the director.  Continuing in that theme…July is intermission.  It’s time to take a break.  I’m reminded of Jesus and his breaks…the times He took time off to pray and spend time with His Father.

So I will rest. I don’t know what that means and I’m not sure how to do it but I keep going back to His Word that tells me that my salvation is found in rest and stillness and trust. (Isaiah 30:15)

So, no planning for July.

Just presence.  In each moment. Presence.

And trust.

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

No Holy Yoga classes in July.  I look forward to seeing you all again in August!