2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Why this tattoo? This is what it means to me: 

I will begin by crediting Miss Lindsey Wells. Over a year ago I received a text message from her that simply said “2 Corinthians 12:9, I just read it and you came to my mind.”  I read her text and quickly went to the internet to find out what 2 Corinthians 12:9 could be. I read it several times trying to make sense of it. 

I was just re-opening my relationship again with God and as usual I needed more explanation to help me understand what the bible was telling me. So I googled “What does 2 Corinthians 12:9 mean” This is what I found: It means that the grace of God is all that is needed by any person. It alone saves a person from the consequences of their sins. It alone provides the abundant life for each believer. The person does not ever need to do anything except accept the gift of God’s grace.

This definition sunk in right away. It spoke to the emptiness I was feeling and the need for something in my life that I wasn’t able to find. It made me realize that finding my relationship with God was the right step to make. That He could fill that empty space, the feeling of loneliness, temptation, sin, He could fill that hole in my heart. Powerful feeling. 

What I had been missing was Him. Not a relationship with friends, family or a significant other. My emptiness was the lack of accepting God in my life. By opening up and letting Him in I can allow myself to be saved from the loneliness, I can be given power through my weakness by letting Him guide me.

Shortly after I started looking at this verse I stepped back into church. My friend Laura invited me to Eagle Brook Church. I had heard so much about EBC, but I had never attended. My first service I was hooked! I continued to go back with Laura and finally I began going on my own if she couldn’t make it. The series in January “Losing our Buts” was so powerful. Every week they talked about topics that 100% spoke right to me. They even followed suit with 2 Corinthians 12:9 and the feeling this gave me. Wow. I was just amazed at the power I felt after leaving services. I actually left many services and I would get in my car and cry because I was so overcome by happiness and grace. 

February 16th, shortly after the “Losing our Buts” series I was off to Hawaii for 2 weeks. Life was going so well I was feeling so blessed with my new relationship with God and my opportunity to spend so much time on vacation. On the way to the airport my mom handed me a devotional book and told me to read today’s passage: 

Feb 16

Fitting Right…….”Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again.” I was about to spend 9 hours on a plane (not including airport/layover time).  But what hit me most about the passage of the day was the bible verse they refer to, 2 Corinthians 12:9. Yes right there, on the day I leave to Hawaii I see this same bible verse that has made such a presence in my life recently.  Little did I know how much I would need God during my trip.   

Halfway through my trip I found out a friend back home died. I was 4,000 miles from home grieving his loss and finding myself to be very weak. I needed the strength of God to help me answer the questions of “why?” and to help me figure out how to get through the pain and heartbreak I was feeling. It was His power that helped me through. It is his power today that is still helping me take each step and realize the power that is behind His words that can help me live this life I have been given. 

This is why I got the tattoo. This verse reminds me that when I am feeling weak I can turn to God and I can let him help me through it. His grace is enough. 

I know I got pretty deep (and long winded) on what this tattoo means to me. But for those of you who were curious, here it is! 

The link below is one of my favorite messages from EBC during their “Losing our buts” series.  Check it out!

Gaining success in the Journey of Life

My mom called me the other day and asked me what I thought it was to gain success or victory (she was preparing to give a speech to a high school girls basketball team getting ready for playoffs). Generally I would have to think about this for a while, but for some reason, because of recent experiences I had an answer quickly. I told her…….

“Gaining success for me is coming to my yoga mat with no expectations. Each time is new. You have to surrender to the possibilities. Let go of the outcome and be present in the current  moment.”

In her situation it was to inspire the girls to come to the court with no expectations of the outcome, but to be present in the current moment.

journeyMy answer was inspired by my yoga practice and the book I decided to read again, Journey Into Power by Baron Baptiste.  If you have not read this book, whether you are a yogi or not, I strongly recommend reading it!  He is able to provide so much insight on not just your own yoga practice, but how you choose to live your life. When I first read this book I was in teacher training so my focus was mostly on my physical practice and not as much on the mental or emotional practice. As I read this book again, I seem to be pulling a different meaning. I have been captivated by the subject of surrendering. Baptiste says “Surrender is not such a difficult thing once we realize that within us is a brilliance that is already perfect, already wise, already healthy.” Basically we just have to LET GO of what is holding us back or keeping us from our goal, from the success, from the victory.  “When you change your focus from limitations to boundless possibilities, from doubt and fear to love and confidence,” says Baptiste “You open your world in entirely new ways. You stop worrying about fixing what’s wrong with you and start living from all that’s right within you.”  It is ironic that this quote jumped out at me because it too inspired a fellow instructor for her class that I so happily attended one Monday evening.
I went to this class fresh off of my 14 day Maui vacation that was filled with happiness, love (one of my best friends got married), relaxation and unfortunately near the end it was shadowed by an unexpected death of someone who had recently become a part of my life. His funeral was the same Monday I attended class. His funeral gave me some sort of closure that you would expect, but I decided I needed to go to my mat, attend a yoga class and check back in with myself. I came to this class feeling weak, heartbroken and not as refreshed as I should have after being on such a long vacation. The instructor began class with the exact quote from Journey Into Power as above, I knew at this instant class was going to be great for me. Do you ever hear your yoga teacher tell you that you hold your emotions in your hips? I will tell you first hand, mine are in my left hip. As soon as we went into half pigeon on the left I could not hold back the tears. It all came out, any emotion that was left was cried out, right there on my mat. For a moment I couldn’t breath, the emotions were too strong. Thank you greatly to my friend/fellow yoga instructor for stepping in to calm me at that moment.  It was the best, most re-energizing feeling after class was done. I finally felt free of the huge emotion that sat on my shoulders. I left it there on the mat. Nothing I could do to change it, he was gone and I would move on from it.

When I reflect on finding out of his death on vacation, I will say I couldn’t have asked to be in a better place. I took many walks to the ocean and just stared out into the blue water, hoping for answers, hoping it was all just a bad dream. Leaving for vacation I had anticipation of returning home and continuing this new relationship that had sparked only a few weeks prior to my departure. I have not had the best of luck in the past few years when it has come to dating. I tend to sell my short and settle, but in this case it was different. I found a different type of smile came out when I was with him, I was myself, and he had all the confidence in the world in me. I have discovered through his death, this is who he was. He brought everyone smiles and treated everyone like they were somebody, really just made people feel special. It is such a great trait and one I was falling for quickly. Unfortunately I will never know what would have came about with him, but I know God has a plan and I am learning to let go, and surrender. I am coming out of the situation and moving forward with no expectations of the future, but rather the confidence that there are endless possibilities in this life. Life is short and could end without notice, but if we live in the current moment and be present within, we will be blessed with happiness, success and a victory of this journey we call life.