July 2014

I started working out again… which shouldn’t have been such a big deal, but for years I had been struggling with an assortment of setbacks. When it comes to full disclosure, there is no better time like the present. The last time I was in a good place with my physical health and wellness, I was generally feeling good, but also under a lot of pressure… [insert season change here]. My family was barely holding on to the picture of what once was… while our present reality was breaching the surface. I was transitioning from a church I had served in for 6 years. I was on my way back to a country my heart has loved for many years. And I was learning how to stand on my own two feet after being emancipated from the bondage of my past.

October 2014

While finding freedom, I found myself split between two worlds, who I had been and who I was becoming. With the shift in my family, I was split between two souls, an unfair medium between him and her. I wasn’t equipped to hold the weight of that pain for the 5 of us… and I know God didn’t want that for me, yet still I bore it… and it almost killed me. December 2014, I was ready to let go of it all… the photo of my life was more than 1000 words of conflicting pressures, and I didn’t know how it could ever change…

You see
THIS is how easily
we can miss the beauty
of season change.

If I had only that one photo to refer to, my destiny would have been hopeless. But the compilation of moments we endure, reveal the transformation of those moments in isolation. Exactly one year to the day of that very dark night, I danced at my new church home, surrounded with love and support, in a completely new season.

All this to say, I spent a good amount of time focusing on my mental health before I was able to focus on my physical health again. But Autumn of 2018, I was ready to take that first step toward physical wholeness. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed I’ve participated in (and recently completed!) the @80daysofmovement challenge. Started by a friend of mine, the premise is to Keep Moving. #80daysofmovement community + accountability = positive vibes. I started my 80 days in January. Inspired to take a leap toward wholeness, I had also started working out with my friend Linnea and the YOKE Fitness Fam in Morgan Hill. I remember when I first started working out with them, I was so overwhelmed at how out of shape I had become. My endurance had all but disappeared, my lung capacity was cut in half, I was unsure I’d be able to get back on track. But in community, I regained my footing, finding more confidence with each step. Knowing I was making this move overseas, I was like, now what?! And even from a distance, I’ve been encouraged by both of these communities. I saw a picture from my first visit to Rome, September 2018. And comparing it to April 2019, I am astonished at how much change I see. It’s in my physical body, it’s in my posture, my confidence, it’s in the light in my eyes. In September, Rome was but a dream. I had no clear road map or understanding of what was to come next. I held tight to the promise of making this move, and continued to pursue it by faith. February 2019, I made the leap. And now, just over 6 months from my initial trip, I finally see how each picture in this story, together, have made such a beautiful motion picture of transformation. I could not have written this story, but am in awe of the tapestry I have been woven into. There is much light, texture and shadow… though there are tired limbs and branches in this growing season… these spring blooms are the best gift of promise and possibility. I delight in gathering the glimpse of this story and watching them continue to unfold.

“Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.”

Abraham Joshua Heschel

Bonus: Memory Lane of China 2014

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