When God called upon my husband and me to open a fitness studio, I knew there was a greater purpose than just fitness. I knew that God was giving me an opportunity to let others see His works through me. I knew that I could be an example of the perseverance and strength His grace provides and a reminder that after storms, with Him, there’s always a rainbow.
Just a few years ago, I was fighting against myself in a spiritual battle over my self worth and self confidence. I was suffering from a major stint of disordered eating, and I didn’t think I’d ever find my happy self again.
But God has perfect timing, and my story is proof. I mustered up enough confidence in the beginning of my recovery to take a fitness certification workshop. I had been putting off this workshop for years because I just didn’t deem myself worthy, but I knew that I owed it to myself to see it to completion. I had been doing the format, POP Pilates, for 6 years and knew that it was the one thing in my adult life (outside of God) that always just made me believe in myself.
The workshop did not disappoint, and it left me feeling more confident than I had felt in a while. At the end of the workshop, we had to say one word to describe how we felt, and mine was WORTHY. It was a full-circle moment for me.
I prayed and prayed and prayed that God would use this new, unleashed passion for His purposes alone and that I would remain grateful no matter what that looked like or how hard it was. I started to focus more on God and less on my appearance, and that was my second major step in my eating disorder recovery. I quickly realized that where He was leading me, a six pack wasn’t required.
Six short months later, my husband and I jumped feet-first into our studio. We knew that God was going to provide a space for me to help women feel loved and worthy — and that’s exactly what He continues to do. It has never once been about anything other than that for me. Does that make me a savvy business owner? Probably not, but it does make me a content one. Week after week, I get to “minister” to women by simply loving them and encouraging them to love themselves. That’s what Jesus Himself does.
“Ministry could simply be about loving the person in front of you.”
This past week, I was humbly presented the POP Pilates Instructor of the Year Award, and I’m again taking this passion to the Lord to allow His work to be done as a result. Let whatever light shines on me reflect straight back to You. Let me never look at this mission field with anything other than faith, hope, and love. Let those three traits be felt by anyone who encounters me. I know that you did not bring me this far, just to bring me this far.
LEAD ME WHERE YOU NEED ME.
All I did is praise. All I did is worship. All I did was bow down. All I did is stay still. (Shout out to that song, Defender.)
Photo credit to Kassia Phoy