Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Go In Peace

A few days ago, I lost a friend.  Not just a friend, but a mentor.  In the wee hours of Monday morning, Kathryn went to be with Jesus.  Kathryn and I became friends through Yoga classes at our gym.  She was my instructor, and I was trying to learn all I could from her wonderful classes.  Her strength never ceased to amaze me (in life situations, and in class).  Although I didn't have the privilege of knowing her for a very long time, I feel privileged to have gotten to know her at all.  She was an incredible encourager, and a true Christian woman.
Because of Kathryn's sudden and unexpected passing, this small community is in a state of deep sorrow, especially for her two young children (one of whom is special needs), who are now orphans.  The gym has felt somber all week, and the rooms in which she taught seem to be filled with her memories.  The only thing that has given anyone any peace in this situation is knowing that she had amazing faith.  At the end of every yoga class she wouldn't say the traditional "Namaste", but would say "Thank you for practicing with me today, go in peace".  She is definitely dancing in the arms of the Lord and at peace in her own heart.  I imagine her to still be leading yoga classes in the serenity of heaven.
I have learned quite a lot in the past few days, from the death of Kathryn (even though I still am having a hard time believing she is gone... she was only 43, after all).  Mostly what I am learning about is God's timing.  For years, I have pondered becoming a yoga instructor, but only felt confident enough to do so after beginning her classes in November.  She had the confidence in me to allow me to substitute her classes, far before I would have thought I was ready.  In the past few weeks, I subbed for her several times, and began feeling more and more ready to eventually take on my own class.  Since her passing, I have taken over her Yoga classes, with as smooth of a transition as possible.  It seems incredible that God provided me with so many opportunities to fill in for her, and more importantly to have learned from her.

What's also interesting is that, the book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn, has been sitting on my nightstand for at least a month (this book is dedicated to describing heaven as the bible tells us it will be, what it tells us we have to look forward to), but I only picked it up to begin reading it the evening before she passed.  I had no knowledge, until the next morning, that she had been taken to the local hospital and life-watched to a larger one.  God's provisions, whether it be a book for comfort, lessons for preparation (even if we don't know exactly what we are preparing for), or friendship that will give lasting memories; never cease to amaze me.

Although I feel strange to be standing where Kathryn stood, teaching her students (I still feel like I'm subbing and that tomorrow she will be leading us in our Sun Salutations), I will take on the challenge, and make her proud.  I will work hard to quickly finish my certification course, and I will be lucky if I can show her students even half of the kindness and encouragement that she did.

Live each day as if it were your last.  Remember... you're In Good Company.

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