Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I have a desire in my heart to help and touch others and to do so in an authentic way. I want there to be no question to whose I belong. And that sometimes leaves quite a struggle for me. I have been absent in my writing simply because my heart and my mind have been struggling to go in opposite directions. And I was afraid that anything I would write would be extremely hypocritical. And my answer (right or wrong) was to not write at all.

This fall was a challenge. My husband has been a football coach for almost our entire nearly 18 years of marriage. Before we were married both of us had been part of football programs. So, for me, I have been part of football for nearly 25 years of my life, as an athletic trainer or a coach’s wife. This past season left me with my mouth gapped open in astonishment….and not for positive reasons. Let me pause this thought and say this, people are passionate about football and through the years I have heard very intelligent and kind people say some pretty stupid, hateful and ugly things during football season. And still (with 25 years of experience being part of many different programs at different levels) I was continually shocked and saddened by the actions of many this fall. And those experiences made me feel as though it was impossible for me to be authentic in my writing.

I have prayed that God would lead me to respond in a way that was glorifying to Him. I will be honest, I have struggled very deeply with doing what I know He calls me to do and doing what gives me the satisfaction in the moment. Week 10 of the season I had finally had enough. For the 4th time during the season a parent stood at the fence by the field and yelled at my child and cursed at her. I have 3 of my 7 children that LOVE to help Daddy on Friday nights and work the sidelines. They do it, not because they are required to, but because our family loves our football family…that’s all they know. And so, my children will fill up water bottles, take them onto the field during time outs, help fix equipment problems, be ready with game balls to pass to the officials, retrieve the balls kicked for extra points…and of course cheer on our team in a positive way. And yet, this season ADULTS found it acceptable to yell profanities and pathetic remarks to my CHILDREN. So week 10 I had had enough and lost my temper as I laid out this particular problem to our administration. I did so in a hateful way (I was a mamma who was at a breaking point) and I made myself feel better in the moment. I took care of things….I took control. I was justified in everything that I said and my anger and frustration was justified as well….in the ways of our world. In God’s eyes, I was not justified in my behavior. I am called to let Him lead and trust in His ways and His promise to take care of situations. I apologized the next day to the 2 people who have supported us, encouraged us and welcomed us and stood there with empathetic looks on their faces and listened to me rant that night.

The weeks that followed were filled with people saying a lot of mean and misinformed things about the program, my husband and my family as a whole. We grew even more determined to do what was right, not what was easy. At school functions I would try to get in and out without talking to anyone. I was struggling with being true to those around me. I didn’t want to act as though I was fine with everyone and I didn’t want to spout off what I was really thinking. I wanted all of this yuckiness to quiet and most of all wanted God to deal with things and not me. As a family, we have talked about the bigger picture and keeping our focus on who we want to be. This situation has actually been a blessing because we have been able to talk about how easy it is to love the lovable, but how much work and determination it takes to love those that aren’t lovable.  And there have been times when I say everything I know I am suppose to say to my children about the difficulties and I walk away with the anger of it all swirling in my brain. But I have learned to take a moment to talk to God. To ask His voice to be heard in my heart above my frustrations and my focus to stay on what He is calling us to do. It’s a lot easier to type about it than to do it. And I’m constantly asking Him it seems.

I began to hear over and over about praying for those that hurt you. It was the sermon in church, it was the lyrics on the radio, it was in the book I was reading, it was what was on my mind when I woke in the morning. It didn’t seem to matter what I was doing, I was constantly reminded to pray for those that I didn’t like, didn’t care about and frankly hoped would just disappear. God knows our struggles and so often uses those struggles for us to grow closer to Him. I’m a pretty stubborn person…but finally I began to pray for those who had lots of things to say to people about us, but never say it directly to us…IT WAS SO HARD!!!! You can’t go before God with an insincere prayer. So I had to pray that my heart would open up in a way that would allow a sincere prayer…that would allow me to be authentic. Prayer does change us. It doesn’t necessarily change our circumstances, but sometimes that is God’s way of drawing us in.

I KNOW that we are right where God wants us to be, for the moment. I KNOW that God will use this in a way to help someone. I KNOW that He is always with us. I KNOW that I will fail at times…and I KNOW that it is His grace that allows me to go on. The struggle is still very real for me, but God is bigger. And I’m ready to move forward. I continue to pray for those that may have so much negative to say and hope it’s simply because they don’t really know us.  I know I will continue to struggle at times with it….I am a justice seeking kind of girl. But even more, I am a God girl….seeking His ways, even with my sinful heart.
So, hopefully I can get pass the block of writing for fear of being fake with so many struggles in my heart. I hope that I am able to encourage you, love you and walk in Christ with you through my blog.


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