Something amazing happened this week! I was just wiping off the stove top, when I was struck with a thought….”God gave me athletic talent and a fiercely competitive spirit. Why am I letting that go to waste and not pursuing what I love to do, which is play volleyball?” Something that had died on the inside of me suddenly came back to life in that moment.
I started playing in elementary school, but I fell in love with it as soon as I was on an organized team in middle school. I was able to play on my highschool varsity team and a Junior Olympic team for 3 years. There was an awakening that happened in me when I stepped on the volleyball court. My aunt Julie used to tell me she would pay me a $1 for every kill I got. Soon after, she had to adjust our agreement so that I only got paid if the ball didn’t touch anyone before it hit the floor. Even then, I think I managed to find that floor, many, many times.
I made the varsity squad as a freshman in college, and finished that year ranking 3rd on the team for kills. My coach was harder on me than anyone had ever been in my life, but I thrived on that. He believed in me. I aspired to become an All-American. The next year, a new coach was brought in, and my original coach accepted his dream coaching position. This guy had it out for me. He started messing with the team, benching me and other deserving players to play younger less talented players. He was unfair, and manipulative. Long story short, he twisted the truth and had me thrown off the team my junior year in front of all of my teammates, leaving me devastated, humiliated and lost. Later that year, I found out my parents were divorcing, which began a spiral of loneliness and denial. I began to mask the pain with partying and drinking, and I was financially irresponsible. I managed to graduate with a Chemistry degree, but I had racked up a ton of debt. I landed in the mortgage sales industry, I think, because I was so burnt out with science, and it filled my need for competition. It also led to more irresponsible decisions including a DUI. Soon after that, I hit rock bottom. A conversation with a trusted mentor led me to my room. Alone and broken, I got quiet before the Lord. In that moment, Jesus came to my rescue. No words were spoken, He just rushed into my heart and changed me forever. That was in 2003. I have been pursuing a relationship with Him ever since. I still continued to chase other things though, they were just more constructive; my career, striving to improve my relationship with my husband, trying to become the best mom I could be.
What I realized this week, is that I had given up on my dreams of playing elite volleyball and blamed my circumstances for where I am today, but in that moment in the kitchen, the truth came rushing in. I was alive on the volleyball court before I knew Jesus, but I was playing for myself and my own recognition. I was not a team player. I had a bad attitude. Now, I realize what is important and I cannot wait to get back on the court, 7 years wiser and in better shape, to represent Him, inspire others, bring the Good News of His Kingdom whenever I have the opportunity, and reclaim my bliss!