Thursday, August 16, 2007

Running Out Of Time and Reasons

The list for the split between JV and varsity was posted today, and to no surprise of my own, I am on the reserve team. Unlike last year, we were given the choice to go talk to Coach; last year we found out which team we were on by individual meetings that lasted forever. I chose not to go to Coach. I didn't want to hear that it's about my knee. I was given that excuse last year, and I didn't want to hear it again, even if it is the case. I guess I also want to believe that that is the only reason I was put on reserve. So that when I heal from this, I can trust I'll be on varsity. Of course, that's not really safe; I'm going to get my hopes up before every varsity game thinking I might be on the list. Then get bummed real bad every time my name isn't there. Such was the case last season. Anyway, I told one of my friends that it sucks to get what you expected but not what you wanted. I've been down about my knee - another injury to hold me back, another reason for me not to play. When do I have enough reason to quit?

At the beginning of the summer, I was bound and determined to work my butt off and come to preseason ready to play, ready to show that I do belong on varsity. Instead I came into preseason hurt, out of shape from being sidelined, and incapable of playing. And all I can think is that I might have made a mistake. Maybe I should have never had surgery to keep playing; maybe God doesn't want me to play. Maybe I'm being stubborn by still playing after these injuries, thinking I have to keep going.

But I want to be able to say I played all four years of college soccer. I want to be able to say that I kept going, despite having these obstacles. I want to be able to say that I played with the Union University women's soccer team in the first four years of the program: That as the first player to sign, I was one of the last to leave.

But what will that mean? What will it mean if I'm not doing God's will? What if I am? And how do I know?

My sister asked me a great question: If I had known I would have to go through all the injuries, all the disappointments, everything I've had to go through from being on the soccer team...would I still have done it? I answered that I would. I wouldn't trade the friendships of any of the girls for anything. And I've learned a lot from going through this stuff. I know that it's a part of learning who I am, what I'm capable of. She also asked me if I'd felt like I'd missed anything because of being on the team. I don't feel like I have. I feel like I would have missed out on so much by not being a part of the team.

Another thing I keep thinking is that I have only one more year left. After this one, of course. I mean that I only have one year to work hard in the summer, come in for preseason, and give Coach cause to put my name on the varsity list the first time around. Because I know I can do that. That is, if I don't get some other random injury or stupid syndrome that hinders me from being the player I can be.

But I'm still going to fight this year. I'm going to work hard and try to gain a spot on the varsity roster for at least three games. Maybe more. That's my goal. As many varsity games as possible. I have to keep believing that I belong there. I have to be stubborn in not giving up. I have to keep running even after it feels like I can't do any more.

And I have to keep praying to God and ask Him to tell me if I'm doing the right thing.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Moving On

Come Monday I will be back at Union, ready to dive into preseason - as much as you can when you're injured, anyway. I love preseason. I enjoy hanging out with just the girls, without school, having the campus to ourselves...minus the running part. I do usually enjoy the soccer part, playing scrimmages and such.

I remember coming in freshman year, not really scared but more excited than anything. It all came in a rush: Meeting the girls, getting to know their names, playing Assassin, starting college soccer (for real). It was so reassuring when everyone else came on campus, and I already had a whole team of friends surrounding me. Of course, I made friends outside of the team quickly, especially with two non-soccer roommates. But I was always closest with the team, and always knew I had a group of people I could turn to. Freshman year went by before I realized it - before I could miss it.

Sophomore year I came in knowing what was in store, and psyched about it. It was a little overwhelming coming in to meet what seemed like a whole new team. A whole new group, with more amazing people. Drama happened, I got on a roller coaster and found that I couldn't make it just leaning on myself. With its ups and downs, that year will turn out to be one of the most defining of my life.

This year... I come in wanting to know each girl - old and new - for who they truly are. I want to do this year right. I want to try my hardest - and be content with where that gets me. I want to guard my heart while not letting fear guide my every move. I want to let go of the past and hold on to what really matters. I want to give it all to God, remembering that if not for Him, I would have quit like I wanted to so badly.

I don't think this year will be easy. What year is ever easy? There are always the good, the bad, the ugly, then the absolute miracles. I expect myself to know my boundaries and to have learned from my mistakes - and the mistakes of others. I want to stay strong while being vulnerable. Strong in who I am; vulnerable in the way I should be in order to become close to those I care about without throwing it ALL on the line for the wrong person - or reasons.

I feel like this is the year I prove myself to have grown in God - and become a woman. It's strange to think that that is where I am: Womanhood. Am I truly there yet? I want to say that although I am, there is so much more I have to learn. And I have my whole life to do it. But that doesn't seem like enough time. I know that I will never learn everything; only God knows that, and that's only because He's been here for it all, through it all, created it all.

It's daunting to think that I have this knowledge that must be passed on to those around me, yet exciting to realize that I do have that knowledge. I do have something to say, something that might help someone else get through the pain life sometimes brings. Something that will give someone courage to keep fighting, no matter how bleak and desolate it looks from where she is standing. For me to be someone who I wish I had had... Someone who I longed for, but did not truly search for... Someone who was there all along, waiting on my heart...

Isn't that why I'm here? Isn't that how I can serve my God? Isn't that what He calls me to do, to be? Isn't that my heart's deepest desire?

I am here.