Tuesday, April 30, 2013

a new season

A week ago today I signed a lease for an apartment. In Illinois.

It feels a little bit like I'm about to move to a different country.  

In September of last year I joined the staff of the Metro East Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  When taking the job, I thought I'd be able to commute back and forth between St. Charles, MO and Shiloh, IL. I thought it would be simple to just come to work, do my job, and go home. Case closed.

Then God was like, NOPE.

I think I knew when I accepted the position that at some point in my life I would need to move. I just didn't think it would be this soon. I LOVE St. Charles. I love the people in my life in St. Charles. I love my church in St. Charles. I didn't want to leave. I didn't want to step into a world where I was alone, didn't want to step in to the unknown.

But the awesome thing about God is that He already knew that about me. He knew that would be the biggest hesitation in following His lead into this new season in life. So, He brought some amazing people in to my life that I can now call lifelong friends. He's brought people in to my life that are making this transition so much easier, and confirming that this is the right move. 

He has provided so many opportunities for me to connect and grow with like-minded people around me. He's caused me to fall in love with the 618. 

My "job" with FCA is not just a job. It has been the place where I've met some of my closest friends. It was the vehicle that God used to bring me back in to right relationship with Him. It is where I've been blessed to work alongside athletes and coaches to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ (vision statement drop...no big...). It is through FCA that the Lord brought those lifelong friends I mentioned earlier into my life!

With all of the "little" things that have been happening in and around my life--ministry opportunities, new/deeper friendships, etc.--it would be disobedient to ignore them as a nudging from God to plant myself where He is calling me to.

It feels like just yesterday that I told someone I was thinking about moving. And now I'll be an Illinois resident in 11 days.

I'm so blessed to have experienced life in St. Charles for the past 5 1/2 years, but I'm also extremely excited about what's going to happen in the 618!! This new season in life will be hard, but it will also be worth it. 

[Disclaimer: If you're a Refugee and reading this...please know that I'm not leaving our church...just our zip code :) I need to be where I can love God & love people the best, and that is still Refuge!]

Saturday, February 23, 2013

game day.

Today is a big day in the little town of Licking, MO. Both varsity basketball teams are going to take the court tonight for a winner takes all show down in Class 3 District 10 basketball.

7 years ago, I had the privilege to be on a team that was on the road to our third 20+ win season and second district title. At the time, it was the greatest thing I thought I would ever be a part of. At the end of that night, I had the ball in my hand as the buzzer went off, threw it up in to the rafters and ran to celebrate with my team. It was one of my favorite games to ever play in. 

For a long time, I lived in that identity. I lived in the fact that I was an athlete. My win/loss record on the court reflected how I felt off the court. 
If I failed as the point guard, I felt like I was failing as a friend, a daughter, a sister, a community member, a student...everything...I failed.

Luckily, I've come into the saving knowledge of God's love and grace and my identity is not wrapped up in how "good" I used to be on the basketball court, softball field, or discus ring.

If my identity were left to sports, I would be a miserable person. 
I loved being a Wildcat. I loved playing in Sherman Hill Field House. I loved wearing #33 on my back for 4 years.

But I love Jesus more. And He loves me more than the trophies no one really looks at anymore.

My challenge to the Cats today: don't let tonight become your identity--win or lose. Know that life is bigger than basketball.

Now. Go kick some butt.