Cautions are handed out casually by experienced parents when they hear about our life. And for years, I considered every one–feeling guilty for straying from the path for raising proper Christian children. In the last months though, in ways I couldn’t predict or imagine, God has confirmed our path as “proper.”
We are THAT family. The one who drives miles and miles, who spends hours and hours, playing a sport: soccer. My husband loves the game and is a gifted coach. My girls love the game and are excellent players. Their work ethnic and determination make every coach love them. And honestly, there aren’t many Christian’s in this world. It is ruthless, dangerous as the girls get older, and more political than our local city council. And I am taking about the dads.
I didn’t play sports growing up. This world is not one I ever wanted to enter. Soccer was a fun recreational activity when the girls were 5 and needed to burn energy. Then talent, drive, and opportunities took over. And the cautions lined up. Sweet, experienced Christian parents cautioned me, “Don’t give up church for soccer,” “Make sure she is well rounded, or when she tears her ACL and can’t find her identity it will me a heartbreak,” “All that time and money would be better spent elsewhere.”
So, for a long time I wished it would end because those experienced parents are wise. Knowing that putting my foot down would just create 3 super anger, bitter family members, I prayed. I also repeatedly would stealthily question my girls suggesting all the different things they could do if only soccer would stop, or be played at a less competitive level.
Over time, God showed me that soccer is where He has us. He has uniquely orchestrated circumstances to make soccer the right place for us at this time (don’t you marvel at how He loves us!). Our home church family is an amazing, flexible group of people who changes the meeting time to accommodate our seasonal schedule changes. Lacking any blood family in the state, they sometimes come to games, cheer or help with transportation. The money needed for playing at this high level keeps showing up, in scholarships, in a sudden business windfall. Homeschooling provides us a flexible schedule and lots of time together. And while my girls will struggle with identity if they suddenly are injured and cannot play the world’s favorite sport, they will not be alone. They will be surrounded my prayers and millions of Christians who have lost a huge part of their identity and had to find their way back to Christ alone. Plus, we talk, regularly, about how they are not soccer players first, but children of the most high king and they need to act as with their free time and on the field.
And moms. when I realized that every family’s journey to follow God will be unique, and that those cautions were ways God encouraged us by answering them, I relaxed and stopped hoping for a different path. I thanked God for the cautions others shared and how he answered every one as I considered them. Now I look for ways to shine our light in this foreign world of highly competitive girls soccer and rest (in my mind-not in our schedule) knowing that when it is time for this journey to stop, God will make it clear.
PS…It’s been so long since I found space to write. Thank you for still being here to read. It feels lovely.And sharing today with Jill Savage and her blog hop on Loving My Now. Have you checked out her new book? It’s called No More Perfect Kids and it is changing my parenting for the better (plus I am in it, in the table of contents even–this counts as being published, right? )