Wednesday, June 02, 2010

It's not over.

Last night my oldest daughter Taylor had her very first volleyball practice. As I sat and watched her move forward with something that she had been really excited to give a try, I quickly saw the face of discouragement come over her.

Ball after ball would come her way and she did her best to get to it as quickly as possible. But her inexperience of the sport was very noticeable and she realized it. I kept trying to cheer her on and supporting her the best I could, after all that's what mommas do.[smile]

At the very end of the practice a ball flew right in her face. I saw her fight back the tears as her red flushed face looked down. She looked like she was finished.

My heart ached for her.

While I was sitting there I thought back to the summer between 7th and 8th grade. We were living in Iwakuni, Japan on a little military base. The community was small and to be honest there wasn't a whole lot to do. I had a some friends that were a few years older than me and they were on the volleyball team at our school. So they told me about the summer practice schedule to get ready for try-outs in the fall.

I thought it sounded fun, so I was willing to give it a try.

Every night there was a practice, I showed up. My arms were so bruised from trying to bump that ball just right. My legs ached from all the squats we did and my body was tired. But I was not giving up.

I would sit in my room for hours and just toss that ball up through my fingertips dreaming what it would be like to be on the volleyball team.

Confidence became me as I continued to practice with my friends through that whole summer. But to be honest, I still knew I wasn't very good...but I hoped I had a chance.

Fall came. Try-outs came. Nervous and excited I made my way into that smelly old gym. There were more people than I expected to be there -girls who had not been at the summer practices, so I felt confident that I was ahead of the game.

But I was wrong.

The girls there just seemed to be natural at was one of those things that just came for them.

After a week of try-out's a list was posted outside the gym doors. My stomach sank as I made my way towards that list. Quickly I glanced at the alphabetized list to see if my name was on there.

It wasn't.

I was devastated and remember crying the entire walk home. My friends tried to comfort me but they had all made the team. It was easier for them to be sympathetic because they weren't the ones aching.

I gave up my dream of being on the volleyball team. Because, was too painful.

Looking at Taylor's face last night I could tell she wanted to give up. But that momma fire in me wanted to push her through this and encourage her that it's not over, it's just begun. This was after all...the first practice.

Something inside of me tells me that God aches to see us giving up so quickly too. We knock on one door, it closes. We try another one and it doesn't open at all. So we think God is finished, He's done and that He would like us to put that purpose filled dream away.

We are wrong. Very wrong. The truth is time is nothing to our God. What may take us years to accomplish is nothing in the realm of His time. One season? That's nothing. Five rejection letters? That's nothing. No after no after no? It's...nothing.

Who cares what other people think?

Who cares if people see us fail a million and one times?

Who cares? Because, the list was posted and guess what? Your name is on it. We've already made the team. And since our God is a winning type of guy...He doesn't create losers. So you're not out, it's not over, the fat lady isn't singing and you make the matter what.

Push through those rejections, push through those failures and push through because...

It's only just begun.


On Purpose said...

As I read this today I am praying this over my heart and for a friend too! Living on the earth with a mind and heart that is set on heaven is hard some days...but I find encouragement here this morning...and the reminder of where my name is, and its on the MOST important list of all!

My Army Brats and Me said...

Woohoo I am taking some of my favorite friends with me:) Not sure where all of this is taking me but I know it is bringing this girl and many others closer to God!!! Lifetime called me??? Yes me:)

Running the race said...

Nicki, I remember that happening! You tried so hard and I do remember the bruises! As a mom my heart ached for you as a mimi it also aches for Taylor. God is sure doing a work here:) Can't wait to see the final outcome!

kim said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post.

I just got another rejection for a job after interviewing well. It's been almost two years of job-hunting...searching for a teaching position and subbing for minimum wage in the meantime, and I have been rather down lately.

One thing I've learned through each roller coaster ride is to trust God. He's in charge of the car I'm riding in, and He directs my path.

I also think the hurts we feel enable us to empathize more with others, just as you did for your daughter.

Hugs to her in this time of learning.