Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Love So Loud- Plans.

     I fell in love with the game of basketball when I was in the sixth grade. It consumed every single part of my life. I woke up thinking about it and I went to sleep knowing how excited I would be to play again the next was my life. Some of you reading this might know just a little bit about my career, but for those who don't- I really grew into my role as a leader and a teammate my Junior year of high school when three of the greatest players in Lady Royals history, graduated. And because of that, I had to come up with some sort of a plan to keep winning. I had to figure out how to make my team better, how to make me better, and most of all I had to figure out some way to get me into college to play this game that I had grown to love so much. And to those of you reading that know anything about how my Junior year went, you know that my plan didn't work..we won 8 games total- I knew it was time to reevaluate. I had to think of some other way. I started to work harder, and I started to become a better player, a better teammate, and we became a better team my Senior year. In October of that year, I got my first offer to play college basketball- and at the time I don't think I had ever been that happy. I remember exactly what I was thinking, where I was standing, what I was doing, and I remember how pumped I was to even have an offer. I remember how good it felt knowing that someone truly believed in me. I signed to play college basketball for St Catharine College in November. I was entering a program full of amazing people who I had just met, I was playing for a coach who would become a lot more like a part of my family and I knew that I fit. I knew that this was the plan, and it felt good.
     August came flying in and before I knew it I was off to college, I was so excited to start reaching my full potential as a player and I couldn't wait to see all that was in store for my life. Conditioning was the worst thing that I had ever gone through, but I pushed on, I worked hard because that was where I wanted to be. October came again, and one day during the very first drill in practice, I took a bad step. The pain immediately began, and it wasn't a typical injury. My knees felt good, so did my hamstrings, but my groin and everything central to my body was on fire. Athletes get hurt, it's a part of it..but this was different, something was really wrong..of course I kept on going. It took me a while to fit into my role in college, but like I said earlier, when I found it, I knew that I fit. I played with this same intense pain from October to December, I began to develop a limp, I took four ibuprofen before practice and games and during the day to try to kill some of the pain but nothing worked. I knew it was time to go to the doctor, I knew that this was more than just a tweak that would heal. The first three doctors I visited told me that I had Osteitis Pubis, which I have mentioned before, and that it was chronic, there was nothing I could do. I was devastated because I was comfortable and I fit..and then my plan had to change. I quit basketball last summer, I didn't want to disappoint anyone by being a player that couldn't produce, I didn't want to be a waste of money or a waste of time. I went to the community college for a semester, but I constantly found myself wondering how things were going at St Catharine, how the team was, how my coach was. I missed it, I missed it a lot. Like I said in my first post, I was blessed enough to be able to go back this past semester because my coach and I came up with a plan. I got to pick a basketball back up for about three weeks before I realized I couldn't do it anymore, I had to be a redshirt and I hated every single second of it. So now that the background has been laid down, let's get to the point of this post.
     I don't know if you all have noticed the common theme, but every single time it was my plan that failed. I thought I had it figured out and God smacked me in my face and put me on my butt and I wonder how I could ever think that my plan would actually work, because it won't. We get so torn up about things that don't work out because we invest our hearts and our time into them, like I did with basketball, and most of the time they don't end up how we had planned them to. The awesome thing about all of this though, is that God's plan for us are so much greater than our plans for us. I can always reference back to Romans 8:28 or Jeremiah 29:11, but we all know those verses. We know that God has a plan not to harm us, we know that all things will work together for good for those who love Him. We know that. So why don't we put that into action? Why don't we ever just fully trust and submerge ourselves into the ocean of God's unending love? Because we're scared. We're scared of not having our plan.
     On Monday, April 30th, I went to meet with a surgeon about my injury. He told me I could have surgery, he told me I would be better with a lot of rest and a lot of hope- and that I was going to be okay, it would just take time. Time, that I knew, I didn't really have when it came to basketball. And my plan, once again, had to change. I had been praying a lot about my future, I needed to know what God had in store for me, I needed to know what I should do. I came to the conclusion this past Wednesday when I drove away from St Catharine for the last time as a student with tears streaming down my face. Because ya see, God has a bigger plan for me than basketball. He has the whole time. And He was patient in letting me keep choosing to do what I wanted to do. He made my body weak so that my faith could soar, He made my muscles tired so that my hope could be renewed. He made my heart strong, so that I could be okay with the decision I had to make. 
     Because plans change, but our God never will. Our plans fail, but our God has never failed us. And even after losing something I loved so much, I know that it's all part of His plan..and His plans for me make mine look pretty small. His plans for all of us who believe in Him, go far beyond anything we could imagine. So if you are struggling today because things aren't going the way you thought they would- look up. Smile at your Creator, and know that there are better things coming your way..because there are.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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