When the news first came out that the Olympics were being postponed, I thought it was the best thing they could have done. Watching the news, I had prepared myself for this to happen, and I couldn’t help but think about the other athletes, such as the track and field athletes, who hadn’t yet had their qualifiers. Not being able to train would have made it unfair for them. New information was coming out every day so we have learned to just take it one day at a time, unsure even when our season would begin.
Everyone handled the news differently — some were more emotional than others. If the Games were cancelled completely, I may have responded differently, but instead we are just learning to be patient. For some on our team, they really couldn’t wait to just be together with our team’s community, so the isolation was disruptive. Suddenly being home all day by themselves was hard. For me, it was bittersweet. I miss the girls, but with both my season and my husband’s season having been put on hold, we get to see a lot more of each other than we expected this year.
Above all, through this time, God has really grabbed my attention and helped me realize what’s truly important in life. I see Him bringing about a lot of purposeful heart-change during COVID-19.
Our team had only been able to have three Bible study meetings before we were sent home. I realized after that month and a half that I had not taken the posture God was calling me to; it was as if I had forgotten that God placed me on this team to gather my teammates in order to give them an opportunity to meet Jesus. Sometimes I can get so caught up in being busy or tired or worried about offending my teammates that I hesitate to send out the text about Bible study.
I was deeply convicted when I read Psalm 40:10, which says, “I do not hide Your righteousness in my heart; I speak of Your faithfulness and Your saving help. I do not conceal Your love and Your faithfulness from the great assembly.” After reading this, I wasn’t sure that I could say I was honestly doing that. Instead of looking at my teammates from God’s perspective, I was looking at them from my own. In the parable of the talents, I was the servant who was playing it safe — the one He was most disappointed in.
I felt a lot of regret being sent home without really getting to dig deep into God’s Word with my teammates. But thank God there’s grace. He used this moment as a wake-up call for me. I was so focused on softball and pleasing everyone that I forgot the most important thing — sharing Jesus with them.
After I had that revelation, I found myself back home. So then I was faced with the question, “What are you going to do now?” I tried to think of a way I could show up for my softball community during the quarantine. Taking advantage of social media, our Church in the Dirt crew had a “Seek Week,” where we had a weeklong study of the book of 1 John live on Instagram. It was a good way to wake us up to what God wants to do in and through us if we are willing and tuned into His Spirit.
You never know how long you have with someone. You don’t want to be faced with regret. Make today count.
— Janie Reed, USA Softball player
Janie Reed is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Janie’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/janie-reed/
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