No One Expected This - Bethany Balcer

I’m a future-focused person, so this whole pandemic has allowed me to learn to stop and live day-to-day without worrying about tomorrow, because it’s so unsure. I’m finding so much more joy in the small moments as I pause to take in things around me. 

With only one month of competition this season, I soaked up the time I had with my teammates. What I may have taken for granted prior, I no longer will. We’re not guaranteed another season; we’re not promised to be able to step out onto the field one more time. So if this was the last time, I want to put my best foot forward. 

Obviously, no one expected this. While there are a lot of rules to play by this year, it was great to be back on the field playing games.

It’s hard right now to have a positive outlook on life. But we can rest assured that there will be an end to this. We’re going to be changed, and because of that, we’re going to experience growth on the other side. 

This season, our team Bible study looked a little different. We’ve been going through a virtual Bible study with author Annie F. Downs, who donated 100 books and Bible studies to the NWSL for the season. Individually we’ve been reading the book “Looking for Lovely,” which is about trying to focus on the good things we have and the good qualities we possess, as opposed to the negative ones. Then we come together as a team to discuss and grow deeper.

I am usually skeptical about doing Bible studies through a book as opposed to listening to a sermon from a pastor, but for me personally, this Bible study has been extremely challenging, probing into my heart way more than I thought it would. It’s been fun.

Personally, I’m a person who loves a schedule and a routine. The past few months have been a lot of chaos. It’s been really hard to develop a routine to even carve out time each day to spend with God. It takes intentionality. God has been teaching me specific things about my walk with Him, such as the fact that for so long I’ve equated my relationship with Him to my performance on the field. After a loss or two, I would begin to think it’s due to my lack of faith or failure to spend enough time with God. I don’t want to do this anymore. These two things do not always correlate; I need to give myself grace and trust God with the outcome. 

This season I personally, and with my team, was stretched in many ways, and we’re just scratching the surface! I’m excited to see where it goes. 

— Bethany Balcer, OL Reign forward

Bethany Balcer is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Bethany’s Increase profile here.

If you enjoyed this article, please share: