I’ll be honest, when the news broke that the Olympics were going to be postponed, I was frustrated. It wasn’t the decision itself — of course global health comes first and foremost — but I don’t always welcome change with a smile. A few months ago, no one thought the Olympics would be postponed. It’s almost like we could count on three things in this life: death, taxes and the Olympics. I didn’t know how I felt about it; it took me a while to process such a change.
Then I realized, nothing has changed really. This is still my dream, and it’s worth waiting another year for. It will be worth it then too. Fortunately, I have my faith in God to bring me through this time. I’ve seen God on the other side of tough times before, enough times to know that there is a purpose for every situation. I know He’s going to make His purpose abundantly more precious than what we can see today. But that doesn’t mean that emotionally I wasn’t struggling with the sudden change. My flesh was upset, but my spirit knew that God’s got this.
As athletes, we’re prepared for these types of things. We have to be. As much as we can be, we are prepared for the unprecedented. All of our lives we’re told to handle adversity well and pivot with the plan. Athletes of faith should be even more prepared to shift gears when things change. We shouldn’t give into fear or frustration; we don’t have to. It’s a bummer we won’t be able to compete in the Olympics this summer, but I’m trusting God for my career and the healing of the world. I don’t know what His plan is, but I know He has one — the best one.
During my freshman year of college, I really struggled with my identity. I was raised to be a positive person, but that year, I found myself at a very low point. I had put a lot of expectation on myself. I came into the program expecting to be an impact player, but my game wasn’t ready for that. It was the first time I had to look at myself and admit my game wasn’t complete. I wasn’t living up to the expectations I had for myself. What I had always been able to rely on — my own strength and talent — was failing me. I began to spiral. If I had a bad day at the field, it turned into a bad week.
I can remember the moment like it was yesterday. Reaching my lowest point, I cried out to God, saying, “I can’t do this anymore! It’s Yours!” I truly surrendered to God and from that moment on, I felt like I could breathe. I started to find my value in something that wasn’t changing — Jesus Christ. From then on, if I had a bad day at practice, I could leave it at the field.
Sometimes as Christ-followers, we think we have it all figured out and that we’ll never have to worry or struggle with our past sins again. But that’s not the case. There have been times since then when I’ve tried to hold onto the game of softball too tightly, but I’m brought back to the understanding that I have to hold this game with open hands. The same is true with the Olympics, I have to hold it loosely.
As athletes, we need to recognize that our game is not our own, it’s God’s. It’s the same with this life, it’s not our own. As believers, we should be prepared spiritually to handle any situation, no matter how uncertain or frightening it can be. We can trust that God’s got this, and make the shift to follow His plan.
— Aubree Munro, USA Softball player
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