I was supposed to be in Tokyo this summer, but this season turned out to be one I could use as a training opportunity. That’s how it started out, but soon I found myself thrust into a situation I never wanted to be in.
Personally, I try not to be vocal about my political views, because they’re just that — mine. I can still convey my heart for my people and my country without becoming too political about it. That’s why I was so frustrated when I felt like someone had spoken for me. All of a sudden I was getting extreme hate from people on Twitter and other social media sites.
My teammates and I were in the middle of a game when our team’s GM and owner decided to send out a tweet “from the team” that went horribly wrong. She spoke for us as athletes about what was going on in this country without our consent or knowledge. It wasn’t until we all came back to the locker room and the Twitter world was going crazy that we realized we were in the middle of a huge mess. From there, we decided we were done. We were going to form our own team: This Is Us. We wanted to be clear that we were moving forward after what was portrayed about us.
That night we were up late with a number of emotional meetings. We were exhausted and frustrated, but before I went to bed, I knew what we had to do. We needed to pray. But this wasn’t my regular-season team; I felt on my own. Before the season started, I reached out to the team to see if anyone was interested in a Bible study with me, and a few girls had responded. So I shot out a text to the group thread to see if anyone would join me in prayer. That night, about seven of us gathered in one of our hotel rooms to pray. I hardly knew these girls, but immediately, we all stopped to cover the situation in prayer. Everyone was so open as we felt the presence of God that night. Even in the midst of all the mess, He was there.
To be honest, there were a few moments throughout that process when I reached the end of my rope. Having nothing left in the tank, I prayed, “God, I don’t have a whole lot left so I need You to carry me.” That was truly the most honest moment for me when I could say, “I am weak, but You are strong.” And He did carry me.
Suddenly it became real to me — these are my people. I wasn’t out for people’s approval; I had to decipher my own convictions. It was an extremely hard process, but the questions I kept coming back to were: “When this is all over, to whom am I answering? Where am I resting my convictions and identity?”
When it comes to racial injustice issues, I don’t know where my place is, but my heart is broken. I am convicted to stand for my flag and my country; it’s important to me. But at the same time, I love my sisters I’m doing life with and if they feel a strong conviction to kneel, I respect and support them in that decision.
I don’t know if I have it all right, but I know that my heart keeps going back to the question, “God, who do You want me to be in this?” Only God knows if I’m doing this right or not, so I’m leaning on Him.
Women’s softball players are still fighting for our voices to be heard. Many of us have worked really hard to make sure we are viewed as professional. We aim to convey the right messages, not only for ourselves, but for our sport and for female athletes on a larger scale.
If I have a Kingdom-minded mentality no matter what happens going forward, I know I have the opportunity to show the love of God to others. It is the love of God that promotes conversation. Not everyone will understand my convictions, but I stand firm in what I know God is calling me to do. When I begin to look at myself and see what God is calling me to be, I feel a peace and a purpose. It’s going to be hard at times and it’s going to be confusing. I won’t always understand why He’s calling me to do what He wants me to do, but I can still feel the overwhelming peace and closeness to God that He offers in each moment.
God is who I answer to, that’s the most important thing to me. I will continue to honor my convictions before God and walk in the path He lays out for me.
— Aubree Munro, This Is Us and USA Softball player
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