Going for Gold…finale.

I didn’t have the opportunity to chat with her between the semifinals and the championship game. But I could tell by her body language that she was okay. Better than okay. A mom can tell these things. A dad can’t. That’s just the way it is.

I’d like to say a few words about her coach. This is the first year Lucy has played on his club team. But he has known her since freshmen volleyball. He was the assistant varsity coach Lucy’s freshmen and jv team years. But the coaches, of course, knew all the girls…watching and assisting in the selection of their future players. This coach and the varsity coach weren’t rehired for the next year, when Lucy would be playing varsity. Some issues between the head coach and the athletic director.

But this coach knows her very well. Knows her struggles with her mental game. He truly wants to see her succeed…all of the girls succeed…and grow as players in every way.

As the girls were finishing their warm up and he was walking off the court he turned to Lucy and said something. And she nodded her head and said, “okay”. No smile, no other reaction. She continued warming up. And I began to fret.

Time for the match to begin. The parents were PUMPED. This was our first championship game after weeks of potential…here it was coming to fruition. And we had just beat a team in the semis we have never been able to beat before. As the team gathered for their last minute pep talk, I was squirming in my seat…if Lucy sat this first game…what would her reaction be? Did she really pull it together in that hallway? How could she? She’s only a 16 year old girl? My baby girl. And I started to pray. Not for her to play, but for her thoughts, her negative self talk. That I oh-so-recognized and struggled with myself.

As the team broke and the girls split up, Lucy looked up into the stands and gave us a big old grin. And stepped onto the court. I relaxed a little. And as the game began, I relaxed a lot. She played with confidence. With her head in the game. Making an error here or there but recovering immediately and playing the next ball. Her jump serve was flawless. She made no serving errors and in the tie-breaker third match, she ran the score up 6-0 with her jump serve.
And they won the gold.

As I sat there watching them celebrate, I tossed up a questioning arrow prayer, “Why now, God…and why are we still dealing with this in volleyball, in school, in LIFE with her?” And His response…”Because it is MY plan, Susan. Not yours. And because YOU need to practice what you preach…pray unceasingly…about everything.”

One of these days, I’m going to get the Gold, too. Walking as closely as I can with Him. So closely that I bump into His shoulder every step of the way.

And that victory will be oh so sweet.

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The Victory is Suh-Weet

I had written a post a few weeks ago entitled…Snatching Defeat out of the Hands of Victory.

I never posted it because, well, it talked about how My Girl’s volleyball team consistently gets to the semi-finals and then completely falls apart. It’s not that they don’t have talent…they do. This IS travel after all…players are recruited based on skill. But most of them don’t seem to show up to win.

I didn’t post the original post because in re-thinking it, I realized how much I (me, the mom, an ex-volleyball player myself) hated to see my daughter’s team lose.

Yesterday, HRH and I got out to My Girl’s tournament late in the afternoon. Just in time to hear they had (again) made it into the semi-finals by winning their bracket.

They always win their bracket.

They always make it to the semi-finals. And then fall apart.

For the semi-finals…they whooped up on the other team. The other team had players that really wanted to win. And they cussed. A lot. They were not happy to lose, trust me. Because this then meant that instead of “playing” the final…they had to “work” the final. Line judging, refereeing, etc. Believe me, I know they hated it because My Girls’ team has to do it every tournament (see above on how they get into the semi and promptly lose the semi).

It was so fun to watch My Girl’s team pull together and win.

They met their arch rivals in the final. Each girl seems to know at least one other girl on the rival team. My Girl actually played high school JV with a couple of them this year. I have actually coached with the rival team’s coach.

In the final, we lost the first game. We won the second game. Decisively. Third game we traded points all the way to the end…and lost 15-13 (3rd game we only play to 15, but you do have to win by 2).

All of this was great. I was happy, excited, clapping, whistling, cheering.

On the way home My Girl (with silver medal around her neck) said to me, “mom…I know you were disappointed”.

What? Huh? Me?

Uh…no. I was thrilled!

“But mom, when they made the winning point, I looked over at you and I could tell you were mad.”

Mad????

Uh…no. I really was thrilled. I think I was thrilled. Wasn’t I thrilled (looking to HRH for help…no help there as he continued to drive and refuse to look at me)?

Maybe not so much.

I instantly felt convicted. No…you were NOT thrilled. Admit it.

You were disappointed.
Frustrated.
Maybe even angry that they didn’t win the gold.

But, uh…no…I don’t think I…I mean…I’m positive…I meant to be excited…

I couldn’t see the tremendous victory in winning the semi-finals and going to the finals. I missed the joy of coming in second place, out of all of the teams there, winning one game against and going point for point with the team that always whoops up on everyone else. I didn’t get it.

Man am I an idiot. Where did this drive for perfection come from? I don’t remember this room in my homey pit…and trust me…I have gone through my pit room to room to room on my own and with the help of my best girlfriends.

I had heard the rumors that I’m a Type A personality. But I never believed it. I’m actually kinda lazy.

“Believe it.” That’s what I heard this time. That is what He was telling me.

It was like the scales came off. My quiet time this morning, in every way, shape & form (from the preacher on the radio, to my short devotional, to Day Three of Beth Moore’s Living Beyond Yourself study) was ALL ABOUT ME…selfishness, idol-loving…hideous words that I hate to hear.

But had to embrace as my own.

And so I did. Begging Him to fill me with His Spirit. Helping me to die to self. To live in Christ. To see how to be more selfless and less selfish.

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s “lesson” includes. Sigh.

But I’m ready. I’m open.

Victory is Sweet!