***This was written May 26, just took me a while to post***
My husband, Ryan, is a D2 college baseball coach. He just finished his third season at his current school. His first year they were 18-30, the following year they did a little better and were 25-25, and this year they ended up third in the region, which is better than conference standings, with a 39-16-1 record overall. To say they are improving quickly is an understatement. It has been a roller coaster of emotions over the past few years and if you are familiar with College coaches lives you would understand that it’s a lifestyle, not just a job.
The first year here was tough…Very tough. There were many moments that we both questioned our purpose and calling. But Ryan kept pushing through day by day. You may think I am about to tell you that how hard work pays off or if you keep pushing good things will come to those who work hard? While those are great cliché quotes, it’s not where my heart is this morning.
In the first season, we learned more about our relationship with Jesus than in many years prior. You see, in the college coaching world if you don’t win games, you get fired. It is as simple as that. Yes, typically no one gets fired after their first losing season but there isn’t much of a grace period after season 2 or 3. We knew without a doubt God called us to the town and exact spot where we are but we had no idea the fight and struggle we were about to encounter.
It was that season that we learned to not be defined by wins and losses; but to only be defined by Jesus. We truly experienced God take over my husband’s career and our marriage. So many people we meet are devastated by a hard loss or a tough break and we decided to be different. In that very tough year we held true to the fact that even if when we lose, Jesus is still King.
Fast forward to this season. We just lost out in the regional tournament. A tournament that our school hadn’t reached in 7 years. The fact that we reached this was BIG TIME and we were ranked 3rd out of 7 teams. This was our year! The tournament started on Thursday, so the team traveled to the site and practiced on the game field on Wednesday. That’s when it all started to happen. One of our best players and strongest leaders pulled his hamstring during that practice. He pulled it so bad he couldn’t walk. But, without him we managed to win the first game after 12 innings. But then the team went on to lose the next two games, which knocked us out of the tournament and our chance to go to the D2 world series.
When we were about to lose the second game I could feel the Lord remind me, like He was scolding His child, (& He was) say to me, I thought you weren’t defined by wins and losses? Well yes Lord, but these guys have worked hard and they needed this? As soon as I thought those thoughts I could feel His disappointment.
I wanted these guys to win more than anything! To show the world we are a force to be reckoned with. To make a name for our team. But my sweet sweet Jesus came to remind me. Can’t you live a life to be reckoned with, without baseball? Can’t you always make a name for yourself and what you stand for? And just like Jesus always does, He pulled me right back to Him in a way that was like coming home after a long day at work.
So I ask you, what defines you? What would others say defines you? What would your kids answer if asked, what defines their parents? Are you defined by success at the office? By how much money you make? Or by comparing yourself to others?
Or do you let Jesus define you?
I challenge you today, let Jesus define you! Give Him the credit for it all, your life and your family…Isn’t it all His anyway?