Purpose on the Sidelines

When I came home from school and told my mom I wanted to play softball, I think she almost had a heart attack. But a few short weeks later, after tryouts, I remember the anticipation and excitement of finding out which team I had been selected to be on.

I didn’t really know what was in store – all I knew is that I was going to play softball and I was S T O K E D. I played, and I was pretty decent. I was selected for the All-Stars team for years and years in a row. I played throughout the summer with travel ball teams – I basically lived and breathed softball for 13 years of my life.

I loved the game. I loved the mental and physical parts. I loved the team aspect. I love, and still love softball. It was a huge part in my life, after all. But more than that – it revealed to me my purpose, and I didn’t even know it – until now.

Like I said before, I was pretty decent. I had numerous “clutch” moments in my playing career, I was consistent and in it for the long haul, and I put my all on the field. I don’t remember, however, ever being the “hot shot” or “star player” – but I was okay with that.

Not “okay” in a sense that I didn’t want to get better or strive to do my best with every play, but I never had that desire in me to outshine everyone else. Some people do, but not me.

My first high school season, however, ya girl had a perfect batting average. Yeah, you heard me – P E R F E C T. That’s because after the first tournament, I broke my ankle in practice. Yes practice. Insert eye roll. After hours in the ER and a trip to the orthopedic doctor the next morning, surgery was the verdict. Surgery on Friday morning. We had a tournament on Saturday.

I made it to the bus on Saturday morning- with the help of some pain relievers, but I made it. And I made it to every practice and game after that.

I don’t say this to brag – I say it to show you that when you are walking in purpose, your circumstances don’t stop you from continuing to walk in purpose. I wanted to be there – because, if nothing else, I could sit/lean and encourage my team to victory. I could speak life into their every play. I could lift them up (even if it was in a stern voice when they’re pouting) after a bad hit or missed ball.

During the rest of my high school career, especially on the varsity team, I wasn’t the one who always got a ton of playing time. Again – I never saw this as defeat. Of course, I wanted to be on the field playing as much as possible, but when I wasn’t I was on the fence. Encouraging. Uplifting. Speaking life into my teammates.

I had nothing to complain about – other than the umpires sad excuse for a strike zone. This is what I was made for. I loved playing ball more than anything – I still enjoy being active and competitive, but I found my groove – my purpose – on the sidelines.



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