One of my many beautiful, gifted niece’s, Brianna, Is a junior at U-Conn, having earned an athletic scholarship for soccer. I was involved in her journey through childhood and adolescence a great deal. Her Father is a very involved, dedicated, loving man, one of the most involved Father’s I’ve ever known, as it is so difficult to provide for your family and make time to be a constantly present. This wonderful man found a way, and as a result she developed a desire to please him very early on. He is a jock, a talented player and coach. She is multi-talented, had two dance instructor’s in her life, myself (ballet) and her paternal Grandmother, a former Rockette and highly successful Dance school owner and operator for 35 years now, still going strong at 8o! She gave me my start at teaching and I’ve worked with, and for her for 25 years now. Miss Brianna is a natural dancer, with that rare perfect ballerina’s build, so we, of course, wanted her to dance and she very much loved it. Her Dad had her try every sport under the sun and she enjoyed those as well. At around 9 years old she was invited to join a prestigious traveling soccer team, requiring all of her extra-curricular time, a huge commitment. I was concerned that she may have chosen soccer to please her Dad, so I observed and inquired (as this was a life choice having to be made at such a young age). I was convinced that the choice was indeed from her heart, and she, myself, and her Dad spent the next nine years spending every spare moment and dime on this pursuit. She excelled, while maintaining excellent academic standards in all accelerated courses, and managing to not deprive herself of a healthy social life. I’ve always been amazed at her gift of managing time!
She was approached by many fine colleges, and U-Conn became the choice, due largely to their pride in their athletes’ maintaining at least 3.4 GPA’s.
Now, I have never been competitive, and while I greatly respect the dedication and talent of athletes, I’m simply not a big sports fan.
I just got home from Tampa yesterday, where Brianna’s U-Conn team played 2 games to clinch the conference championship, winning an amazingly exciting game after 2 sudden death over times, with PK’s to determine the winner,
I am so amazed at what an emotional and spiritual experience this was for me, as well as for all of these wonderful young women, and all the parents, family member’s and friends that have been dedicated to supporting this team, Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed I’d receive such a hearty soul feeding from a sporting event! To witness the love, friendship, and faith these young women have developed through their hard work, team work and combined dedication, on and off the field , was one of the most beautiful things My Lord has seen fit for me to be a part of. Five of the player’s are out with injuries and paid their own way to come and be with their team and cheer them on. Our large group of families have developed a very special and unique friendship and love, growing stronger with every game. Being a part of this is not something I’ve experienced before (please know that I pass no judgment with that statement, I have a large and wonderful family, we just all had our own trials, demon’s, inspirations, etc. and never did anything this closely for this amount of time. I love and miss you Mom and Dad!).
After all the ceremonies, the team got on the bus to catch their flight home, as most of them had big tests the next day, and had been studying in between practice and play, and our group of 40 or so went to a local sports pub to celebrate with good food and drink. I was not the only one fighting back tears. Tears of joy and gratitude, and not one in the group was afraid to acknowledge God’s presence and grace, out loud, while simultaneously hooting, howling and carrying on like a bunch of giddy school kids!!!
My blog title and life mission is “Reclamation of Soul”. The title chosen because I can honestly say, with no doubt whatsoever, that my body was invaded through my vagina, and the invader robbed a huge chunk of my soul before exiting my body, twice! And here, of all places!!!!!! My Lord and Savior filled me with awe, gratitude, love, faith and pure beauty. A much-needed smack in the face to draw my attention!
I believe my mission has been largely fulfilled, I now need only to remember this miracle, stay aware of when I hesitate to trust, which used to be impossible for me, and call on My Lord to reel me back in so as not to place another hole in my soul. I now know that I have a Savior, a choice and that only I can place a whole in my soul. As a child and a victim of assorted colors and flavors of horrific violence in earlier adulthood, I did not have that choice. But now, as an adult with an ever-growing faith, Only I can leave myself empty, and all I need do is trust in, and talk to my Loving God. Hallelujah!!!!
Oh yes, God, indeed, works in mysterious ways! Thank You Lord. Amen.