Today was another busy day! I woke up and got a workout in - did some lifting and abs. It was nice to sweat again :). I then had breakfast with the team, and then went to rehab. After rehab I came back for lunch, had a little chill time, and then we left early for our game so we could watch some of the game before ours.
It was great, because I was able to catch up with some former teammates which was so nice!! The picture up above shows them. The girl on the far left, I played with my first year in Turkey at Cankaya University and the other three girls I played with at Botas my second year in Turkey. Awesome to see them all again and talk with them.
We lost our game today against Antakya. We are just really struggling right now with a lot of injuries and so therefore we don't have as many players, and girls are tired as well.
I had a little bit of down time earlier today, and I thought I would write a little bit about some thoughts and promises that have been running through my head. I am so thankful I serve a God who is constant, faithful, and consistent! You think about the world that we live in – at this point in time, there is a lot of uncertainty as to what the future looks like for the world. Isn’t it so cool though that we serve a God who is certain and He knows what the future holds!!
One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
I have been on the road for the past couple of weeks with my team. It has been an absolute blast getting to know my teammates. God is so good! Pre-season was going well. We had one 3 out of the 4 games we had played, and then in the fifth game I get hurt. Before I got hurt, we had a lot of injuries going on with our team. It was amazing, because here I had not played in an actual basketball game since February because of my elbow injury, which led to surgery. Throughout those couple of months that I could not play basketball, I felt the presence of the Lord beside me and with me at all times. He alone was my constant, and He alone allowed me to maintain JOY despite my circumstances around me. The Lord has really been showing me how I can and should have joy despite what I am going through. Is it easy to maintain a joyful heart or a joyful spirit when going through a trial? No, not at all…BUT there is no way we can maintain JOY on our own. True joy, joy that is constant only comes from the One who is constant and that is Jesus Christ.
A phrase God has been giving to me over and over is “God’s got YOU”!! I am so thankful. It is never easy to be injured or hurt when playing a sport. For some of you though, it doesn’t have to be an injury you are experiencing…it could be the loss of a loved one, financial struggles, health problems, you name it. I find myself wanting so bad to be able to help my teammates out on the court, but I realize that I can’t. It is in that moment of wrestling, that I have realized that it isn’t about me…it is all about HIM! There is a reason why the Lord has me sidelined right now from basketball here in Turkey. Do I know what that reason is right now? No, I honestly can’t say that I do, but I have a perfect peace, because I know that I serve a God who knows why I am not playing basketball right now because of a fractured foot. Every single trial whether it be injury or something else, I have come to realize later on after it passed, that God’s will was perfect! We may not always know why things happen to us on this earth, it is okay to wonder why, but we must not dwell in the “wondering stage” – we must continue to persevere and push forward. Just like a chicken as it begins to hatch. There is a point in the hatching process where the chicken must peck at it’s own shell to be able to get out. If the chicken does not peck it’s way out, eventually it would die. The same thing happens to us. If we continue to struggle on our own, and wallow around in our shell of fear, self-pity, discouragement, etc. we will in a sense kill ourselves. I don’t mean in a literal sense of killing ourselves, but in a figurative way. We will not have joy or peace.
You know what though, the neat thing about serving the Lord is, He is willing to come down and meet us where we are. He is able to help us push through the shell that you may find yourself in right now. He can tear down the walls and disseminate them, and leave no trace that there was even a wall or “shell” there to begin with.
Do you want to experience true joy and true peace not only in the “good” times, but as well as the “bad” times, then turn to the Lord!!
Psalm 46:1 says,
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”
Never once did we ever walk alone! God’s with you and God is with me…we must be willing to let Him walk beside us along life’s journey!!
RELAX IN MY EVERLASTING ARMS. Your weakness is an opportunity to grow strong in awareness of My Almighty Presence. When your energy fails you, do not look inward and lament the lack you find there. Look to me and My sufficiency; rejoice in My radiant riches that are abundantly available to help you.
Go gently through this day, leaning on Me and enjoying My Presence. Thank Me for your neediness, which is building trust-bonds between us. If you look back on your journey thus far, you can see that days of extreme weakness have been some of your most precious times. Memories of these days are richly interwoven with golden strands of My intimate Presence.
Deuteronomy 33:27 - The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. He drives out the enemy before you; he cries out, ‘Destroy them!’