Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Above and Beyond

This past weekend, Moira participated in her first soccer tournament.
It was across town.
She played 4 games - 2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday.
Her team played 3 different teams in those four games.
Three very good teams.
Very good.

These other teams are in the same division,
but they play in other leagues.
They play at a whole other level though.
One of the teams, who they played twice, is an "academy" team.
What does that mean?
Well, they aren't a "parks & rec" team like our team.
These kids have parents who are willing and able to fork out about $1,000 a season
for their kids to be on an academy team.
Their coaches are quite possibly former players.
The kids practice 3-4 times a week.
They play a lot.
They play in a lot of tournaments.
They are just in a whole different league than our girls,
but still in the same age category.

Sigh.

Sweet Kickers vs Blue Bombers (a James Island Youth Soccer league)

It was tough to watch.
I'm sure it was even tougher still to play.
Our girls were so in over their heads in terms of their competition.
Our girls had a fantastic season, having won all their fall season games.
They came into this tournament not knowing what to expect.
I'm sure they didn't expect to be thoroughly beaten down.
Game one: lost 12-0.
Game two: tied 4-4.
Game three: lost...
Game four: lost...
For those last two games, I couldn't even tell you what the scores were.
We didn't score in either game.

Discouraging.

Our girls were tough though.
They gave it their all.
They fought hard.
They didn't give up.

Looking back on the experience, it was disheartening to an extent.
But we didn't go in there with any preconceived expectations that we were going to win.
It was all about their coach wanting to give them an opportunity to see what a tournament was.
To get the feel for it.
To try it out.
You see, those girls have a coach who wants to go above and beyond for his girls.

Think about that last statement.
He wants to go above and beyond.

Think about our everyday lives.
Sometimes we have a pretty good run and things are going great.  Everything is perfect.
But then something happens and we're just so out of our league.
So in over our heads.
We don't know which end is up.

We go through our lives day to day.
If you've been around a few years, you probably have lost any preconceived ideas
about how life "should" go.
You may have already figured out that God's plan for your life is we totally different from what yours was!
Maybe you got thrown into the deep end of some situation that you find yourself unable to defend against.
Maybe you feel overwhelmed by this season of your life.

But know this...

God wants to go above and beyond for you.
God only wants His best for you.

God doesn't take pleasure in seeing his children suffer.
Sometimes, though, we must endure seasons which are a little {or a lot} more difficult than we'd like.
But we have a Father God who sees us and our trials
and he desires so much for us.
He wants us to turn our hearts towards Him.
He will sustain us through our trials.
Maybe the end result won't be what you thought might happen.
It might still be painful or bitter-sweet.
But we can't possibly know sometimes just what His intentions were for us.

Lean into God.
Trust in Him
He will sustain you and see you through your trials!

Sweet Kickers vs "Brazil" (a Mount Pleasant Academy team)

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