As we prepare to close out 2018, I reflected on some of the lessons learned and changes we experienced this year.
After we left the Jr. Olympics competition with no medals or All-American honors for the 1st time in 7 years, I realized I was a changed person on so many levels. I was one of “those” parents – getting upset if the girls didn’t perform as well as I thought they should, and as a result taking the fun and joy out of the sports they enjoyed.
Before the start of the season, I watched Trophy Kids (watch the trailer here) with the girls and could see some semblance of my behavior in each of the parents. Throughout the documentary the girls would comment, “you say that mommy” and “you do that mommy” and “that’s you mommy – but without the cursing!”
That movie was such an eye-opener for me. The parents featured had gifted athletes, but the lengths they went to, to ensure their children’s success actually turned them away from the sport or caused their performances to suffer.
Sometimes we as parents try to relive our childhood through our children, or experience success through them, because we never had the opportunity to experience that level of success ourselves.
I knew I had work to do and was committing to making the necessary changes to improve my behavior. However, Kennedi’s injury reaffirmed that I had placed a higher value on winning over things in life that were equally or more important.
Now don’t get me wrong – the girls have been blessed with the gift of athleticism, and I want them to do their best, but all things, including winning, need to be placed in the proper order of priority.
I’ve also learned not to take anything for granted – just because something has always happened, doesn’t mean we are entitled for it to continue. We must be thankful for every blessing we receive and victory we achieve. I was always nervous when the girls competed and was thankful for every success they experienced in the sport, still I haughtily expected they would always excel on the big stage when given the opportunity.
It didn’t happen, and guess what? The world didn’t end!
Additionally, I hope the experience taught the girls that when something doesn’t happen the way you hope or planned, good can still come from it. And peace. Today’s Play Prediction reminds us that no matter we are experiencing, peace is still possible – but it is dependent on what we focus our minds on.
I had been planning a family vacation to take place immediately after the competition, and despite initial worries, we were able to experience our first (non-sports related) family vacation since 2012 when Kennedi started running competitively. Heading to Myrtle Beach after the month we just experienced, we were finally in our own space, where we could just focus on each other and spend quality time together.
And that peace stayed with us when we returned home; as Kennedi started physical therapy, we celebrated every single milestone, no matter how small – it was still significant to us! She started High School, and longingly watched her friends play Volleyball and run Track, wishing she could be out there, while handling her disappointments with grace and dignity as she continued to work hard on her recovery.
As I think back to that first appointment in July – with her swollen leg that couldn’t even be touched without causing tears to fall – we had no idea where this journey would take us. We had our final monthly appointment of the year with her orthopedic doctor last week, and Kennedi received her performance brace and the green light to slowly start training on her recovery road as she returns to full competition.
When I think about our current state, I can honestly say that I have God’s peace. Yes, I occasionally fight off feelings of fear, disappointment, and discouragement. But I remind myself that God’s plan is still in progress, and I must appreciate every step of the journey, even when I don’t always embrace the path I’m on.
I continue to remind myself:
He knows how I feel. (Hebrews 4:15)
He knows my heart’s desires. (Psalms 37:4)
His plan will come to pass in my family’s future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
And knowing this, I can live in peace and peacefully hope for the future – as long as I remember to keep Him in the forefront of my mind. I simply cannot walk this journey and experience peace without Him.
As you reflect on 2018, what situation are you taking in 2019 that you need peace about? Have you honestly talked to God about how you are feeling and what your heart’s desire is concerning the situation? Can you trust that He has a plan, despite not knowing the specific details or outcome? How can you move towards entering 2019 in peace about the situation?
Feel free to share your response in the comments section…