God - Our True Head Coach On and Off The Field

Anyone who knows me knows that my family loves lacrosse.

My son has been playing for years, my husband and I watch it on TV, go to random youth games, oh and I also have a blog dedicated to lacrosse moms. It has become my passion to watch my son and his teammates play. For nearly ten years, my husband and I have traveled the East Coast lugging chairs, Gatorade, blankets, coolers, chips, sandwiches, and everything else across turf and grass fields. Not just on perfect sunny days, but in the rain, sleet, and snow. Just like mail carriers, we show up regardless of the weather, but with the added excited anticipation of watching a game or a series of games. It is truly insane, as many sports’ parents would concur. Lots of tournaments, hotels, clinics, and expensive equipment really sum up the life of a serious high school athlete who wants to play at the college level.

But it’s our faith in God, our love for our son, and our passion for the sport that has held us up emotionally, physically, and financially.

We were very excited as we anticipated our son’s last year of high school lacrosse. Because he had already been recruited to play lacrosse at his first-choice college in his junior year, we knew we had more lacrosse in our future. But after all the years of our kids playing together, we, along with the rest of the senior lacrosse parents, looked forward to a great season of watching Christian and his senior teammates play their last year of lacrosse together. Traditionally, seniors always play first string.  But with a new coach, there were changes, lots of changes. Very few seniors got playing time, many games were lost, bad weather made games miserable. You name it, it happened. It was unreal! Our son had invested so much time and energy into this sport for so many years and so had we. How could things go sour so quickly? Although our son spoke to the coach about working to improve his skills and wanting to play, there was still no change.  I couldn’t help thinking, Are You there God?  What is this?

As frustrated parents, my husband and I went through a range of emotions; from furious to sad, from anxious to hurt. By God’s grace, our son was able to keep his cool as he stood on the sidelines. He watched as his last season of high school lacrosse went completely sour. Although we taught our son that God is the Head Coach regardless of the situation on the field, it was hard in the moment to be prayerful, forgiving, and all of those things that we are supposed to be as Jesus followers.

But I know that God has a purpose in all things, even the crappy things. << Click to Tweet

I knew that my family had to focus. We were working on helping our son get into the college that recruited him, not to mention meet our own professional obligations. It was easy to get caught up in our son’s feelings and thoughts about being called inadequate or not good enough. I found myself hearing the call of the Holy Spirit and praying more and more during those hours on the sidelines. It is so difficult to watch when your children aren’t being treated fairly.

For God is pleased when, conscious of His will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. 1 Peter 2:19

So despite my frustration, I had to remember that God is in all things. I had to remember the good things that came from my son’s involvement in lacrosse, despite the disappointments of this last season. My son has made lifelong friendships with his teammates, all of whom have grown up to be wonderful, insightful, caring young men. We too have made faithful friends through lacrosse that have stood with us through the deaths of loved ones, moving from place to place, happy times and sad. Then there is the lesson of God’s protection; my son stayed healthy all season with no injuries from playing lacrosse. And there is also the lesson of patience - yes that often difficult lesson - to wait on God, listen for His voice, and remember that we serve a God who instructs us to move forward and to trust Him in all things.

The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger. Job 17: 9

My son has learned a lot about team dynamics, coaching styles, and survival in situations that aren’t necessarily in his favor. As difficult as this season has been, I know that these lessons will serve him well as a man working in the world. I thank God for the lessons that we have all learned and how God has helped us to see things from His perspective.

We are thrilled that our son will attend a Christian university in the fall where he will study athletic training and play lacrosse. Thank you Lord for being that Head Coach who makes the best calls, plays, and decisions for us in all situations.

Special Note: The game of lacrosse is a Native American tradition that comes from The Creator and is to be played to honor Him. With the recent win of the famous lacrosse Tewaarton Award to University of Albany LAX standouts Lyle and Miles Thompson, the origin of the game and its purpose have been mentioned in all media spaces. This has been a solid reminder for me that God is in charge of everything. Even lacrosse.

Joy is a Grant Writer/Social Media Strategist for a small nonprofit in Montclair, NJ.  She is a member of the Christ Church praise team and women's ministry, Area Coordinator for Moms In Prayer International, and an avid lacrosse and hockey mom.  She blogs at Joy Reclaimed

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