One evening I dragged Paul out of the house to see the movie “The King’s Speech”. The movie was powerful in many ways. It follows the story of King George the VI who had a terrible stuttering problem. Throughout the movie he is taken to many specialists in order to get rid of the problem. No one seems to be able to cure it. I have to say watching the movie, the co-dependent in me wants to hire someone else to speak for him. I wanted to jump in and rescue him from the pain of speaking, and it seems like the humane thing to do. However, he meets someone unconventional that does not excuse him from speaking but rather coaches him though it.
It made me think about my own life in baseball. Baseball life at times for me was like a stuttering problem. There were many challenges I had to face and wanted to be rescued from. Raising two kids for 8 months pretty much alone; feeling like I had to be “ON” all the time to handle everything from finances to food so Paul could focus on baseball; living up to other people’s expectations.
At times I wanted to run away. Even my prayers went something like this, “God please let the kids have a good week while he is away; Please let the season go smoothly; Please let him pitch well so we don’t have to move; Please let the season go fast; Please let us get one day in the Big Leagues; Please, Please, Please.” All of my prayers centered around life going smoothly and without any bumps. Basically I was saying, “I want to be comfortable and pain free.”
There are days in life when things are perfect, and those are to be treasured. But Jesus tells us in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that IN ME you may have PEACE. In this world you will have TROUBLE. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So why do I like to rewrite the Bible, saying in this life things should be smooth and problem free?
Jesus is telling us that no matter what lifestyle we are in, we can expect trouble and struggle. What I miss by praying, "Take it away!" is an opportunity to lean in and hunker down in His presence and grace. He is with me when my husband leaves to go on the road. He is with me when Paul has a bad outing, and He is with me when we get sent down. More than that, He loves me enough to see me through to the other side in one piece.
We can get through things, but getting through them well with beauty and grace requires outside help! And when I look back on all of our baseball years, I can see how far we've come, how I made it through the rough patches. I can see the gratitude and joy and maturity that came with the pain of the struggle.
So now as the beginning of a new season approaches, I ask you to remember Who is with you. Lean in more and more to Him, and then to look back and see that if had He stepped in and prevented your pain, you would have missed out on special gifts in life. He loves you too much to leave you as you are. He sees your great potential and will not let you settle. Just as the Duke became King George VI, we are Princesses in the Kingdom of God, and He won’t let us forget it.