Well, I've been having more trouble with my imagination lately. It all started a few days ago when I went running with my friend, Mist. She happened to mention that they are starting a women's volleyball night weekly and how excited she was about that. She invited me to join in the fun. Suddenly, I was Dorothy in the Wizzard of OZ and I was no longer running along that forest road. Time stopped and I was back in 7th grade. Memories rocked me like Alice Cooper used to. Now its OC Supertones. Wowee, I just love em'. I don't know how anybody can not love to rock to the OC Supertones. I just can't get my family to appreciate my taste in some Christian Rock. (I needed that diversion). OK, so anyway, I was back in 7th grade.
They were picking teams and as usual, I was last. This time, even though I was last, neither team agreed to take me. They began fighting over who had to. Eventually, they bargained for taking a good player along with me as the bad baggage. The good player happened to be a boy whom I had a crush on. Girls, it doesn't get any worse than that. It was a traumatic event that marred my desire for anything "sportsy".
Here I was again, life times later, being invited to play a sport with some other women. Mist tried to explain that it was "for fun". I'm not sure what else she said because I was in a semi comatose condition, other than for running that is.
The neighbor girl, Kiree, has taken to running with us. She is 13 years old and wants to get into shape for sports next year. She got REALLY excited. She and Mist spent quite a bit of time trying to persuade me to go. Since I was getting out of breath and needed all my energy to complete our running course, I told them I'd think about it. All the while a chubby and uncoordinated little 7th grade girl pouted inside my head.
Thoughts of volleyballs began to plague me. I even started dreaming about them. I had made up my mind I would find some reason not to be able to go. Still volleyballs haunted me. I asked Kiree, the neighbor girl about the person who was setting the whole thing up. The only information she has offered me thus far is that she is 115 lbs. That can't be good. Any female who weighs 115 lbs surely has to be sinister.
Casually, I mentioned the "v" word to my friend, Hazel, in conversation. She, too, was very excited about it. She insisted that there are other women like me who are just playing for fun. We talked about how it is important to form relationships with women outside of our group. I began to feel convicted. All at once I realized that I was being tormented by phantom volleyballs because I was running from something that God might be wanting me to do.
Later that day, I remembered how I learned to snowboard. I had been determined. For the first few days on the hill I kept flipping over hard. My backside was literally covered in bruises. I kept trying, determined. I kept catching the edge of the board flipping over and over and over again. Finally, in my desperation, I asked God for help. Little by little, He began to speak to my heart. "Turn your edge", He would whisper. "Lean back". "Shift your edge". Soon, I was carving down the hill. That still small voice led me through it. I was terrified, but when I listened, I eventually learned. I'm by no means a pro, but I love to carve down a nice green hill. Had I never stepped out and tried, it would never have happened for me. It also deepened my relationship with God in the process. I learned to step out and trust by moving my heel and toe edge back and forth and shifting my weight.
It dawned on me that I needed to use my faith in this area too. I may have some bad memories of playing sports as a kid, but that is no excuse for letting fear keep me from playing now. Though Monday may be haunting my subconscious and volley balls are still bouncing around in my head from time to time, for the most part expectation is beginning to replace my fears.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.