07 January 2013

Everyone has something in their lives that they have to give up at some point - some things are easy or small, others might be big things, or at least hard things. Some are for a season, others are permanent. Some sacrifices are gradual, some are forced.. others must be made by a specific decision. I am sure we can all think of things that fall into all of those categories. 

Moving to Niger requires sacrifice… Many people think it is a great sacrifice - but honestly I rarely see it that way. I am so thankful that our Father called me here. But not only did He give me a desire to move here, He made this place home for me. I love it. It has become part of who I am. He has blessed me with everything I need to not just survive living here - but to truly thrive!

Sports have been a huge part of my life from when I was about 4 years old through the end of university.  I love sports and they are a huge way that I process and de-stress. They have been
a tool that God has used to get me through some of the most difficult seasons of life. Sports to me are a bridge to get to know girls that maybe I have nothing else in common with. Sports bring people together, and bring about friendships just by the nature of how much time you spend together; relying on each other as a team.
After spending two months here when I was 16, I knew that this was where I would be calling home someday. In following that path, I applied to Moody, knowing that I could not seriously play sports there. 
That was sad, but I knew there were intramurals and a girls soccer club - so I still played sports almost every week :) 

Moody women's soccer club
However, I remember the day when I realized that I would not be able to continue playing sports if I moved here. From time to time maybe kinda kick a ball around with some kids. But not play. Not with girls my age. 

Maybe it sounds silly to you, but to me, to lose that, was huge. I remember I was out rollerblading around Chicago, praying about my future and how to best follow Him. I remember kneeling down at a park and surrenduring sports at the Lord’s feet. Giving it up, never expecting it to be returned to me. And being at peace. I remember what I said, and His gentle responses. A loving Father. 

Playing volleyball in Niger!
I cannot tell you the joy in my heart at having this thing that I finally, willingly laid at His feet returned to me! I love volleyball. 

Really - I love it! I love training, getting in shape, serving, the competition, having to do pushups when the team messes up. I love it all. And the Lord has blessed me with a team here! Girls my age. A game we all love. Friendship. What better way to live out faith than by living life together. It is very hard to get to know girls my age, most of them are married so we have to live in separate worlds, so this is awesome. 

This is an incredibly unique opportunity and I just feel the Lord smiling over me. He knows me better than I, or anyone else, ever will and His timing is magnificent. I am so blessed.

By His grace we live. By His mercy we find courage. By His kindness we find love. 
Praise the Lord, from my inmost being, I will praise His Holy Name. 


Beth said...

Beki, I have this same feeling of God taking pleasure in me as I teach there in Niger. It's an amazing thing and what a blessing to have the thing you willingly sacrificed returned to you! He is the Giver of Good Gifts!

Hannatu said...

I love the way God is giving back to you what you gave to Him. It's exciting to be with you in this journey of faith, too!

Diane Rohan said...

It is absolutely wonderful following your activities as you live out your life-long dream. Do you realize that very few people really make their dreams become a reality? Because of your complete faith and devotion in Jesus, He has answered your prayers. You are to be admired, Becki. You set an example for all of us that THIS is how we are suppose to live. I wish you were here to guide me in this process. We miss and love you very much.

Patricia Link said...

Ha, Becky! Neat post. I enjoy following your journey!!! Had the same experience with God...not volleyball, but my children (age 24 & 18 at the time). I knew giving it up to serve with Jesus in mission could mean great distances between my children and me, and I wasn't like Abraham up the next morning putting them on the altar. Although, after a struggle, I did. Like you, our Father brought me full circle. After serving 2 years in Asia, for the last 7 years He allowed me to serve in cross cultural mission in a different capacity and my children are only 3 & 1 hour away!!!! So, I think I know how you feel. Hugs...Patricia

Beki said...

Thanks Patricia! That is awesome - it's awesome to see the different ways God blesses obedience!