Usually, you go to soccer camps to improve your skill and seek to be a better player. I got more than just soccer training at the 925 Academy; I received training that will last forever.
1 Timothy 4:7-9 came to life this week, "Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance."
My whole life, soccer has served as an idol, a counterfeit god, and my "safe haven". I bowed down to the coaches, the trainers, the schedule, the points; my life revolved around the game. It wasn't until my freshman year in college when I discovered that what I was chasing after in my heart was never going to satisfy my deepest needs of approval, love, and acceptance. God stripped away all my "treasures", and sat me down on my sickbed during a season of mono to tell me the words I have been yearning in my heart to hear my whole entire life. He understood, He knew my pain, and He came to take the pain and suffering away. I am loved, I am beautiful, and I am worthy, just the way I am. Everything I had done that was wrong in the sight of Him didn't take that love away. The compelling feeling of love I began to experience in my heart drove me to seek more, until I fully surrendered my heart to the only One who can captivate it and fill my deepest needs. Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, my Savior, the King of Kings, sought me out when I was "unlovable" and burdened from 19 years of pain that clouded my soul from seeking my needs through soccer, performance, and people. Now He is redeeming my heart and life for His glory and my good.
Man, Jesus' grace feels so good, taste so delicious, and frees me from the bondage I once was a slave to. 925 Academy was a gift from the Lord to reach out to girls, who similar to me, have dealt with the brokenness in soccer and really just the broken world itself. With the 5 Principles, the loving community, the devotion to each other and the Word of God, and of course the Spirit Himself, I grew to be much more than just a soccer player. I grew deeper with the Lord and tasted freedom in soccer in which I had never tasted before, and I am really excited to go forth into Michigan State and my life at home to live out what God has taught me and share the freeing message of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection to the souls who are deeply searching for it. Jesus Christ is so so good, and I can now say I know what freedom in soccer feels like. I can't wait to grow more.