Rebuild: Loss after laying it on the field

Caring about football is new to me. I grew up in a boy-house, so I had lots of opportunity to be a fan, if I had wanted that. A father and two brothers who love sports meant that our weekends and Monday nights were filled with games on TV. But it wasn’t until my girls started attending Baylor University, and I got caught up in their underdog team, that I became passionate. I am now a crazy fan who has lucky Baylor clothes and I admit to having screamed, cheered, prayed…all on behalf of a team, playing a game.

Having my team go to the championship game, in my girl’s senior year, was something I predicted their freshman year, and I have been anticipating the game all season. When my Bears lost their first string quarterback early in the game, to a concussion, I was praying for a miracle. We almost got it. I really thought we had it, when our third string QB passed for a touchdown tying the game. Losing in overtime, after watching those boys lay it all on the field was heartbreaking.

In those final seconds, when it became clear that the game could not be won, I had an aha about how this relates to everyday life.

Have you ever laid it all on the field of life…in a relationship, a job, or a dream…only to lose in the final moments? Has your heart been broken by situations or by people, in a way that impacts you for a long time? Have you, at those times, felt defeated in a way that makes you question if all the hard work was worth it?

Broken hearts and broken dreams can either steal our hope or empower us for more. It all depends on how we process and learn from those seasons of life. I have brokenness in my past. I am refusing to let it ruin me. How about you? Do you have situations that need reframing, and healing so that you can move forward with wisdom, learned skills, new dreams and vision for your future?

Experience tells me that when we allow healing to take place, the new relationships, new dreams and new possibilities can wow us in a way we never thought possible! But we must let the good in! What, in your life, do you need to embrace as part of the journey so that you can move into new life?

As always, let me know if I can help. But don’t call on January 1… I will be cheering for my Baylor Bears who will, no doubt, be even better on the field than ever!

With love,

Sonia

Why I do what I do….

It was the summer after junior year in college. A friend of my brother John offered me an opportunity for a paid internship downtown Los Angeles, at a bank headquarters. I was tasked to offer computer support to a division that was trying to implement a career path program that employees could access. Apparently this friend of John’s assumed that because John and I were genetically linked, I would be able to offer expertise in this area. I muddled through the summer, enjoying the time only because the intern program was amazing and I met interesting people and made more money than I thought possible, since my previous paid positions were things like babysitting, camp counselor and working as a hostess at a coffee shop. With lots of help, I got the job done and managed to fool my supervisor into thinking I knew something about my assignment but since I was miscast, I was relieved when it was over.

One of the most requested topics in the counseling room is that of finding fulfillment. Some seek fulfillment through relationships, through career, through family, through faith, even recreation. All of these are avenues for the richness life has to offer. As a counselor, I love the opportunity to explore with clients, the paths available to them for satisfaction in life. As a Christian counselor, it is so important to offer time for reflection for what God may want for clients as they pursue a deeper understanding of the meaning of life.

The Apostle Paul teaches on the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12 and gives warning to what happens when the church does not acknowledge the gifts of each of its members. So often, the places we work and serve in life are quick to fill roles, rather than let members use the skills God has equipped them with. Paul celebrates the diversity of people by reminding us that who we are individually and what we have to offer our community, is as different as the parts of the body with all its uniqueness in function. We need one another just as each part of the body is useless without the support of other parts.

Last night I dropped a box on one of my toes. I am not sure why I needed this experience to remind me what happens when even the smallest appendage is out of commission. In our communities that we live, work and serve, every person has an offering. When one is not operating in fullness, the whole community is hindered from operating at full capacity, just as I am limping around today with an injured toe. Do you know what it is that you bring to the communities of your life?

When Mike and I felt the call into ministerial occupations, it came out of our desire to see the church operate according to the model given to us in the New Testament that has each member of the body of Christ working within their gifts and talents for the good of the community. God, through the Holy Spirit, has gifted each of us with talents, skills and abilities that have value for personal and corporate fulfillment. However, most often, a few people are given the opportunity to use their gifts while many people live hesitant to offer what they have for fear that others will not see their worth, or that what they have to offer is irrelevant. Instead, people work and serve outside their call or not at all.

Calling looks different for everyone and sometimes takes time to uncover. If you have ever been miscast in life, you know that uncomfortable feeling that comes with having to perform in a role not fitted for you. When you are given the role that fits, there is a deep satisfaction that is inspiring and life-giving. It is a good idea to ask yourself if you have a place in your life where you are able to do what you do best, for the benefit of the larger community.

A couple of years ago, I was given the opportunity, through connections at Denver Seminary, to serve with an organization called Thrive. This Christian organization has a mission to encourage and empower Global Women to thrive and to be their advocate. As a counselor, I now serve as a convention volunteer using my abilities to encourage North American women serving overseas. This is an example of how I use my skill for the Christian community as one body part supporting another. It is a role that fits and as a result, I am blessed as much or more than the women I serve.

What are you doing to uncover the calling on your life?