I'm having knee surgery today...makes me think back to the beginning of all these problems...Ol' #35...I remember being sooooo excited entering my junior year of varsity....I was SOOOOOOOO excited! I could NOT WAIT for the basketball season to start. Simply could not wait! It was the pre-season and I was starting on varsity. It was a rebuilding year for our team...we had lost 10 seniors the year before...our JV team was solid and most of us moved up. We were playing in a scrimmage...when I was driving the lane...#35 from our opposing team came over and undercut my legs...blew out my knee. Season done. Actually...organized sports were done.
I was devastated...as I posted yesterday...I simply LOVED the game of basketball...played ALL THE TIME! Honestly a lot of my identity came from sports...I hated life in 7th grade...(that's another post!!)...but 8th grade came and although our team STUNK...playing ball, I developed more friends...kinda had this "if I perform well, people like you" thing happening...So I jumped in...got involved in as many things as I could and wrapped my life around sports and stuff. Let myself wander from God.
So when #35 changed my life...I was bitter...angry...felt pretty stinkin' sorry for myself. At one point my girlfriend at the time pulled me aside and lit into me...confronted me on my selfishness...I can still remember the conversation...I was convicted. See...she wasn't just talking...she had lost her mom at a very young age...she knew REAL pain...REAL loss...that conversation shaped me...this was just basketball...sure it was important, but not devastating...that conversation was the beginning of a perspective shift...less on my and what I thought I lost...and more on what the future would hold and how God would use it in my life.
As the years have past...I have become more grateful for #35...I moved from wanting revenge to being grateful...not for the pain that is for sure...(or today's surgery!)...but for the lessons...about what is most important in life...on how to begin to handle struggles...that more than anything...my Savior is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than anything else...AND he loves to use the broken things in our lives to shape us and others.
How about you? What is God using in your life right now to shape you? What has happened in your life that God can use to encourage others? I sure don't like going through the tough stuff...but those times sure change us...make us closer and more like our Savior!