Giving Up Control


Soccer player Claire Milam discovered an even greater purpose after letting God take control of her life.

I think a lot of students come to college and lose sight of their faith, but college has been a place for me to hone my faith and really grow. I went to church often as a child and was involved in Christian groups throughout middle school and high school. Faith was a part of my life, but it was never the real focus of my life.

Making the change from high school to college soccer was difficult for me in the beginning, with a faster game and a different skill level. I started going to a Bible study with girls on my floor, and that helped me make friends that had similar values. The next year, I roomed with a basketball player who was strong in her faith and took me to Athletes in Action. That was a real blessing.

That year began a time of making my faith more important in my life. In soccer, I realized that even though I might not be the best player on the team, God had put me there for a reason, and I wanted to be a light for Christ.

In the spring of my junior year, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and that was not something I was prepared for. I really appreciated that I was at Butler, only 30 minutes away, so I could go to her treatments with her. People really came around me and supported me during that time. One of my coaches would pray with me, and the athletes at AIA were always there for me as well. The girls on my team had a heart for me at that point too, and I was very blessed to have so many people who cared about my family and me.

Aside from staying strong in my beliefs, that year taught me that God would provide for me by surrounding me with people who cared and would show me His love. At times when I felt like I had no one, He would put people in my life. I’m an organized planner, and I had to learn to give up control. I had no control over my mom getting sick or what was going to happen to her. However, even though I had no control, I knew the Lord had control over it. I wasn’t sure how to handle this crisis as a Christian: Am I allowed to be sad and worry about it? But I learned that it’s OK to be sad if you keep in mind the big picture.

I’ve always tried to be who the team needed me to be on the field, knowing I wasn’t out there every day for myself, but to glorify God and to use the gifts He gave me. I was able to be a positive influence on my teammates, but stay competitive at the same time, while encouraging my teammates to be both hardworking and positive.

A special verse to me is Deuteronomy 31:8: “The Lord your God goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

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