God Does His Part

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Ruth Riley, USA Basketball Center, shares how she is reminded that God always does His part.

You may call it a “charmed” life—Notre Dame’s 2001 NCAA Championship—WNBA first-round draft pick—2004 WNBA Championship and Finals MVP with the Detroit Shock. An exhilarating ride, yes, but my life hasn’t always been so easy.

Growing up in a single-parent home was tough. Mom was always there and her faith encouraged me, but Dad seemingly never cared to know me. That was painful.  At Notre Dame I became intentional about reading books to improve my character, and began attending church. I started “owning” my faith.

Then came the WNBA draft, moving me to Miami away from family and friends. Challenged, I discovered even greater spiritual growth. Pre-game chapels helped me give God my distractions and focus on His strength. Team Bible studies gave me perspective, allowing God to continue to fill the void left by my dad’s absence.

I have confidence in my game because I know God loves me regardless of my performance, and shapes me through my circumstances for His purpose. When the Miami Sol folded and I ended up in Detroit, I didn't panic, remembering that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Whether my circumstances are “charmed” or painful, I know this verse is true! My part is to love God; His part is to work everything for good! Although I don’t always do my part well, God always does His part. This truth inspires me to give God my best game both on and off the court.

Written by Ruth Riley, USA Basketball Center

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