What Role Do You Play?
I became a Christian at the ripe young age of four. As my mom tells the story, after watching a Christian kids’ TV show, I asked my mom if I was going to heaven. She told me how Jesus came to save us and to bring us to God. I asked Jesus into my heart and, ever since then, I have been a Christian.
With this young faith, I sometimes doubted if my salvation was for real because I couldn’t really remember my "moment" of salvation. But over time, I have matured and come to believe confidently that I am Christ's. There is no doubt in my mind that my heart belongs to Him and that my life is in His service.
I think this certainty came along with my clarity about what role soccer was playing in my life. During high school, soccer seemed like it was in competition with my relationship with God. I had to miss church and youth group events because of my soccer commitments. I really struggled with this and felt like I was choosing soccer over God.
When I got to college, I met other Christian athletes who showed me a different way. They were great examples and encouragement to me in showing me that you could use your sport to glorify God. We did miss a lot of church, but I found that with my Christian teammates I had community around me that could encourage me in my faith and keep me accountable.
Now I see my role on the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team as encouraging other Christians and girls on the team to pursue their own relationships with God. We occasionally meet during camp for Bible study to talk about Bible passages and what God is doing in our lives. I want the other girls to know, like I know, that God can use our roles as athletes to bring Him glory. How we behave as teammates when things are going tough or when we may not be playing, is in direct correlation to our faith and how much we want to show His love to others. My faith in Christ has made my role as an athlete so much more meaningful. It is more than wins and losses, X's and O's; it is about loving others and showing them Christ.