Sports are a big deal to my girls. We spend most of our weekends and a lot of our weeknights practicing and playing sports. There are times when I get tired of hauling everyone to another game or another practice, but my girls love it. Sports feed their competitive spirits. They teach them how to win and lose gracefully. They learn the value of teamwork and how to encourage others.
Because sports are such a big part of my daughters' lives, though, when something goes wrong in that world, it causes trauma and drama in our whole house. This week has been a tough one for my older daughter. For a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with her, her soccer team is probably going to break up at the end of the season. It was only through the grace of one of her coaches that it didn't break up this week. My daughter made an agonizing decision last summer to switch teams. She left behind friends and a coach she loved on her other team.
I did my homework. I talked to players' parents. I talked to the coach. I asked the right questions about the stability of the team. I thought we had put her in a good place. Turns out, I was wrong.
As my daughter lay on the couch in tears last night, I wondered if we had done the right thing. We left the decision to go to this team entirely in my daughters' hands. She shed buckets of tears over the decision. We truly didn't think that either option was a bad one.
As I told my daughter last night, God uses everything for good -- even this soccer crisis that seems so big to my 11-year-old child. Romans 8:28 tells us, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Even when we can't see the road ahead, even when the present situation seems overwhelming and unfair, God is still in control. God's got this. He will use it for good. My daughter may not see it immediately, but eventually she will be able to look back on this moment and know that God used it to do something good in her life.
What happened to my daughter this week is unfair. The situation stinks, but in the greater scheme of the world, this mini-crisis in her life isn't a big deal. She will play soccer next year. We just don't know where. But right now, in this very moment, there are more tears to be shed. There's more frustration to be had. Because when you're 11 and the thing that you love to do the most is in turmoil, you are in turmoil. And God knows that.
He knows that her heart is broken. He knows that her world has been turned upside down. He knows that she needs His loving arms to wrap her up and heal her hurts. He knows it all. And He's there to do that. He's there to listen to her cries, to let her know she's loved, to remind her that He is in control.
That's why our job as parents is so important in the midst of our kids' crises. Our job in all this is to offer comfort when it's needed, encouragement that it will pass, and wisdom on what to do next. Our main job, though, is to keep reminding her that God is there, He's got this, and He cares about it because He cares about her. Good things will come of this, we just have to wait for God to show us what they are.