We went around the circle. I sat there with my eyes wide. I had no idea that the team building exercise at the end of volleyball practice was going to turn into this. It was simple: Describe your family in one word. Their answers were complex: “Big. Distant. Breaking. Backbone. Dysfunctional. Supportive. Sick. Fighting. Important. Fractured.” As I left the gym that day, questions stormed through my mind, demanding an answer, “Who is serving these athletes? Who is reaching into their lives? Who is offering a listening ear?”
“Coach does,” a thought replied.
You know, I needed this reminder- the reminder that for every 10 or 20 athletes with real-life issues, there is a coach who has a voice of influence. As a FCA staff person, I get to equip, encourage, and challenge coaches to enter the lives of their athletes- not only to coach their bodies and minds, but to coach their hearts and lives... Enter Coach Burr.
She was upset and afraid, fearful of what people might think. I had just “volun-told” her to share her life story with the campers at FCA camp. Coach Burr had never shared the more recent events of her life in front of people, and had no plans to do so. However, through tears and with great humility she encouraged a quiet room of 30 athletes that God works in every circumstance of our lives, even the ugly ones. She was so real, so raw, and so honest.
I saw her a short 3 months later and she told me that God had used that speaking experience so powerfully in her life! She said, “FCA has changed everything about my life, and everything about my coaching… I am learning that sharing heals, helps, and changes.” Remember the athletes from earlier? Those are her girls. She was once limited by fear, but The Lord has now liberated Coach Burr to share with them. The girls have given her access to their lives because of her transparent leadership. Coach Burr is coaching their hearts all because she has let them into hers.
This is redemption. This is God at work. I know that Jesus is the only one who could make this kind of transformation, but I got to be a part of God’s plan for Coach Burr’s life and His plan for her team.
Posted on Wed, October 1, 2014
by Sarah Smith filed under