Jumping through Hoops – Part II
Yesterday we heard about life in female collegiate sports and the challenge of being faithful in such a high homosexual context.
Today we continue the three part interview with Part II – The Struggle of the Hoops
As a Christian what challenges has this presented for you in living rightly before the Lord?
Well, first off… you are immediately placed in the minority. It can be very frustrating especially since it is not just the players that are living that way, but often times a coach or a staff member within the team and they are your authority.
Also, just the conversations around you that you know are so dishonoring to the Lord can really get to you. Keep in mind these people are like my family for about nine months out of the year. I see them more than anybody else in my life during that time and it can become overwhelming.
My greatest fear is to become jaded or desensitized since I’m around it constantly. I always have to keep myself in check but mostly the biggest challenge is standing up for what I believe in and not giving in to those around me; acting as if there isn’t a difference between me as a believer and the rest of the world. We all know that the flesh just wants to fit in with the rest, but I am thankful that the Lord sustains me.
Are your Christian views tolerated?
It is kind of odd, because in a way my views ARE tolerated.. kind of… I guess it is hard to explain, but because, by the grace of God, I have been able to share truth in love with my teammates and let them know that I am not just coming up with stuff to condemn them or make myself look better…I don’t really get that much flack anymore.
The hardest part is in the beginning when you are new to the specific environment and you have to start all over in sharing your views for the first time. But building relationships and getting the point across that I love them and just want them to know God and His truth is the key.
But at the same time, what I have to say isn’t always agreed with or tolerated. I find myself in situations where I know that if I were to speak up it wouldn’t be tolerated or taken well so I do have to pick my battles. I have to trust God that He will provide me with opportunities to speak up when the time is right. And He has been doing just that for me, and it is such a blessing. Having one on one conversations really helps. So I guess my views aren’t very tolerated, but I am. They have to put up with me since I’m one of their sisters that they see everyday.
Have you seen other girls struggling with being in this environment?
Oh my goodness, yes I have and it is very hard to watch. I’ve seen people who are so far in that they don’t even consider any other way, and I’ve also seen the ones who are uncertain get sucked right in. One of the most shocking things that I have experienced as a Christian living in this environment is having girls that are struggling with this actually approach me on the issue. Not wanting to argue but wanting to know what it is the Bible truly has to say about it. It opens up clear pathways for me to tell them the truth and share the gospel with them. There are some who never thought they would ever be caught up in it but found themselves acting once upon a ‘feeling’ they had and are now ‘stuck’ and unable to get out. It is very difficult to watch, but at the same time it is encouraging to know that I possess the very thing that can set them free – and that is the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This makes sharing the truth with them a lot more urgent when you see them so stuck in something that their flesh is incapable of getting out of. I have gotten the opportunity to talk to a lot of girls one on one and even though not all of those conversations lead to the person being delivered from their sin, I was blessed to be able to see God change one girl’s life right before my very eyes last year. Not only was she delivered from homosexuality, but she has since grown into a strong believer and follower of the Lord who graciously saved her form her sins. If sharing the truth with her was the only reason God put me where I am today then it is all worth it.
Would you consider it a dangerous place or a young woman to be in?
While I won’t say that this environment is too dangerous and should be avoided at all costs, I do think it is necessary to shed some light on some of the dangers. Many girls are destroying their lives through their involvement in homosexual activities and they aren’t really aware of it. Girls who have a lot of insecurities are strongly affected because the temptations prey on their lack of emotional stability. I know that sounds broad, but it is true and for a young Christian girl she can easily become disillusioned.
Take someone who is very strong in their beliefs and put them in this environment day after day and you start to see a numbness develop. Unless the Lord has specifically called you into it and prepared you for it be careful. I certainly don’t underestimate the power of our amazing God, but we have to be cautious.
God is a God of reconciliation and He draws sinners unto Himself so that they may be reconciled to Him and forgiven for their sins. It is hard for me to write this environment off as ‘dangerous’ and leave it at that because I have seen God work in so many incredible ways through it all. Not only did He use it to bring about circumstances in my life which ultimately brought me closer to Him, but He also does the same in so many other young girls’ lives. All the glory goes to Him.
[Tomorrow: ‘Advice to Parents’ Part III ]