As I moved into my senior year of high school things were looking pretty cloudy in my future. Throughout high school sports had been my passion. Even before I was in high school I loved sports. My first word when I was a baby was “ball”. This of course was a disappointment for my mom. However from a young age I loved playing basketball. I loved all sports but I liked basketball the most.
When I was younger my prayer used to go something like this, “Lord I pray that I would at least be able to play basketball in college.” I’m not sure why I prayed like this but I did. As I got older this stayed my prayer. I was so intrigued by when I would go to our high school basketball games and I idolized the players on the team. I wanted to be just like them and do the things that they do and play just like them. As I started getting older I worked super hard so that I could be the best player at my high school and be able to go play in college.
My dad always told me that if I was really good I could get money for playing basketball in college in the form of a scholarship. To me this sounded like him saying, “The way you know that you are really good is if you get a scholarship to play basketball in college, if you don’t get a scholarship you actually aren’t very good.” This then became my goal. It became my dream. My dream was that I would be good enough that a coach would watch one of my games and offer me a scholarship that I could sign and say I wanted to play at that school and receive money for it.
As my senior year started, my future was cloudy and did not look very promising. My junior year, the year before, I talked to only three coaches about playing basketball for them and only one of them was able to offer me money to play. However, that did not happen. The coach offered me a spot on the team JV team as a walk on. This was very discouraging for me because at this time for most senior athletes they had a pretty solid idea of where they’d be going the following year after they graduated. As for me I had no idea.
As basketball season began I played as hard as I could with hopes that maybe some coach somewhere would hear about me and what me to be on his team. The first half of the season came to a close and we entered Christmas and New Years. I began to have conversations with my parents about what the future looks like and what college I was feeling lead to. This is when I told them that I believed I was supposed to get a scholarship to play basketball in college. My parents tried to comfort me but they told me not to get my hopes up because athletic scholarships are very rare things.
Only 5.9 percent of high school basketball players end up playing basketball in college. Even fewer than that will receive scholarships because not all colleges and universities are allowed to give athletes athletic scholarships. It seemed like all odds were stacked against me. As I prayed about it I felt the Lord telling me to keep believing that he would provide for me and that he was going to do something crazy.
As the season continued on nothing was happening. I had decided that in one week I was going to call a coach up in New York who wanted me to come play for him but he couldn’t give scholarships, and commit to go there. The very next day I received a call from an assistant coach at Trinity Christian College who asked that I come down for a basketball workout. I quickly scheduled a visit and went down for a workout. I didn’t think it would transpire into anything but I was wrong.
After a 25 minute workout I went into the head coach’s office and he offered me a scholarship to come play for him. I could not believe it. My dream was coming true. I had not even seen the rest of the campus but I knew I was going to sign and come to this school.
I was one week away from giving up on my dream of getting a basketball scholarship. I could have thrown it out and I would not have had to worry and stress my whole senior year but I knew God’s plan was greater, and He could do the impossible and do what people told me was not going to happen. The turning point for me was when I final voiced my dream and put it in God’s hands. If you know that God has called you to do something specific, pray and give it to the Lord. Then believe if that’s what God has in store for you then He will make it come to happen.
God’s timing is perfect. I was one week away from missing out on everything the Lord had for me. Whatever is your conviction from the Lord wait and let Him grow you and He’ll make the timing and the situation perfect.
Photo credit: Danette Johnson