When the Game Changed


I have written about our Mutiny FC story, so I am not going to rehash too many things I have already written; but, new things are being discovered. As I read these two Facebook posts I wrote 2 years ago today-I have some thoughts:

I’m so extremely happy for Kimbo’s team!  They will always be her team. They all found wonderful places to land and will thrive.  What happened to her team was a bit of a fluke, but is becoming far too common for too many teams.
I want to make a statement as an insider even though I’m not a coach, but I work to build community to help make the soccer world a great place to be,  bc I love people even though I don’t know why. Although I do know why – bc there is good.
June in soccer is getting out of hand. Good people are getting beat up. Our kids yell things aren’t fair – well, look at the sports world. If we don’t watch it- good people won’t be left.
I think the sports world needs to really stop and think about what they are doing. We want what’s best for our kids. This isn’t it.
I’m not saying this bc of Kimbo’s team alone – I say this for countless teams getting hit. We don’t want to lose good people. They are hard to find these days in this world.

I also wrote this on the same day:

I want to say something I witnessed today in saying good-bye to a team that has meant so much to us over the years.  Our girls (parents, coach) care about each other – even in closing you see and feel the tears in person and online.  This team was truly special.  Just b/c it is no longer doesn’t mean it was unsuccessful.  It may be the most successful team I have ever seen.  I have never seen a team with a heart like theirs.  Coach Bryan King Jake Bruehl Kim Vitale We made a great run.  We are closing with nothing but love for one another.  We all grieve the loss of a beautiful team.  I pray more will think about this team as they move forward.  This is the team to learn from.

When I wrote these posts, I was in constant tears. I had given so much of myself to that team and it ended suddenly and without warning. It ended at the same time I was dealing with a tragedy on Blake’s team too. I was so overcome with grief. It sticks out to me that I wrote this: I want to make a statement as an insider even though I’m not a coach, but I work to build community to help make the soccer world a great place to be,  bc I love people even though I don’t know why.

I was so angry. I was constantly pouring myself into others, and it was being returned as shit.

But now I see this was the best thing for my soul. Nothing I gave was wasted. Rob Bell did a podcast on the woman who poured oil over Jesus, so much that oil was spilled all over the floor. The people watching were angered by her waste, and Jesus rebuked them. Nothing is wasted.

We worked hard to ask the outsiders to come and build a team. It was resistance to the Big Club scarcity mentality that is abusing families and their children. We did not need insiders, but those who wanted to come were welcome – and there were insiders who came. Jake was going to prove we are overlooking talent, and the soccer world is insane picking kids off of teams to build teams they don’t know how to create, because they aren’t good coaches-and believe there isn’t enough for everyone. So many coaches are getting by on kids that pick up on the game early, but fail to recognize those behind catch up. It is harder work, but way more rewarding – and less people feel left out-and we find diamonds in the rough. Plus, less burn-out. We aren’t going to play the “we got to play games all the time, and attend every tournament” – which is only money for big clubs.

Well, as the story goes, the outsiders become the insiders – and Kimberlyn’s team became like every other team; we had to win, and the joy was lost. The team that was a miracle to make, it almost seemed like it wouldn’t fail because our faith kept going, ended without warning. Probably the only way this team could end.

As I found myself on the ground hating humanity, Trump also got elected-and I was so done.

But the gospel story found me anyway. On Twitter Jonathan Martin and Cheryl Johns heard my cry, and they responded. I was shocked. They had something I had never heard before, and I loved it. And they took me seriously. I was not used to this. I had time to hear this good story now. And I could not get enough. This led me to listen to everyone: all denoms, atheists, other faiths, POC and their experience with church, women, ableism, etc. I could not believe what I was hearing. There was so much truth we need to piece together, and I wanted to participate this way.

I found out I had been an outsider – left out for 40 years in every area of my life. Now I am being invited to participate. And I am going to do it with the people who show up. It won’t be about growing the most – although, I hope the fruit does that on it’s own – it will be about faithfulness and listening. Staying open to others, keeps us open to the good work of Holy Spirit. Winning is over-rated. This is about living in abundance.



2 thoughts on “When the Game Changed

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