This past Friday was an EXTREMELY emotional afternoon. Not just because it was Good Friday, but because it marked the completion of a job “well-done.”
The National College Gymnastics Finals were on TV, and one of Jacoby’s dearest friends and fellow competitors, Mary Jacobsen, was competing for the very last time along with her other senior teammates.
As we watched Mary approaching the uneven bars for the final time, so many emotions and memories swirled through our minds. How many hundreds, maybe even thousands of times, had she grasped those bars while refining this beautiful sport of gymnastics? How many times had she “chalked up, taped up, and teared up” while perfecting these difficult skills?
My thoughts wandered back to earlier years when she and Jacoby would jump in the car for gymnastic practice, ponytails flying behind them, giggling over something silly they had said or done. They spent 4 HOURS each evening (5 days a week) at the gym. No joke. Somehow, even in those beginning stages, we knew Mary would go on to be an AMAZING gymnast; she was just THAT determined, talented and tough.
Mary did her last routine late Friday afternoon…ending on …you guessed it, the bars. She competed for 4 years…D1, for Oregon State University; Go Beavers!
To say that we are proud of her for all her accomplishments at OSU would be a COMPLETE understatement. There truly are no words… and a lump is sitting in my throat RIGHT now to prove it, too!
Mary completed a goal …”turned a page” …that had started so many years ago at our local YMCA. She faced injuries that could have taken her out of the sport, but Mary was determined to finish on her OWN terms.
I keep finding myself wondering what it will be like for her to “be done” with gymnastics. I mean, how do you DO that? How do you quit doing something you have done for more than 10 years?
Honestly, we all take a ride on this boat…some of us more than others. Why must we ride this boat? Because changes are 100% inevitable; we ALL face them, but perhaps the key is found in how we respond to these changes. Do we find the good in them, making gratitude a focus? Do we deny changes are happening and bury our heads in the sand? Find a mirror and look in it. That person staring back at you…is the ONLY person who can decide how you will respond. Sort of freeing in a strange way.
So how about you? Is it time to “turn a page”? Have you re-read the same page over and over just because you don’t WANT to “turn the page”? Or is it time to QUIT “turning pages” and actually read the entire page you’re on? I know somebody is “tracking” me here; let’s do this together!
No matter which scenario describes where you are today, know you’re NOT ALONE. The Lord walks WITH YOU… He “turns the pages” WITH YOU… and many times, when we think He’s “out to lunch”… He CARRIES US.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and hope.” –Jeremiah 29:11
Carpe Diem, my precious friends….
Ohhhh and Mary, Job “Well-Done”, precious girl… I’m excited to see what your “next page” holds… xoxo