Home Court Testimonial

Home Court Testimonial

by Dee Kijanko

“Life presents us with some seasons that, quite frankly, must be endured.”  
– Gary Thomas (Sacred Marriage) 

I reread that line.
Then reread it again.
Reaching for my straightedge and highlighter
I whispered out loud to myself,
“Isn’t that the truth.” 

Not the kind of statement I usually highlight.
One that lifts my heart and understanding to something new.
Yet, it still resonated deeply.
First, in my soul as a long time Coach’s wife
who has endured all kinds of seasons,
then within a split second,
it rang painstakingly true in every ounce
of my determined-to-endure-and-do-whatever-it-takes
“strong will” in a wife battling her husband’s cancer.
Yes, it’s my battle too.
Just as his teams and seasons are mine, too.

The line came from a book I reach for often these days.
It lays on the nightstand next to our bed
for those nights when I or he can’t fall asleep.
It gets packed into my Adidas backpack
every other week on Tuesdays and Thursdays
along with healthy snacks like brazil nuts,
dried cherries, dark chocolate and high protein bars,
to be opened during the times he dozes
while the good and evil cocktail drips. 

In the coaching world
it seems there is always something to endure,
even in the midst of winning or championship seasons.
As in life when we have no choice
but to submit to unexpected, unplanned for, never wished for seasons
as the one we are presently enduring.   

“Yet, all are merely a season”.  
Gary’s first line in the next paragraph.
“Merely?”
Hmmmm.
That word “mere” doesn’t fit our present season.
So I picked up my phone to use dictionary
to ponder on the word “season”.
“A period of the year”;
“A period of time”;
“An opportunity”. 

That last interpretation sounds like my wise husband coach.
I’ve often heard him say,
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”
With a smile I wondered if he might contribute to my phone dictionary. 

Typing in “opportunity”,
A little more light is shed.
“A favorable time or occasion”;
“A situation or condition favorable to obtain a goal”;
“A good position or chance for advancement”;
“A break”.
Now that one doesn’t fit us either, so I quick google again,
scan the long page of definitions and find:
“To yield or submit to.”
“To initiate a plan.”
“To train to obedience.”
“To overcome.”
“To make one’s way out.”
“To put an end to.”
“To make better.”
That has been one of my most often whispered prayers.
“Refine us, Lord.  
Make us better for You, for others, for Your service.”
Well, OK.
It does fit. 

The last clarification on “opportunity”:
“HOPE”.
Yes, for sure HOPE.
HOPE is a constant faithful companion these days.
I don’t believe it’s accidental
that my compassionate, merciful Father brought into my life
just weeks before “c” entered our world
a beautiful new friend, also a coaches wife, named Hope.
Sweet compassion, wisdom, truth and promises
in power filled words flow poetically from her heart
because of her knowledge and dependance on scripture;
because of the seasons she has endured;
because she is determined to use it all as an opportunity. 

So, if that is all true about “a season”,
It would be foolish to quit during any season.
We all have learned as coach’s wives that failure is not final.
And I have learned even when seasons and bodies
fail to perform or prevail,
there’s a lesson, a story, a victory somewhere to be found.
And …we always have hope for tomorrow,
for seasons yet to come. 

We “who are in Christ” know
there will be discouraging, disheartening seasons
when we must gather our life from His life;
when we must draw our health from His health;
when we must plead that our thoughts be His thoughts,
to think clearer, truer, purer, more positive thoughts,
to be able to endure.
“Though we may be hard pressed on every side,
we will not be crushed!
Though we may feel persecuted,
we will not be abandoned!
Though we may be perplexed and confused,
we will not live in despair!
Though it may seem we are struck down,
we will show that our lives are not destroyed
as we lift our lamps high!”
(my paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 4:8-12) 

For when we hold on to the wild hope
of a Living, Almighty, All Powerful God
Who is intimately involved in our lives;
Who purposefully, mercifully allows
those seasons which must be endured;
Who doesn’t merely offer us sufficient grace to endure them;
but also mercifully proposes every season as a break, an opportunity.

 We also know and believe,
When strength fails, there is perseverance;
When perseverance fails, there is hope;
When hope fails, there is love.
And LOVE never fails. 

LOVE is at the heart of all things.
Even those seasons
that must be more than merely endured.

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