Baseball Season 2012. I cannot believe it is here already. I guess time is flying because I'm having so much fun??
After a very relaxing, sunny, warm, spring training, Nick was assigned to the Double A affiliate of the Rockies, which is the Tulsa Drillers. Praise the Lord for a season playing so close to home and family. This has never happened before. I usually feel like we go into our own little "bubble" during the season because we are so far away. I am excited but also feel a little strange about letting people into my bubble. No, that does not in any way mean I do not want my family coming to the games. I welcome anyone who wants to help with my kids and support my husband.
As this season gets started, I cannot help but remember what a different place Nick and I were in last year at this same time. As we left Spring training, we left with his career at its end and I went home to wait for him to come home after his shoulder surgery. This was the second major surgery since he started playing professionally. We had prepared ourselves to move on into the next phase of our lives. I think we were sad that it had ended so quickly and confused as to why God would allow us to come so far and bless Nick with such talent just to take it away so fast and not show any glimpse of what else he had planned for him. And that's when we started to learn more about who God really was...
We joined a Bible study group while we were living in Arizona during Nick's stay in rehab. Our Bible study leader said something one night that really stuck with me and I think of it often. He said that one of the greatest perks to being a Christian is that we wake up everyday being a candidate for a miracle. It's so easy to get to a place where we have heard about "miracles" but think that it would never happen to us. That was me, exactly one year ago. On the Sunday before Nick's surgery I went after church and asked my pastor to just pray for Nick and his doctors who were doing his shoulder surgery. The surgery was scheduled for the next morning. I was crying, could barely get my words out to tell him what to pray for. He said, "Jill, just stop. We are praying for healing." I tried to explain that it was not healing that we needed. We were beyond that. We were done with baseball. We just needed direction.
Fast forward to the next day. Nick's surgery was supposed to take almost 2 hours. They finished in thirty minutes. Guess what was wrong with his shoulder? Nothing.
Nick went on to have the best season of his professional career yet in the High A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. I'll also mention that he spent portions of 3 seasons there. More than once on the DL. He was traded to the Rockies in December and we were offered a new beginning. It has been absolutely incredible the way the Lord has blessed us in the last year. Nick prayed that if he was given the opportunity to play again that he would use every opportunity the Lord gave him to share what God had done for him. You better believe that when you ask Him for opportunities, He will give them to you. Around every corner Nick was offered the chance to share his story or to encourage someone. (which he is really good at)
This year has been very different in the realm of the "wife" world. There are facebook pages, blogs, ect that offer a resource for baseball wives to band together and share experiences and encouragement. This time of the year there seems to be a lot of women asking for prayer, support, or encouragement because they maybe got released, or got sent to a team that was not the one they were hoping for. Maybe their husband is injured or is in extended spring training. It is such an uncertain time. Exactly where I was last year. BUT-"all things work together for good for those who love the Lord, out of ashes come beauty, and God does not intend to harm me, but to prosper me."
Here, one year later, I sit in my home for the next few months (rental number 8) looking back at what was so difficult at the time, but was the biggest blessing of my life. A new outlook, a new trust in my Heavenly Father, a new team, a new city, and a new season.
So, remember....one of the most exciting things about being a Christian is that EVERYDAY we wake up as a candidate for a miracle. Believe it.
Now if you are in the Tulsa area, just don't get too close to my bubble, ok? kidding!