I had never been a sporty type of girl. I was the one during P.E. that ducked each time a ball came close. Then, in my senior year, I signed up for basketball. All of my friends were playing, so I thought it would be fun to be on the team.
We were almost to the end of that season when the coach sat us down for a heart to heart. There were a few girls that put their heart into the game, but the rest of us were just along for the ride. He pointed out Collosians 3:23, And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; and then Ecclesiastes 9:10, Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;.
When I got home that night, I went to my room and looked up those verses. I wrote them out on a piece of pink stationary and taped them to my mirror. I decided that I wouldn’t let my team, my coach, or my Lord down.
Each practice after that day was intense. We were close to getting into the tournaments for our division so the coaches had stepped up the practices. I did more lay-ups and free throws that week than I had all my life. My calves and arms were so sore each morning, but I’d look at my mirror and remember the verses, and keep going.
Our next game was with a not-so-great-team. After the first half, the coach started calling on us bench warmers. My stomach began to churn. I started getting dizzy. Then I remembered my mirror. I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the morning if I didn’t remember those verses.
I looked down the bench and my coach was smiling at me, “Let’s go, Tallent.”
“Coach, my stomach is hurting.”
“You’ll be fine, Tallent. Get in there.”
So, I went. I ran up and down the court, I raised my arms high trying to block shots, and I tried to ‘look alive’.
That third quarter seemed to last an eternity. I thought coach would take me out once it was over, so I ran for the bench after the third quarter buzzer. That’s when I heard coach calling, “What are you doing, Tallent? We have another quarter to go. Get a drink and get over here.”
I got up and put my hand in the middle of the circle of girls as we all chanted, “Go big Green!”
Back on the court, my legs were getting tired, my chest hurt, and I just wanted to lie down. But then, I heard a still small voice,and whatsoever ye do...
Okay, focus. You’ve got to finish this. I looked up to see the clock, only a minute and a few more seconds remained. Then, I was knocked to the floor.
I heard the whistle, and I saw my teammates offering their hands to help me up. I took a hand and stood. Everyone cheered as I walked towards the sidelines, but then I heard the ref saying, “Two shots, Green.”
No! No, God, please do not make me do this. Just let me faint or something. I can’t do this. I tried to look brave as I headed to the free throw line, and as the basketball landed in my hands. Breathe.
I dribbled the ball, trying to clear my head and I thought back to a good friend of mine. I noticed during one of the games that he always said something before he shot a free throw. I had asked him about it and he said that he always quoted Phillipians 4:13 .
I decided that my only hope was to try it. Okay, I can do this. How does that go? Oh yeah, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. The ball arched up to the net, and narrowly missed. The ref threw the ball to me again. I said the verse again, I dribbled, I aimed, and I shot. It arched right over the net, just a little to the left, but caught the rim. Around and around it rolled, and then, 'Swish'. YES!
To this day, my life verse is Phillipians 4:13. Any time I’m feeling low, I think back to the night of my glorious free throw shot and quote my verse. It’s then that I’m reminded that there is nothing bigger than my God, and there’s nothing that I can’t do through Him.
The girl’s basketball team from Youth Christian School did win that game. We also made it to the state championships and brought back the second place title.
All scriptures were taken from the King James Bible.
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