We have all said them.
God get me out of here!
Please God don't let them see me like this!!
If you just do this God I will never do that again!
The tough spots of life seem to beckon strong conversations with the creator. Its only now, thirty years later I realized the impact of one unanswered prayer in my life. There, at the ball field on the pitchers mound I walked another batter and cried. What felt like 100 pounds of humiliation sat on my head and I would plead "God please get me out of here". I looked at my coaches and my eyes said PLEASE take me out. These weren't just any coaches, they coached champs. This was the team to beat, and I was NOT playing like I belonged. They didn't take me out. I finished every inning I started for them. I was new to the mound but not the sport. I lived for softball season and would play anywhere I was asked to. But no matter how bad I threw, they didn't take me out. I knew what I was in for when the inning was over and would hide my face in my glove. And yet, back in I would go....
Funny thing some years later, I made the varsity softball team in high school and played nearly every game for three years. Some of them were awful, but most of them weren't. I was MVP of my graduating class and made the all-county and all-state roster. I "walked-on" a team in college that already had four scholarship pitchers, but was told their was room for me. I found it fast and became the closer for all four of them, shared in a lot of victories and earned a few Ws in the book on my own.
I finished college and worked in different schools and programs for special needs kids in jobs ranging from facilitating family groups with kindergarten students to delivering diapers to teen moms in crisis. Long days, a lot of patience, perseverance and digging deep to help kids find meaning self worth and purpose was the job requirement. That career ended just a few weeks before I gave birth to my son and 15 months later twin daughters.
Those kids are teens now, navigating the seas of high school; social pressure, drivers licenses college acceptance, faith and self-awareness. In the seventh inning of life, I am clearly just getting warmed up. If God answered that prayer back in 4th grade, I wouldn't be in the place I am. If either of my coaches didn't have the vision to see beyond what is "seen" and just took me out, my story would be quite different.
Thirty years, an ocean of tears cried, a half life lived, I take this time to thank Mr. Pannullo & Mr. Lepore for affecting my life in the amazing way they did, and of course encouraging my love and talent for softball. They say to take notice of the people that come into your life; that you never know when you are entertaining angels. I am certain I have been entertained coached loved and guided by many. Today I thank two of them.
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