Victor Varsity Basketball Victor Varsity Softball Hillsdale College Softball
Victor High School Hillsdale College
To me that word seems to be the story of my life. Over and over again I have been faced with trials in my life that have required strength, courage and most importantly, patience. All things I could not do on my own.
As a seventh grader, I was cut from the junior varsity softball team. My closest friends made it, leaving me-what seemed to be- alone on the modified team. I remember I came home sobbing, absolutely humiliated. I felt as if I had let my parents down. I said to my mom, “I don’t understand, I prayed to God about this. I prayed I would make it.” Of course the Lord had greater plans, which I would soon learn. The next day I was practicing in my own corner of the gym with my dad while the team I had just been cut from practiced next to me. I had a fantastic modified season; I adored my coach and teammates. I became the most motivated I have ever been. The next season, I made the JV team, fought for a starting position, got pulled up to varsity and played in the playoffs. I made the varsity team the next year as a freshman, became a three year starter, a captain, a three time sectional champion, two time regional champion, and a state champion. We were the first Victor softball team to ever win a state championship, the first Section V Class AA team to win a state championship and quite frankly, we dominated a majority of New York State for years. If I knew all of this was coming, 12 year old me tear’s would’ve stopped within seconds. The Lord said not yet, He knew I needed to grow as a person first. He put a little chip on my shoulder to motivate me. However, those miraculous four years did not go off without a hitch, there was still a ton I had to overcome.
From eighth grade to tenth grade, I was in a toxic friendship that was verbally and emotionally abusive. I was controlled and convinced I was worthless. This time in my life is still something I struggle to talk about today. I hid this pain and this whole experience from the world but as I started to suffer athletically, academically and socially, I felt truly alone. My faith was there per usual, but it felt as if I was going through the motions. Many nights consisted of me silently crying myself to sleep, wondering when the pain would end. I prayed every night that the Lord would take it away. On my knees, begging the Lord, I began to wonder if He was really there. My friends started to take notice in my behavior, and eventually found out what was happening. With their support and love, I was able to feel more like myself and eventually the friendship ended. That is when I met my now best friend who truly turned my life around. She took me from the lowest of lows and helped me see who I was meant to be. She gave me my confidence back. Since I met her, my life has been filled with so much love, laughs, smiles and memories. Though my best friend isn’t sure if she believes in God yet, I remind her that she was truly an answer to my prayers. Anyone who knows me, knows that with her by my side my happiness has grown and thanks to her, my life turned around. Friends are true gifts from God.
With this new profound happiness, I found myself diving more into my faith. I decided to go to the youth group and after one meeting, I was hooked. The people were fantastic. Youth group is a place where I can talk freely about my faith without judgement, something I didn’t have in high school. Up until this point in my life, I had believed in God because that was what I have always been told. It was what was expected of me. I never had my own personal relationship with God, until the summer of 2017 when I went on a mission trip to Frenchville, Pennsylvania. On this 5 day trip, teens serve the people of Frenchville with tasks they cannot afford or do by themselves such as tending to a vineyard, building a ramp, putting shingles on a roof, and other various deeds. Teens turn in their cell phones, refrain from junk food, bathe in the river and most importantly grow closer in their relationship with God. It was during the weekly mass, looking around, that I realized a miracle had happened. When I first arrived I was greeted by at least 60 strangers, all except my dad and a few familiar faces from my church; those strangers were now my everlasting friends. I met truly real, kind, and loving people. Everyone went out of their way to make the person next to them happy. It was looking into their faces, that I saw God. I saw Him in the light of everyone’s souls. I can’t describe what He looked like, other than it was the softest, kindest face I had ever seen. He had a promise of eternal life and happiness.
I cried for hours that night, completely happy and stunned at what had just happened. My faith came alive that day. Which would be much needed with the more trials ahead.
For as long as I could remember, I had a dream of playing softball in college. In the fall of my senior year, I was uncommitted and as all other Division I and Division II athletes had already committed and signed their National Letter of Intent. I began to give up hope. Holy Cross, a Division I school, was my dream school. They showed interest, but went onto sign another girl. I was heartbroken. This was the biggest test in my life and I surrendered it to God. I was beyond anxious and emotional about it; I would pray about it and when doubt crept into my head I would remind myself that the Lord was working on it. A few weeks after Holy Cross turned me down, my travel coach called up his daughter, an assistant coach at a small Division II school in Michigan. She got me a call with the head coach and he told me exactly this, “You are welcome to come down for our clinic in December but there is about a 1% chance we will make you an offer, but you are still welcome to come down.” It seemed nearly impossible, but a 1% chance was better than nothing, so I went. I committed to Hillsdale College on January 15th, one month after the clinic. Hillsdale College, HC, just like Holy Cross. Coincidence? No, this was all God. Hillsdale has been beyond a blessing. I have the honor to attend one of the best colleges in the country and play softball at it with the best people in the world. The Lord fights for you no matter what and He never stops. Praise God!
That brings me to where I am now. The summer has been a struggle as my relationship with one of the most important people in my life is being strained. There has been so much anxiety and sadness in my life as I fight for the person who matters the most to me. I have never relied on the Lord more, making prayer apart of my life constantly throughout the day. Before I prayed once before bed, attended church every Sunday, and volunteered at church. Now, I pray when I wake up, read scripture everyday, read my devotional, pray the Rosary at night, and tell all I know about the Grace of God. I had to lose one of the most important people in my life to truly grow closer to God and that makes me sad, I couldn’t devote more of my life to Him after all the miracles He has performed. These past few months I have prayed so hard, wondering where the answer to my prayer is. As I learn more about the Lord, I know it is coming. This trial has caused me to grow to become the person I have always longed I would be. I refuse to give up on my person, that determination is the Holy Spirit, I know it. Sign after sign, I am filled with confidence that my friendship will heal, when the timing is right. When the time comes, I will welcome my friend back with open arms, just as the father did to his son in the parable of the lost son. Just as Jesus does to us when we drift away from Him. I look forward to this joyful day. The pain, anxiety and sadness, is all worth it for someone you love. It is all worth it for this person I love. There is no distance the Lord won’t go for us, and there is no distance I won’t go for my person. While I wait for my answer, I sit here, waiting, trusting that the Lord is at work.
Patience is the word I would use to describe my life. But God? I think He would use Growth, Learning, Resilience, Love & Adventure.
"I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It's true, I will rescue you
I will never stop marching to reach you
In the middle of the hardest fight
It's true, I will rescue you" -Lauren Daigle, "Rescue"
This has been my song since May. These are the words the Lord is speaking to us everyday. How cool is that? The Lord is marching for us. Imagine an army of all the angels and saints are fighting for you, working for you, praying for you, loving you. Every single day. Everyday find one reason not to give up hope. Giving up is what Satan wants us to do, hope connects us closer to the Lord.
If you are looking for an answer to a prayer that seems impossible, I am right there with you. Stay hopeful and close to the Lord. The answer is coming, I promise.
Love above all things.
First of all Reagan, I want to say congratulations on not quitting when the coach made a decision to cut you in the 7th grade. I can remember the 7th grade as well because this was the grade when sports teams would have to cut kids. In fact, I was a coach much later in life for the 7th and 8th grade boys tennis team and I had to make cuts. That was one of the most painful things I had to do and I'm hopeful that those who were cut, also were able to rebound like you did. Though you experienced what seemed to be pretty traumatic, I bet you can look back and appreciate what took place because of it! You not only learned about motivation, but you also learned patience. I'm not sure if you see this or not, but learning about those areas in life at an early age were probably a blessing! Though you are still being challenged with patience as you shared a little bit about your relationships today, I think you can take some of what you've learned in your past that have given you more strength and knowledge that things in your future will be okay! Lastly, but most important is that you are living a life and putting the Lord first. When you put the Lord first and are obedient to what He wants of you in life, it won't really matter about any outcomes in your life because God will allow you the Peace to know that you are doing your very best! That's the most important thing about a relationship with the Lord that you rediscovered. Thanks again for your story and sharing your heart. Gary Rogers