Stay in the Game

Chris holding a football

 I love football! I used to spend hours playing it in the yard. My mom loved it then too, but only because it kept me out of the house for entire afternoons. Lol. I am an old-school Houston Oilers fan; that's where fandom all started for me. I loved Earl Campbell and still do. As I watched him and some of the other greats from that era, I learned to love the game. More recently, since becoming a caregiver, I started enjoying college football. 

Last night, I watched a bowl game. Arkansas was ahead 35 to 13. It was the final quarter, with not too much time left, when Kansas started an epic comeback. They were able to tie the game with seconds left on the clock, which sent the game into the first of a historic three overtimes. They lost in that third overtime, but they played with heart and guts. They stayed in the game when the world thought they were out. The Liberty Bowl will now go down in history as one of the most thrilling games of the season due to a team that never gave up and ended up setting all sorts of records.

Sportscasters aren't talking so much about the actual winners of the game based on numbers. They are talking about the epic comeback and heart of the Kansas team that tried. Of course, the win would have been an even better story, but Kansas has nothing to be ashamed of. 

In caregiving, there are no numbers to declare "winners" or "losers." We win when we stay in the game. It can be hard, and it can be stressful, but we can't give up on faith. Colossians 3:17 tells us that whatever we do - we should do it whole-heartedly as if we were doing it for Christ. I'm pretty sure that caregiving counts. Caring for our loved ones won't necessarily bring us any "victories" by the numbers on earth, but it will mean we win in the heart. We serve them as if we were serving Christ, and there is reward in that.

Staying in the game means not quitting when it looks impossible. It means we keep trusting God no matter how crazy our emotions get or how many funky roads our thoughts run down. Staying in the game means we just keep trusting God to lead us, to care for us as caregivers, to love us, and to keep us in the midst of the fight of our lives. And He will do all of that and more!

Today, I'll keep my heart and soul in the game by declaring my trust in Him. When I feel like I'm losing it, I'm all alone, or I just can't take one more step - I'll just lean into Him more closely. I'll kick my determination up a notch and give it another run. I'll center my heart on His grace, which carries me, and I'll trust Him for just one more day - one more play. I'll trust He'll make this day epic because I choose to stay in the faith game. Will you join me?


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