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Our girl hadn’t played basketball since the Third grade. Our first year as Okies, she discovered that many of her new friends were on a team together. Once Matt and I investigated registration, late fees had been implemented and the team Addison wanted to play for was full. Consequently, she declined to play a winter season sport. This past Fall, basketball sign ups rolled around and we were determined to get her registered early and on the team of her close friends. We entered our data, paid the money and made our request clear.

Addison is a sports junkie. She loves anything competitive, action packed and insistent on making her mind work. Add to that an opportunity to engage in all of those things with friends and she is elated.

The team draft took place and much to her disappointment and ours, she was placed on a small team with five other girls. Upon investigation, we learned that there were just enough girls to create an extra team. Therefore, the league made the decision to form a new team instead of over-crowding the ones that already existed. We strongly debated whether to insist she be placed on the team we requested or to let it go. We asked the Lord for sound minds and open hearts for us and for our bummed girl. In the end, the three of us decided that even in menial things like recreational basketball, nothing could thwart the plans of the Lord. For reasons we could not conjure, He allowed her to be placed on this new team for this season and for His purposes.

The end of the basketball season has ensued and we are now in tournament play. Riding home from church, Sunday evening, my girl and I began to discuss the basketball season. She talked about the team of friends she was denied to play with and the team she has grown with in skill and friendship these last few months. Her team has acquired only two losses this season and they have been exciting to watch. She said, “Mom, I am so glad that I have gotten to play with this group of girls. I have enjoyed getting to know new people and make new friendships. My teammates have been fun to play alongside and we all work well together. I hope we get to play together for many years to come, because we make a great team.” I smiled in agreement and reminded her of our debacle at the beginning of the season. “Remember how we almost forced our preference at the beginning of the season for you to be placed on the team we initially requested? Isn’t it rewarding to see that when we trust the Lord to orchestrate all things for our good, instead of insisting on our plans, the opportunities of growth He affords us?” Her smile reached from ear to ear. I pulled the minivan into the garage and just before I cut the engine, she responded, “Yeah. This has really grown my faith in God. You know? It has caused me to trust Him more, to trust that He always provides for me.”

His plans aren’t always enjoyable and full of ease. Sometimes, His plans are downright painful and grueling to our flesh. But, His plans are good, because He is good and His love for His children is unfathomable and relentless.

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” Psalm 143:8NIV

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