Once upon a time there was a little girl who grew up going to Sunday School and trying to be good. As she grew, she was confirmed, taught Sunday School and fell in love...with basketball. The game was her life! Though she had some success on the basketball floor, there were struggles elsewhere. The girl felt like she wasn't good enough and often cried herself to sleep.
Though times were lonely, life moved on. She went to college and the love of her life went with. She continued playing ball, but even though that goal was met the sadness remained. It grew when she suffered a career ending injury the end of her freshman year. There wasn't just sadness, but frustration too as she wrestled with the "Why's?"
Again life went on and eventually it seemed she found an answer - "Why the injury?" It helped her make a decision - with her playing days behind her, it made sense to pursue a career in teaching and coaching. Before graduation she had a chance to practice her future role and found joy in the path she had chosen, and confirmation that some of her teammates were right, there was a reason for her injury. She could now reach out to her players when they were hurt.
With this new found knowledge time passed - she landed a real job, was teaching her own class and coaching her own team. Goals were met, but yet there was something missing. She thought, "Maybe it's the love of my life" - basketball wasn't the same and as classmates were married, she wondered if she'd ever even date! The times of loneliness added to the sadness that had never really gone away.
That was bad enough, but feelings of failure pushed her deeper into the pit that was already there. By September of her second year teaching, depression had taken over. The little girl who'd never quit on the basketball court was ready to quit in the game of life. One night she came home full of frustration and feeling worthless, so she pulled out a journal to write some final thoughts. She sat on her bed scribbling, sobbing and shaking, so much so that everything she'd tucked in the book fell out.
The thing that caught her attention was a thank you note she'd received from a parent of a girl she'd coached. This mom thanked her for encouraging her daughter thru an injury and being a bright spot in her life. The words were enough to shake her up a bit more - she then reached for the phone instead of her keys and called for help rather than going on a ride that would end it all. Her teammates were right, there was a reason for the injury, it helped save her life.
The girl's parents came, listened and offered to help. She was diagnosed with depression and the medication helped, but the real cure was soon to follow.
One day she was home alone when she picked up her roommate's book, "I Kissed Dating Good-bye". With one date on her resume the girl knew she didn't need any help, but still she read on. And as she did she began to understand the reason for her loneliness - it was because she really didn't know Jesus.
And as she read about Him being the first love of her life, she knew what she wanted. So one day as the 90's were slipping away that little girl did what Paul describes in Romans 10:9, "Confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved." She prayed to receive Christ and committed to living her life for Him.
Well, as you know the "little girl" is me and if you're wondering about the happily ever after...the story is not yet over, more joys will come and the trials will too, but one day there will be a happily ever after when I meet my Savior in heaven!
Friend, I know life is far from a fairy tale, but I pray you know Jesus as Lord and Savior so that someday you too will experience your own happily ever after!