Friday, January 13, 2012

Hey y'all!!  I'm Jodi, and I blog over at Under The Georgia Sun.  I live in Georgia (duh), I've been married to my husband Jon going on 11yrs and we have a beautiful 17yr old daughter, Christen.  We also have two awesome boxer mixes, Brandi and Beckham who will soon become my only children living at home.  Christen feels the need to move 6hrs away from home to go to college.  Yes, I take it personally.


I was so excited when Gi asked me to guest host today!  And I got really excited when she wanted me to write about Christen!

I went back and forth on what exactly I should write about.  Gi prompted me with this: "an experience that has happened to you with or in spite of Christen".

Christen is my baby, my life, my love.  From the minute I knew I was pregnant, everything changed and all my experiences since then have happened because of her and God's grace and timing.

I finally decided on writing about her homecoming from Sweden after playing in the 2010 Gothia Cup.  Her decision to play there and represent the USA was one of the main reasons why I started this blog.  You can read my posts about her experience here.

Here's a quick rundown on what the Gothia Cup is.  It's like the World Cup of soccer, but for youth.  It's held in Gothenburg, Sweden.  To quote their website: "Gothia Cup is the worlds largest and most international youth football tournament in the world"

And to give you a bit more insight, Christen was only 15 when she went.

And.... we didn't go with her.

And.... she only had 3 days to meet her team mates, gel with them and practice.

And after some heart breaking losses, they started gelling and God heard our prayers.  They started WINNING! (yes, it's okay to pray for a win!)  They wound up coming in 3rd in their age division out of about 24 teams.  It was an AWESOME experience for her and one that has helped her get a lot of exposure to college coaches.

So, I've told you all that to tell you this.

The ride home for Christen was hard.  It was hard on her and on me.  She was stuck in NEWARK, NJ OVERNIGHT because of bad weather.  God took care of her, he sent her a family who took her in for the night in their hotel room.  (That's right, she was there basically by herself. Once they got back to the States, everyone pretty much went their separate ways)  That family had been traveling with her.  They were nothing short of heaven sent.  God heard my prayers.  He took care of her and ALL her needs.

When she called and said her flight was delayed, I immediately started praying.  When she called and said her flight was cancelled, I prayed some more.  And I probably cried.  I wanted so bad to see her THAT DAY.  But God had other plans.

Christen?  She was disappointed, but she handled it like a trooper.  She could have went all hormonal teenager on me, but she didn't.

Here I was, an emotional mess, and  there she was, 1000 miles from home and she was okay.  Tired, ready to be home, but okay.  And she was with a family.  Not just another team mate, an entire family.   She knew she would be home soon enough.  She had faith and even though I played it as though I wasn't worried, I was.

And you may be thinking: Ummm..  Jodi...  He got her to Sweden safely, and back to the States safely, why would you doubt Him in getting her home safely?

And I'd tell you, I just don't know.

I can't tell you the amount of relief I felt when I finally caught sight of her walking down the hallway at Hartsfield Int'l Airport.  Gosh, I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

That experience, of seeing my child, tired and exhausted, but home, is one I will never forget.  She taught me so much of how I should ALWAYS trust and believe in God and His timing.

Isaiah 25:1
O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.

Yes, my then 15yr old daughter, taught me one of the most important lessons anyone can learn.  And I'm so thankful for her fearlessness and faith in God.

The verse in the picture above is the verse I would text her before each and every game.  Little did I know it was a verse I would lean on and need as well. (and yes, that's Christen in the picture)

If it were not for my heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus, I would have never had the strength to let her go.  To live her dream.

So I urge you, if your son or daughter come up to you with a crazy idea, hear them out.  Pray on it.  And pray on it some more.  Don't just cast it aside.  You never know where that crazy idea will take them.

Thank you again Gi for letting me guest post and thank you all for reading!  Hope you all come to visit me soon:
Under The Georgia Sun

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