Rough Air and Empty Stadiums

Rough Air and Empty Stadiums
Julie Voiceover Category

I am a baseball wife, and I am a flight attendant. It’s the perfect combination. While my husband travels for away games, I fly all over the world, and we both reunite three days later. When my husband plays overseas in the winter, I hop on a flight courtesy of my flight benefits to go cheer him on. If we need extra income because my husband is a minor leaguer, I work extra hours. If I need time off because my husband is home for once, I swap my schedule and get the days off I need. My husband will tell you that being a baseball player is a dream come true for him. For me, being a flight attendant is a dream come true.

But even those of us who love our jobs know what it’s like to have bad days, just as those strongest in faith are still tested. As a baseball family, we know change. We know last minute moves. We know financial hardship. We know injury. We know that a pitcher’s mound is not a firm foundation to stand on. As an airline family, we know reroutes, cancellations, bad weather, and being stranded. We know that when an airplane hits turbulence, you just need to hold on tight and strap in. We face a lot of unknowns daily in both our careers. But the thing is, we expect these unknowns; we prepare for them.

We Didn’t Prepare for a Pandemic

We’ve prepared for so many things, but how could we have possibly prepared for a global pandemic that would stop life as we know it? In a matter of weeks, baseball shut down completely and the airline industry collapsed. We’ve hit a different kind of rough air, and trying to navigate it is like playing in an empty stadium with no lights. This is new territory for us. We don’t know what the plan is. We weren’t ready for this one.

Day by day things seemed to get worse and worse. Anxiety started to take a hold of us. Where will my husband work out and stay ready for baseball season when all the gyms are closed? How will we pay our bills with no income? What will we do at home together for the longest consecutive time ever? We kept asking ourselves these questions and many others, trying to find the answers. Then we remembered one important truth. Anxiety does nothing to help us. Our help comes from God, so we started asking Him our questions in prayer.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

We’ve hit a different kind of rough air, and trying to navigate it is like playing in an empty stadium with no lights.

We Decided to Let God Into Our Circumstances
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I wish I could tell you that I prayed and magically all our problems were solved, that money fell like manna from the sky. I wish I could tell you that God spoke to me directly and promised me everything would be okay. But that’s not what happened. So, I prayed, and I prayed again. My husband prayed. We prayed for provision, protection, and purpose. We prayed because while we don’t know how we will get through this, we know we will get through it. We prayed because when we don’t let God in, we leave room for the enemy to get in.

The enemy does not live in a virus that we can lock ourselves away from, but sneaks into our hearts and our minds during our most vulnerable times. It is not up to us to lock ourselves away and hope he doesn’t attack. It is up to us to know how to stand against the attacks, ready and prepared, armed with faith and God’s Word as our defense. We can choose to use this time to seek God more, grow our relationships deeper, and stand on a firm foundation. Or we can allow the uncertainty to put us on shaky ground, one step away from falling off the edge. God uses all things for his good, even this, a global pandemic. It’s up to us; are we going to let the enemy in, or are we going to let God in?

When we let God into our circumstances, even when they don’t change, our hearts do change. We can’t go to work at our normal jobs, but we did not lose our ability to make an income. The other day, a neighbor asked my husband if he needed some cash while he was off work and gave him odd jobs. God provided. We pray often for quality time together between our busy schedules, and now we have plenty of it. God answered that prayer. We lost our titles, but our identity was never in baseball player, baseball wife, flight attendant, or airline family. Our identity will always be sons and daughters of the King, loved children of God.

We Trust That God Works All Things Together for Good

Our perspective does not have to be one of loss, crisis, fear, or doubt. Those do not come from God; they’re tools the enemy uses against us. When we look to God for perspective, we find certainty. Certainty that He will never leave or forsake us. Certainty that we do not need to be afraid. Certainty that even when the enemy attacks, or a virus attacks, God can use it for good and His glory. Certainty that these trials will mature our faith and give us new testimonies of God working in our lives and our hearts. That’s a solid foundation that will not fail underneath us.

When we let God into our circumstances, even when they don’t change, our hearts do change.

When we think about how God uses all things, we realize we are prepared for this. God is using our lifestyle of uncertainty, twists and turns, curveballs, and turbulence to prepare us. What do we normally do when things don’t go our way? What is our normal response to job loss, injury, sudden changes in plans, reroutes, and diversions? My husband and I ask God the same questions we are asking Him now. “What are You going to use this for?” and “What purpose do You have for us in this?” We are asking Him the same questions now and trusting Him to direct our steps and clear a path in the wilderness. Our circumstance is new and uncharted, but our God is the same God as yesterday and will be the same God tomorrow. We don’t have to know what’s next to know that God already has it all planned out. We can step forward in faith, following the guidance of a wise Counselor, knowing there is a promise that lies ahead. That is the hope we hold on to, and that is the rock of certainty we must stand on.

So, whether it’s rough air, a bad game, or a global pandemic, God has not changed who He is or the purpose He has for us. Through Him, we will find the smooth air, play better, and be restored. We are prepared for this. We are chosen. And we will praise God and honor Him for the world to see.

Bible Verses That Have Helped Me During This Time:

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! (Psalm 121:2, NLT)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT)

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13, NLT)

But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3, NLT)

For you are all children[a] of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26, NLT)

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:6, NLT)

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10, NLT)

And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.(Romans 8:28, NLT)

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (James 1:2-4, NLT)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8, NLT)

I have made Israel for myself, and they will someday honor me before the whole world. (Isaiah 43:21, NLT)

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When Life Gives You a New Normal
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