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Life with the Lady Flames:Rachel's Reflection
Today, LibertyFlames.com continues a new feature for the 2008-09 women's basketball season, "Life with the Lady Flames." From now until the end of the season, Liberty's six seniors will provide a unique look inside the women's basketball program, by way of journal entries. The series continues with Rachel Hammond.
In a season that extends from before Thanksgiving to after Spring Break, we like to break our season up into three parts for the sake of sanity. There is pre-conference play, conference play, and tournament play. We have entered into round two of our three-part season: conference play. We opened Big South competition with two wins, finally putting our overall record at .500. I never knew how good a .500 record could feel! I am feeling new energy as my teammates are healing and returning to the court.
Rachel McLeod's much-anticipated return started the long-awaited return of many players. Not long after, Megan Frazee was back on the court. It didn't really seem like she missed a beat. Her fitness was good, her mind was great and her intensity has surpassed that which I have ever seen in her before. Les Schofer, our team photographer, once noted to me the uncommon focus he's observed of Megan as she shoots. I agree. I study it as well, and often find myself trying to imitate the relaxed, but focused art of her shot. There is a peace about Meg's game and a peace about her life.
Not only have Meg and Rae returned from their injuries, but Rebecca Lightfoot made her first appearance on the floor since her season-ending ACL tear last spring, Saturday at Winthrop. At our morning pregame meal, Becca had a certain spunk about her that I had not seen in a long time on game day. I thought to myself, "Is today the day?" She had been practicing for a long time, preparing for the moment she could step back on the floor and finish what she had started three and half years ago as a skinny little freshman. (I know… the description, "little," is rather ironic coming from someone a good five inches shorter than Becca!) It turned out my hunch was right. You cannot imagine her excitement that day or any days since then. Like Meg, she was hungry to play again.
Our pregame chapel on the day of Becca's return could not have been more fitting. Mr. Baker, a long time friend of Coach Green's, who has led Christian ministries catering to athletes for years, spoke to us that morning. Pregame chapel has always been a part of our preparations. Sometimes it's a professor giving the devotion, and often it's Coach Green himself, but either way, we never go into the competition without having a time to refocus on the core beliefs of Christianity.
What was so amazing about this past Saturday's time of devotion, however, was that Mr. Baker quoted someone, that in all my years at Liberty, I cannot ever remember being quoted or spoken of at our team chapels. Mr. Baker was specifically speaking about the fear of God and encouraged us to see it as something good, though it is often carried with a negative connotation. All of a sudden, he began reading a quote to illustrate the beauty of fearing God. What was so perfect about this illustration was that he began reading from one of Becca's most beloved stories, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis! Anyone on our team would tell you that Becca has a healthy obsession with these stories that is rather contagious. (I tell you from personal experience!). Even more, he read one of her all-time favorite dialogues, which explains how the nature of God (represented by King Aslan, the lion) is incredibly good, even if it is so powerful that it incites a degree of fear in us. Here it is:
"I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion." [said Susan].
"That you will, dearie, and no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver; "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."
"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."
I had to just stop. Imagine standing before the Being who put all of this into motion.
I am so grateful for the message from Mr. Baker and so many others who have spoken to us before our games. Without the time to refocus, all of what we do would have so little meaning. It is an overwhelming, but amazing reminder that our Lord is not safe or predictable, but incredibly good – He is superior in His love and infinite in knowledge. He is the king, and submission to a king, without fully understanding His intentions, can be uncomfortably scary. Somehow, I think I'm okay with that.
Meg and Becca could both tell you that His ways often seem wild and untamed, but ultimately unmatchable in perfection. The Creator of both these athletes, who possess rare skills of versatility, is surely about to enjoy their final dance for Him as Liberty Lady Flames. It was for Him and His glory alone that they have these abilities. I have become refreshed and filled with a new strength upon their return. It was just another reminder that while HE IS NOT SAFE, HE IS GOOD. HE'S THE KING, I TELL YOU!
Previous Life with the Lady Flames entries
Oct. 28 - Moriah Frazee
Nov. 4 - Rebecca Lightfoot
Nov. 11 - Molly Frazee
Nov. 18 - Alexandria Bream
Nov. 25 - Megan Frazee
Dec. 2 - Rachel Hammond
Dec. 9 - Moriah Frazee
Dec. 23 - Molly Frazee
Jan. 1 - Alexandria Bream
Jan. 6 - Megan Frazee