I swim. I swim a lot. Too much. It’s something that I’ve definitely prioritized above everything else in my life - including my relationship with God. It was my one focus in life. I was told that I had the chance to do something great and I was ready to do anything in order to get there. I had to practice this hard and go these times and get this fast so that I’d get calls from these colleges and get this amount of scholarship and be this happy. It was a perfectly formulated plan to get everything I wanted. The only problem was that nowhere in it was God.
And honestly I can say that the last 4 years have been a struggle. The plan worked great up until I had to go “those” times. Time after time after time again I touched that wall and looked up at the board only to be disappointed yet again. And after two years of the same disappointment, I was just so done with everything. I hated my coach for setting up false expectations for me, I hated my parents for not understanding the time and money they were wasting, and I hated myself for not being able to go the times I was supposed to go. So one day I walked out. I told my coach I was done and I walked out on the one thing I had put as number one in my life for the past 8 years. That was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Swimming is all I’ve ever known. It’s been my whole life. The time I’ve invested in the sport is ridiculous. And to think that maybe the one thing I wanted in my entire life was something that I actually didn’t want at all? That’s crazy. Everything that I’d known was crashing to the ground with the realization that maybe I didn’t actually want to swim at all. Ever. So I quit swimming. But I went back for all the wrong reasons. I was too scared of a future without swimming. It was too different. Too uncomfortable. I felt like I had an obligation to myself and my parents for already putting in so much time and money to at least finish the plan like I was supposed to. Get my scholarship. Hopefully like one of the five schools I secretly all despised because they weren’t the ones that were in my original plan. It was all very cynical. And selfish.
But I mean, God still provided, as blind as I was to His provisions and blessings. I signed with Northeastern University, albeit quite bitterly and with much disappointment because it wasn’t the Big 10/SEC/ACC school that I had been told I’d be fast enough for.
Cynical. Bitter. Disappointed. That pretty much summed up all of last fall. I hated going to church and I never wanted to talk to anybody. But over Christmas break, for some unbeknownst, miraculous act of God, I decided to tag along with some friends to a church conference in Chicago. And so I went. Not really expecting anything. Of course, God works. It was ridiculously amazing how evident God worked in my life that week; how He put me in that conference to listen to the things I did because they directly applied to everything I’d been struggling with. For five days, they kept pushing and pushing the Gospel message. “You know Jesus died for your sins right?” “Yes of course, obviously I know that.” “No you don’t understand. He DIED for YOU.” And a light bulb went off in my head. I’ve known this stuff my entire life but never have I ever truly realized the importance of it. How insane God’s love for me is. That he loved me as an individual so much that he sent his only son down as a sacrifice to die for me. And then multiply that love by hundreds of billions for the rest of the people that lived, are living, and will live. It’s ridiculous. I can’t fathom it. Nobody can.
It dawned on me the amazing greatness of the Gospel. And I realized how foolish it was for me to push off baptism all these years. What I thought was a good, reasonable excuse to not get baptized was just that: an excuse for myself. Selfishness. But baptism is an act of obedience to God; one that I want to fulfill. I’m not ashamed of my faith anymore. I want to proclaim it. I don’t want to swim for myself. I want to swim for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31.
my mother doesn’t think oasis is “real church” and that hurts just a lil right here. *pounds chest*
we go through the same argument every week. I just don’t understand why I should go to a church I don’t like (aside from the obvious, which is obedience to my parents). it hurts when she calls me out on my faith and relationship with god based off of my distance from CBC. she acts like I’ve lost my way when in fact, oasis has done nothing but strengthen my faith. I guarantee you I would not be as close in a relationship with god had I not started going to oasis my freshman year. so why is it so important? even more, why should they force me to be baptized at my home church rather than the church where I truly realized the meaning of Jesus Christ dying on that cross? why. does. it. matter. (shoutout to Brian in that reply because that is exactly what I’ve been thinking.)
and that’s not to say i won’t go, or I won’t be baptized there. because I will and I am. because my mother wants me to. and yeah I’ll respect that. but I just don’t get it. I don’t understand her pressure and constant need for me to attend as if it is imperative to my faith. as if I will fall away if I don’t go. I don’t get it.
for chinese new year they get all these famous actors and comedians together and they do a lil show and one of the comedians was like “i was in a hotel in america once and there was a mouse in my room so i called reception except i forgot the english word for mouse so instead i said ‘you know tom and jerry? jerry is here’
it makes me so angry to see others calling themselves a Christian and then considering themselves entitled enough to judge other people’s salvation.
as a Christian you should know you’re supposed to love one another, love your enemies, love your friends. SHOW LOVE. how is judging somebody showing them love?
you are in no position to tell somebody they’re going to heaven or hell. you are in no position to judge. you are not any more entitled than the rest of the people in the world just because you happen to know about Jesus. know that you’re not better than others. know that we’re all the same sinning, faulty, imperfect pieces of dirt.
I’m ashamed, I’m disappointed, I’m angered.
if you want to convert people, first rule: don’t judge.
“As Christians we recognize we live in a messy world, full of human beings with broken, messy lives, and that will raise questions of morality and ethics. We need to be confident in talking lovingly and respectfully about those issues. However, Christianity is not about moral superiority, pointing the finger, being “holier than thou”. Nor is Christianity some kind of self-help plan to help us be good so that we can get to heaven. Rather, the claim of Christianity is uniquely this: that the whole purpose of Jesus’ ministry was to transform our very hearts. Christianity is about a new creation. Unless something radical is done to address the human heart, no amount of self improvement will ever work. So when we are asked “Why are Christians so judgmental?” talk to them with humility-sensitively and lovingly- but also take every opportunity to talk about the God who revealed himself in Christ, demonstrating the inherent value of each human being not just by creating us in His image, but also through the cross, by willing to pay the ultimate price to repair and restore His broken children.”—Dad
Driving home from practice today and I was listening to K Love and Chris Tomlin’s “How Great Is Our God (World Edition)” came on. I’ve never heard it before. It’s so cool to listen to all these different languages singing the same song. Worshiping and praising the greatness of our God. Because God is universal. He doesn’t just exist in my little life here in Troy. There are millions of Christians out there who speak thousands of different languages and lead hundreds of different lifestyles. And you know the craziest thing? We all worship the same God. Like my God, and what He’s done for me - sending His only Son down to die for my sins - is the same God that another 17-year-old girl in Brazil or France or Turkey believes in and that’s crazy to me. To realize just how great and powerful and almighty our God is. How omniscient and omnipotent and omnipresent He is. That…that’s just crazy. It’s crazy.
Everybody getting their admission makes me wish I was going to UMich next year. Sucks because that door closed on me a while ago.
You say I don’t understand the angst of not knowing whether or not I was accepted but I do. I do. My standards might be on a totally different spectrum than yours but I still have my standards. You say I don’t understand the waiting, the deferrals, the rejections but let me tell you of the crushing defeat that hit me time after time again when I touched the wall at a meet and looked up to see yet another failed time. The past three years as a whole has basically been one, long college application. Each time I dove in the water to race was equivalent to taking the ACT one more time or taking an AP to boost my GPA. No, I didn’t have to wait for acceptance but that’s because I had been rejected so many times already. Every time I didn’t go under a 56.8 was a rejection to any of dream schools I ever had.
Don’t tell me I’m “lucky” and that I didn’t need to do anything because I got in with sports. I didn’t sit on my butt doing nothing to get to where I am today. You don’t realize that this one month waiting process for your acceptances has been the past three years of my life. I had already been rejected to any of my original dream schools before I even had a chance to take recruiting trips. I had to change my entire list of schools. I “reapplied” and took trips there instead because I wasn’t getting any faster. I thought I wanted to quit swimming forever because I had gotten “rejected” so many times. I’ve already been where you guys are now. I’ve been there so many times.
But I’m still happy with my decision and I believe everything happens for a reason. I found a good fit. I took a trip to a school I hadn’t even known it had existed and it ended up being the one for me. I’m really excited and I can’t wait for life in Boston, but please don’t tell me that I don’t know. Because I actually do. If you look at Northeastern from a swimming perspective, it’s not on the “better end”. I had already tried for so long to get into the “better end” but it just never happened. I had already gotten rejected so many times it pushed me to breaking point. I’ve accepted my rejection to the Stanfords, Harvards, and Yales of swimming. The BIG 10s, the ACCs, the SECs were my goals and they all ended up being within one second out my reach. That was the difference. One second. 55.8.
Last time I checked, one second has never carried so much weight. If that’s not angst I don’t know what is. The pressure you feel now is the pressure I’ve felt at every single meet for the past three years. So please. Don’t tell me what I feel, don’t tell me what I know, and don’t tell me what I don’t know. Because actually, I know a lot more than you think.