I am very cognizant of the many, many blessings God has bestowed on my life even though I am not very expressive of that publically. Yesterday was a moment in our lives when I was so aware and thankful yet could not find the words to express my feelings. Not for not wanting, but because of the overwhelming emotions of the day.
For the last 8 years a large part of our lives have revolved around volleyball. It started with Megan in junior high. Megan was playing club volleyball. Courtney was interested in gymnastics. As we watched Megan practice with her team, Courtney would bounce a ball around the gym uninterested in playing. In fact, she was opposed to joining a team. Then a person who would change our lives forever entered the scene, Ali Oliver. Courtney’s journey with the sport began as a fluke.
Ali, our club director and frequent coach for the last 8 years, befriended Courtney and got her to join in at practice. After all, if Courtney was going to hang around week after week, she might as well hang around with a purpose and help out the team and club as well. She was not on a team. She did have reluctant fun practicing with the girls. The team was made up of a group of 14 year olds. Courtney was 10. The day came for Megan’s first tournament. We only had 7 players. One had to leave midway through the first set for a family event. As the second game got underway with our remaining 6 players, an injury happened. Facing the possibility of forfeiting, Ali turned to Courtney and asked her to play for the rest of the tournament. Ali quickly found spandex shorts, an extra jersey, kneepads and volleyball shoes for Courtney. Courtney has played volleyball ever since. We owe so much thanks to Ali for her role and development of our daughters. She is a blessing sent by God to our family. Our gratitude can never be fully expressed.
The two sisters played alongside of one another until the age differential made it impractical and then reuniting again in high school at Fullerton. It was a joy to watch them play together over the years. They are the best of friends and shine together on the court. While Megan chose to end her volleyball career as high school ended. Courtney’s passion for the sport continued to grow. With each new success or challenge on the sport, Courtney grew to love the game even more. Her desire to continue her volleyball career post high school also grew.
The college recruiting process has been a blessing and a challenge. Out of state visits, new experiences, doors open, doors closed. Places and colleges we have never heard of. It places incredible pressure on a 17 year old with hopes and dreams. It takes resolve, a great deal of encouragement and support. Mostly, it takes a great deal of prayer! Thanks to each of you for your part in this. There are too many of you to name. We are hoping you know who you are and how important each of you are to us.
Over the last few weeks, God has been leading in the process. Not that He wasn’t with us all the way along but it has certainly seemed even more so over the last month. A door opened at a school in Angwin, California (we just call it Napa, since nobody knows where Angwin is, St. Helena then turn right and go up the hill). We had never heard of it. Nobody had. Then odd things happened. An odd article we saw on Facebook from Business Insider Magazine titled “25 Colleges Where Students Are Both Hot And Smart” listed the school as number 2 in the country. It was weird and the timing was strange. We researched and found that the campus is almost always listed among the most beautiful college campuses in the country. The academic reputation was strong. It was the right division to allow for scholarships. It had the right majors. We even found out that we are friends with someone who knows and played volleyball with the coach. Best of all, they wanted Courtney to visit, meet the team, talk to the coach and department heads and see if this was the right direction for her.
The trip was great and it helped her narrow the choices to 3 colleges. The coach was very encouraging and complimentary of Courtney as were the team members. The financial offer is outstanding and a huge blessing! Another trip yesterday made the path even clearer. At the end of the day, Courtney verbally committed to play volleyball for and attend Pacific Union College in Napa.
It is still very difficult to put into words what we are feeling. We are joyous and so very thankful. Today, we are even giddy in our new P.U.C. sweatshirts. Our pride towards both of our daughters is as high as ever but today is Courtney’s time. I am so proud of her! Her extremely hard work, sacrifice and God’s grace and hand in her life give me so much pause to be thankful today. She is an absolutely beautiful, smart, grounded and Godly young woman. We are also experiencing surreal feelings of sadness knowing that August 1st, when she will leave for college is not very far away.
So again, our sincerest thanks to all of you who have been a part of this walk with us. Please continue to pray for Courtney! We are excited to see how this journey continues into the future.
|Maybe it was destined!|