Tuesday, October 9, 2018

What I learned from a sportscaster about showing up

I get to do so many amazing things because of Jerry being a former college football player as well as a pastor. One of them happened last week. Jerry and I found our seats only a few feet away from the head table for a meeting of an organization that supports college football. Jerry is their chaplain, but I had never been before and was really excited about the event.

The group usually invites college or pro football coaches, players, or sportscasters to be their speakers, but tonight was different. ESPN reporter, Holly Rowe would speakthe first woman to do so in the gathering’s seventy-three year history.

The circumstances were so remarkable, Holly took a selfie with all of us.

She regaled us with her stories of college football players and coaches. But for me, her most inspiring words were what she shared about her cancer journey.

Diagnosed with melanoma three years ago, she had surgery and chemo. During the time of losing her hair, she kept going to games. She didn’t stop when she had a subsequent tumor under her arm removed. She did sideline interviews with drainage tubes and bags taped to her chest. No one she interviewed ever knew. She just kept showing up.

As a cancer survivor, I understood the whole drainage tube thing, which I have had to deal with several times. It’s tricky business to hide them so no one knows.

Then tumors were discovered in her lungs.

She chose not to tell her employer, afraid she might be benched because of liability issues.

She didn’t miss a football Saturday that fall while in treatment and went into the women’s basketball season. She followed that with being a commentator for women’s gymnastics teaming up with now Georgia women’s gymnastics coach, Courtney Kupets. She offered the insight that if she had sat down, she would have missed getting to know Courtney.

Again, she just kept showing up.

All of this reminds me of a book I have read dozens of timesHealed of Cancer by Dodie Osteen, Joel Osteen’s mother.

Diagnosed with metastatic cancer of the liver in 1981, doctors gave her six weeks to live and sent her home to die. Instead of accepting the diagnosis, she kept going. She meditated on scripture daily, visited others who were sick, continued with her household duties, and refused to accept the dire prediction.  She kept showing up in every area of her life and she is still doing that today, thirty-seven years later.

One of my favorite quotes, which you’ve heard here before is from Oswald Chambers. “…our Lord came . . . taking the spiritual initiative against . . . despair and said, in effect, ‘Get up, and do the next thing.’ You may feel weak, inadequate, discouraged, even hopeless, but do the next thing as much as it is possible for you. In every small way you are able to do this, God will meet you there.

So, thank you Holly Rowe for the reminder to keep showing up.

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

So grateful for all God is doing with Faith in the Fashion District--how one woman's life on Seventh Avenue launched a lifetime in ministry. If you don't have a copy  or need one for a gift, HERE. 

The Key to Everything has just released as an ebook. Available HERE.
A key can open more than a door. 

A story of forgiveness.  



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