IMG_3084I remember wanting more in high school. I remember feeling the kind of courage that burns for a challenge to meet. It wasn’t a challenge for me to keep my distance from drugs and alcohol; they did not interest me. But people kept saying, “Just say no,” as if that were my sole objective. Why is NO the only goal we set for students, sometimes? NO is not much of a battle cry.

At the end of last year, I decided to offer some girls the opportunity that I had desired at that age: less NO, more YES.

Less reading about faith and more acting in faith.

“A faith team,” I said. “That’s what it would be! Not a typical Bible study, but a faith team. They would be group of girls who meet regularly, like basketball players who huddle up and then break so they can get out there and play.”

I prayed. I thought of a few freshman girls. I fought the nagging terror that all of them would laugh at me and my lame idea. I wrote a letter. I printed it. I tore it up. I deleted it. I Control-Z’d it. I printed it.

I sent it.

Dear __________,

I am writing to you because something great is stirring in my heart, and I want you to be on my team. I do not know what God is going to do with it, but that is the exciting part! Here is what I do know:

When I look at you, I see a point guard.

I think I can recognize that in you because I am a point guard, too. When I was young, God passed me the ball, and He kept opening the lane for me to take shot after shot. I guess “opening the lane” represents arranging the circumstances in my life, and a “shot” represents doing something based only on faith that God would show up. Throughout my life, He would call the play, and I would run it and shoot. It hasn’t been easy, but I have loved every second I’ve been in the game.

Recently, I started praying about the possibility of coaching and cheering for other key players, and you came to my mind.

Here is my dream: I would like to be your biggest fan for one year.

Here is how it would look: I would like to invite you to come to my house for dinner once a month, beginning in January 2014 and ending in December 2014. While we eat, I want to hear all about what is going on in your lives! I will commit to praying for you every day this year, so our monthly dinners will be a time when you can tell me about people or situations you would like me to keep covered until the next month. Can you imagine how much better and more powerful your year will be when you have one extra person praying for and cheering for you?

One more thing: I also will give you one small challenge every month that is designed to encourage you and build your faith. You may be thinking, “Great, that’s easy for you, but scary for me!” I promise, you can trust me! And I will be doing each challenge too. This will be fun! Are you ready?

If you can come to my house for dinner on January 11, 2014 at 6:30, then text me to let me know you’re in.

Faith-building takes a lot of courage, and I realize that this letter already may feel way out of your comfort zone. Know this: that sensation of being kinda-excited-and-kinda-afraid is usually what it feels like when God has called a play. You are already in the game.

Take the shot.  

I was excited when they texted “yes,” but on the day of the dinner, I still wasn’t confident anyone would want to come. Preparing myself for disappointment, I bought chicken fajitas and a gallon of sweet tea from Rosa’s, set the table, and then waited for the doorbell.

No one was more surprised than I was when … the Point Guards actually came.

Jump ball.

TO BE CONTINUED …

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