can I be honest with you guys?
Well, I’m not going to lie, since graduating college in 2013, there have been times I wanted to just to give up on my passion in journalism. I was sick of being stuck. I was tired of rejection and failing. I hated hearing jobs say we are going in another direction or jobs not even taking time to call me back. I became frustrated, worried, stressed, and angry. I admit I even doubted God at times. Which is silly because God will never give up on us. So, why give up on him?
And in this time, I realized a few things. Success drives us and we want to be happy. We want what the world wants. We see others getting jobs, or married, and want what they have. It happened to me. Since, then, I’ve had to swallow my own pride and admit my selfishness. I have to choose to be happy for others. God wants us to love our neighbors. While I’m being happy for my loved ones, I have to trust that God will work things out according to his plan in his timing. After all, true happiness is found in Him. Happiness isn’t found in the world’s stuff. It’s all temporary. God’s happiness is eternal.
The other thing is since I accepted a full-time job as a sports writer, God’s stretching my comfort zone. I’ve moved away from what’s comfortable, and have taken a risk. I admit I’ve become homesick. I say this – it’s okay to miss that. I wish there was a way of knowing you were in the good ol’ days before you left them. (Thanks Andy Bernard and the Office). However, I needed this. I needed to get out the boat and risk the ocean. I needed to think on my own, learn new skills, and learn how to talk and meet new people.
I have to say, it’s hard living in a town alone. I work nights and have to find stuff to do while everyone is at work during the day.
This I do know, though. In the year 2014, God’s given me an overwhelming peace from his Spirit. I ask his Spirit to fall on me, and I can feel his presence. It’s the best feeling I’ve ever felt. Control isn’t mine. It’s his. It’s his plan for my life. I trust him and have surrendered all of me. All of my doubts, worries, stresses, and insecurities. He’s given me a song to sing, ‘O Lord, how I need you. I come, confess. Bowing here I find my rest. Without you I fall apart. You’re the one that guides my heart. Lord, I need you. Every hour I need you.’ (Matt Maher)
So, I want to thank God for teaching me these lessons.
Moses said, ‘should I go?’ God said, ‘I will be with you.’ God made Gideon a warrior. God chose David, a Shepard, to kill Goliath with a slingshot. God called Samuel three times before he finally got up and said, ‘speak now, for your servant is listening’ (1 Samuel 3).
I think (not because that’s my name), but I relate to Samuel the most. God’s always been in my life, and I’ve had struggled with a lot of things. I don’t always listen, but now, I am. I’m listening, recognizing, and responding to God’s voice. I’ve heard him say this many times this year:
Sam, be patient. I will work out all things in my timing. I have a plan. It’s going to be really good. Trust me. Give me control. I’m your everything.
I did. Finally. I said all I am is yours. So, I think his call on my life right now at age 23 is to listen, wait. Then, he told me to keep applying for jobs. Because I was confident in him, they offered me a job. And I took it because God wanted to me take a risk.
That was hard for me because I’m not much of a risk taker. I get afraid to try new things and to change. I’m an introvert. I’ve let doubt, worry, stress, and insecurities affect my thinking. I wasn’t happy when I was cut from my high school basketball team because I was too small. I also hated being picked last in sports. I used to let germs control me. I used to exercise because I didn’t like the way I looked. I didn’t like to fail.
I had to realize I will fail. & I love these quotes:
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. -Michael Jordan
I going to learn from my failures, just like MJ, or Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec.
There’s no shame in failure if you give an honest effort. – Ron Swanson
I am going to succeed because I’m not going to give up. I’m not going to give up on God’s plan for my life. God created me in his image and for his purpose. I had to get that in my head and trust he was going to work out all things according to his plan and purpose.
And it’s okay to wait, as Habakkuk 2:3 taught me:
This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.” (NLT)
I’m thankful I have moved away and accepted a new opportunity. It’s been tough trying to go to a game, then taking notes and photos. I’ve had to learn how to multitask. To introduce myself to people, coaches and athletes that don’t know me. I had to learn how to be confident in myself. I knew I could because God was by my side.
God’s carried me all my life so far, and he’s not going to quit now as I’m embarking on this new adventure. He’s not going to abandon me. He’s told me to trust him wherever he takes me. He’s told me that I am good enough because his grace was good enough for me. He showed me that he won’t stop loving me. Ever.
God’s been working on me, mightily. I couldn’t be more happy. A lot of it is because of the people I surround myself with. I’ve been going to the Ransom Church for awhile, but have served there for over a year now. God showed me that people care about each other there. They care as a church family, and as a community to save the broken. So, I found a place to use my talents in the tech booth, and got involved in a small group. Its rocked my socks off.
Next, really my family, friends, mentors and work have been amazing. My parents instilled my faith in me, and told me to never give up on my dream even though it will take struggles. My friends have never stopped encouraging, caring, and loving me to death (& I love them to death!). My mentors knew that the strongest part of me was my faith and it was going to lead me to pursue my dream. They were right, and their words of wisdom I will take with me everywhere I go. My part-time jobs in the media have taught me to listen, to be confident in what I know how to do, and to never stop chasing dreams. I worked a lot of late nights, and long days, and the experiences I will hold onto. The people in Sioux Falls sports media truly care. They are all competing, but when we are on the same sideline, there’s no rivalries. They are there to help you. Lastly, I’ve loved recognizing the hard work of athletes, coaches, and teams through stories. That was my favorite part of job. I would make interviews seem like conversations. I would talk about more than football with coaches. I would run into athletes and catch-up with them on the street. They sent thank you’s to me. I appreciated them, and they appreciated me. The feeling was sweet.
In conclusion, here’s the advice that God has told me over the last year:
Be in awe of the things God does. God has a plan, and trust it. Faith can move mountains. In every moment, God will never leave your side. God’s won’t stop carrying you. Be thankful for what you have. Don’t worry. Focus on God and let him take care of the rest. Be patient. Wait. God allows us to go through life’s troubles to make us better men and women. Be still and take a deep breath. God knows every detail of our lives. Make my relationship with God be a two-way street; listen and speak. Don’t be afraid to ask God what he thinks. God knows me better than anybody. Seek God more, and myself less.
Advice from others:
You work for opportunities, so take them, and go get them. Be confident. Just do it. Listen. Think on your own. Never stop finding ways to better yourself, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. You can do it and you will be fine, Sam. Dig deep, everybody has insecurities. Keep walking in His steps. What you want isn’t always what God wants. My agenda doesn’t matter. God’s does. Keep my mind open to His will because I will be more happy.
So, thanks guys. You mean a lot to me. I wanted to share how God’s been working me, and how much people in my life mean to me.
God is my everything. All I am is Yours, God. Love you. I care about you, and will pray for you.
(p.s. I don’t know everything. God’s still has a lot to do in me.)