The Women's World Cup has officially come to an end. I've been joking for the past few hours that if I wasn't just over a week away from going to Uganda, my summer would be ruined. Sadly, it's more truth than it is a joke.
I love watching women's soccer. I love the sport, and especially the competitive nature of the World Cup. But I think what draws me in is the team itself. These are strong women who put everything they have into what they do. With modern technology I can follow the players on twitter and facebook and the official US soccer blog, and by doing so you start to see that these aren't fame hungry girls. They're just like me or any other young woman, and so it's easy to become invested in the team itself. I've followed this team for the last 12 years. So their loss today against Japan was hard, not only because it was the World Cup but because I knew how much they wanted it.
I bought the jersey of one of my favorite players, Carli Lloyd. When I received it in the mail it looked so sharp. It had the US soccer crest against a black background. I went to turn it inside out to wash it and I noticed that on the back of that US soccer crest it had one word:
That's one of the many things that's been so great about this team. They've come together through thick and thin. They were the last to qualify. They had an uphill battle. They lost in one of their group games. When they win, they do it together. When they lose, they do it together.
So many times in life, we act like we have to go it alone. Whether we're facing difficult circumstances, or trying to accomplish a goal, our mentality becomes "I have to do this by myself. I have to go through this myself. I have to take care of this myself." But that's not how God intends for things to be. He created us to work together. We're not supposed to go it alone.
I think of this trip, and we have so many people supporting us in so many ways that even when we're facing struggles we know that we're not alone. We're doing this together. And when we can come together as God intended us to, when we have that fellowship among believers, that's when we can make the biggest difference.
The USA didn't win a World Cup trophy today, but they embodied the heart and soul of not just us as Americans, but us as people. The difference didn't come in winning when the final whistle blew. It came as they gave their all, as they played their hearts out, and as they worked together. If we as Christians can do the same thing, imagine the imact we could have.
My favorite player quote of the tournament came from a tweet by forward Lauren Cheney after the team lost to Sweden in group play a few weeks ago. She said, "So thankful our worth isn't in wins and losses. Trusting the Lord with our path." Now how awesome is that?