During the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament every year, one friend of mine will do two bracket predictions. One she takes incredibly serious and really considers all of the legitimate factors in deciding who will be the most likely to win within each match up. The other, she does based solely on which mascot would win if they were the ones to face off or even which jersey she likes better, claiming “the jersey makes the team”. She asked me last season, if I ever had a team, what my jersey would look like. To which I had to say, “Umm…. have we met?!? Clearly, either hot pink/black and sparkly or light brown and teal.”
I was reminded of that conversation when I recently got challenged, by a different friend, to discern who is truly on Team Stephanie and to surround myself with those people. He was blunt enough to remind me that we aren’t supposed to get through life’s challenges on our own. He reminded me that God put us in community with each other on purpose and that I needed to learn to lean on others better. He reminded me that I did need to be wise about how I did that though; even Jesus narrowed down who got to be closest to him in his darkest hours. But to be willing to let Team Stephanie stand in the gaps for me right now as I walk through this hazy mist. He reminded me that those on Team Stephanie are always going to be willing to speak my love language when I need them to, I won’t have to tell them that I need them to, that they’ll wear the hot pink jersey even when they hate pink, and that it’s okay to send them to bat while I sit this inning out. I thought I kind of already knew who was on Team Stephanie, but I took his challenge seriously (I’ve learned to always take him seriously) and have done some re-evaluating these past couple of weeks. I’ve learned a lot!
Today, I got a text from another really good friend of mine (who has vocally been Team Stephanie for a while now) that ended with “just breathe and let your team take over for now”. So, I’m trying to choose to do just that. I have a feeling it’s not going to be easy for me to do, because I don’t tend to ask for help very well. Plus, I’m not always the easiest person to love. I have it in me to be pretty high maintenance and hard to get along with. So, with that disclaimer in mind– you can decide if you still want to be on Team Stephanie or not. No hard feelings if you opt out. I’ll try to give nothing but grace in return. Besides, the jersey IS kinda girly…
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)