When I first learned about Team, I was not all that excited about it, but I couldn’t help but theorize how the principles that Orrin Woodward shared were so parallel to everything I already pursued. My prayer is that the analogies explained will give you a clearer explanation to understanding why LIFE is a worthy victory for you.

Sports teach us a lot about life. When I first started playing basketball as a little kid, I would dream of one day being able to play in high school. As I got a little older my dream of playing in high school came true. In fact, I started on Varsity as a sophomore and played quite a bit the rest of my high school career. I was blessed to have a personal trainer who actually used to work for the Chicago Bulls. I also linked up with an AAU team that my mentor in Team Dave Chatmon coached at the time and played Spring/Summer ball for four years with the Kenosha Wildcats. We would sometimes play 75-80 games in a summer.  I was sent to play in Australia and New Zealand my senior year of HS and our AAU team even went to Maui, Hawaii to play in a World youth tournament. During that period I then dreamed of playing in college. I developed a passion for the sport. It was my whole life. The dream of playing in college eventually was a reality where four years I committed to my eligibility in the program. As I look back, everything I dreamed that would happen from the time I was 6 years old came true. However, that dream did not come without a fight.

The 16 years I dedicated to this one sport had to be the most emotionally and physically demanding times of my life. What looked like a dream as a child definitely did not come without a fight. I struggled with the frustration of personal growth in my skills, the emotional battle of working my butt off and sometimes not being able to play, the off season workouts sometimes several hours a day in the weight room, running hills, bleachers, ect, tearing my ACL and then having 3 more knee surgeries after that, I remember going to practices sometimes knowing we wouldn’t even be picking up a ball… only running until we puked, the late nights of being on the bus, sprained ankles, bruised knees, gut checks. I can’t even count the amount of times on my fingers and my toes that I wanted to give up. I could quit, but here’s the thing, I loved the battlefield. In fact, I welcomed the struggle. There was something about persisting through the ridiculous pain I sometimes faced in that sport. In the end, as I reflect on that career, I can’t help but realize how impactful those years were and how I would never trade it for anything in the world! The victory was sweet, nonetheless.

I give that analogy because dream, struggle, victory is the end of every story; whether it’s sports, it’s work, it’s relationships or it’s your life. When I started in the Team, I had some lofty dreams. I wanted to buy a house, pay off all my student loans and be debt free, have money in a savings, retire by the time I as 30, meet the man of my dreams, build a log cabin on the lake, have a bunch of kids, be a snow bird in the winter, travel to every country in Europe, serve and do mission work overseas… I could keep going. But I already knew that none of those dreams would come true if I didn’t commit to them and didn’t welcome the struggle. The question I first had to ask myself was, am I willing to persist through the pain in order to have the victory? It wasn’t an easy decision; most things we do that follow this process are never easy decisions. But just as when I started basketball as a young child, I went on blind faith that my dreams would come true and I made the commitment to do whatever it takes.

Victory awaits in the LIFE business. As I have gone through the many struggles present in our profession (and will continue to go through), I can’t help but realize that we will go through these struggles no matter what we decide to do with our life. In fact, the struggle here is more in our own thinking and our ability to love people than it is anything else. When you get in the hearts of people’s lives, it is not an easy task to endure. There were many times in the early days that I wanted to quit, but again, I loved the battlefield. And the battlefield wasn’t necessarily the people, it was my own thinking and my surroundings. As Terri Brady once said, “the struggle is just the seasoning that makes the victory taste sweet.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Nothing great ever comes without a fight; without some sort of struggle. If you expect great things to be easy, you will be sadly mistaken. Nothing in life worthwhile is easy.

Since I started with Team, several dreams have already become victories due to persisting through the struggles it took to get there. In fact, the first four dreams listed above are currently a reality. This will happen for you as long as you stay committed and welcome the struggle. As this journey continues, I have realized that the struggles will continue to pour in, but it’s worth it. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “…my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…” My passion for this sport was developed in the struggle. I fell in love with this when it was the toughest. My commitment grew through the persistence of overcoming. Basketball was my passion for 16 years but I appreciate now that this business is my passion for life. It will be the journey I pursue until I lay my head to rest.

The LIFE business is all about LIFE!! It is about having your victory in the end, whatever it is that you see. It is about leaving it all on the battlefield with no regrets. So many people sit and wallow in the struggle their entire life without ever getting their victory. LIFE is about unlimited victories, get yours!

Blessings, Kristen