As a young kid, I dreamed about playing soccer at the pro level. When I got to Oklahoma State, I had to go through quite an adjustment to the new level of play and responsibilities; I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to continue playing the game I loved. Like every other student, I was trying to figure out what I was called to do.
But my junior and senior years proved to be really successful on the field, and I found my love for the game again. I decided at that point to be all in. But I didn’t want to put myself up for a draft, with the chance of being subjected to a practice squad. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and take a leap of faith. I wanted to make a big impact wherever I went — on a bigger stage. This led me to look for teams I could play for abroad. I didn’t have a ton of luck at first, which was frustrating. I thought this was what I was supposed to do! I felt like a sitting duck, just waiting.
This whole last year was one big question mark. I think every college senior goes through that, whether they’re deciding about a job, where to live, relationships or something else. I didn’t understand why I had no answers. I’ve always been a natural worrier.
This process of waiting and trusting was really good for me. It changed the way I chose to lean on the Lord and His plan for me. When I finally did get a call, I found myself with the opportunity to have a trial in France the very next week. Like any athlete, I had to decide what sacrifices I was willing to make.
The next week, I was headed to the airport, with all my family and close friends in tow. At the airport, my best friend, Claire — someone who really helps me lean on the Lord and focus on what’s important — prayed over me. Surrounded by my family and friends, it was the first time I had been prayed for in public like that.
Suddenly, my fear and worry were gone. Instead, I felt excited. I knew that this is where I was meant to be, that God has a plan for this. As I walked on that plane, I never felt more ready. Yes, there were still a lot of things up in the air. Making the adjustment to living in a new country, with a new language I don’t speak, and a new community with people from different backgrounds and beliefs, is not easy. But I feel so confident that I’m in the middle of God’s will for me.
My faith and confidence in the Lord took a huge jump this year. But I wouldn’t have experienced that unless I decided to give everything up, laying it at His feet so He could do a work in my life.
— Anna Beffer, pro soccer player for AS Pierrots Vauban in France
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos