I’m learning just how important it is to first prioritize my relationship with Jesus every day. Everything else can flow from that. When I don’t connect with God each day, I definitely notice. Especially in season, I lose my perspective. Suddenly my at-bats are a way bigger deal, I’m not as patient with those around me, and I forget why I’m doing what I’m doing. It’s exhausting!
But when I invite Jesus along with me daily, my perspective shifts off of myself and onto Him. I can be a light to others; it’s a natural overflow from the light Christ gives me.
Even when I invite Jesus into my everyday, it’s still a constant battle to keep Him first. God’s created me to have a passion for softball, He wants me to care about it so I can put in the extra work it requires to be great. But the enemy wants me to take it to an unhealthy level of priority in my life. I constantly have to fight to keep the right perspective of why I’m playing this game.
I never thought I would be on the USA team. It wasn’t a dream of mine growing up simply because I didn’t think I was capable of it. But in college, my career took off. That was all God. He didn’t have to give me this amazing opportunity, putting me in this place at this time, but He did. That’s what drives me now.
He really does have me here for a reason and He has entrusted me with this platform. This pushes me to be my best both in season and offseason. When I try to do it all for my glory and my success, I get worn out. When I’m working because I know God’s given me this gift and I can be a tool for His Kingdom, I can push myself to go even further than I ever imagined. And in the moments when I don’t feel motivated to push, I ask God, “If this is where You want me, put a fire in me to work hard and get after it.” He answers every time.
It’s so humbling and much more enjoyable to go out there and play when I know it’s not all for me, it’s for Him.
“But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” — Matthew 6:33
— Janie Reed, USA Women’s Softball outfielder
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.