In middle school and high school, I started struggling internally with thoughts of sin and other faith issues. Having grown up in a Christian household, I thought, maybe I’ll ask God for help. Maybe I’ll try this God thing. God saved me during that time and my relationship with Him grew from there.
When I started college at the University of Florida, I was tested with the whole leaving-home-and-making-my-own-decisions thing. I had to make the choice of who I wanted to be. As a college athlete, you have to put everything into your sport and I struggled with how to stay rooted in the Lord. But the Lord brought revelation to me and He brought people alongside me to mentor me. This is where I first learned that I could use my sport as part of my walk with the Lord; I could actually minister to others through softball! That was the jumpstart to how I live my life today.
“Everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.” — Isaiah 43:7
When I was a freshman at Florida, I kept asking myself the question, “What is my purpose?” I clung to this verse and the fact that we are created for His glory. From that point on I’m always trying to find ways to be a light to others in softball. This has nothing to do with my success as a player but it does have to do with what kind of a teammate and person I am.
In softball, like baseball, we all get to choose a walk-up song. Since I want to be true to who I am, I choose an upbeat Christian worship song, one that I would listen to before a game. It’s not typical, but it’s true to who I am. I’ve had people come up to me and say that this meant a lot to them. This is only one of the many small ways we can choose to glorify God in our lives and sport.
Without Christ in my life, I wouldn’t be on the national team. There have been so many things throughout my softball career that are unexplainable apart from God. I was never recruited to play in college and I never pushed myself hard enough to think about playing for the USA team. It was the hand of God pushing me along to put me exactly where He wanted me to be.
If I didn’t have Him in my life today, I think I would be so overwhelmed with the pressures and constant comparisons that you face as a professional softball player. Mentally, that can be hard to deal with, but I am able to find freedom from this in Christ. So instead of worrying about people’s comparisons, my finances, or how others expect an elite athlete to live, the Lord gives me peace and freedom because I know He’ll always make a way — His way.
— Michelle Moultrie, USA Women’s Softball outfielder