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Op-Ed Column

Kaitlyn Amos: Women, Soccer, and Faith

by David Yeagley · October 2, 2010 · 9 Comments · has always been a great fan of soccer, and has tried to give attention to women’s soccer. The following story is an account a young college woman’s love of soccer, but an even more important account of her faith–when the game was taken away from her.

What do you do when God says “No”? And not just any “no,” but the kind of “no” that destroys your life dreams—dreams you prayed about, set your heart on, and gave it everything you had.

Kaitlyn Amos did more than most, even more than those who don’t turn their back on faith. She stayed in the realm of her life love, soccer, even though she would never be able to become the great player she dreamed of. She didn’t run away from sports, even after a crushing disappointment. Many people have to change careers to avoid a sense of the disappointment. Kaitlyn seems to have shown even more love for soccer, and for all her teammates and coaches.

Kaitlyn’s story, “Bearing Through” was published in Sharing the Victory Magazine (June/July, 2010), one several significant efforts of The Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Rightly so did they let Kaitlyn share the pristine beauty of her simple, innocent, unrelenting faith.

She dreamed of playing soccer for Baylor University since she was a child. She tells of her family’s faith and her desire to go to a Christian university. It was not by any means an easy path, but one which seemed perfectly tailored to suit Kaitlyn’s spiritual development and sincerity of purpose. It all fell into place, and she committed to play for Baylor in February, 2006.

She broke her collar bone just before her first season for the Green and Gold.

She had a hard go of it, and did not play that first season, or even travel with the team. She also had trouble even meeting the fitness standards. This all came as a jolting surprise, but, Kaitlyn stayed determined to be a success. And even in that first year, her motivations began to evolve—from personal ambition to a simple and deep love for her team and teammates.

Kaitlyn Amos, playing for
Baylor University, 2006.

But Kaitlyn obviously had questions about the divine plan in her personal life. How could she be of any use to the team if she couldn’t play? Why would they even want her around? There were profound considerations for a young college freshman.

Things got worse. In the spring season, she simply could not meet the physical tests. Something was wrong. It was as if her soccer playing talent was being taken from her. Her teammates were openly worried to see her on the field. This was inexpressibly crushing. Yet, Kaitlyn never wavered in her faith. It was a suspended quandary, the kind that drive most people to a different field of interest.

The next season, Kaitlyn played a bit, but in the second half of the game, she tore her right ACL As if that weren’t enough disappointment, she was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. This is why should could never make the top physical tests on the field. Her body would simply shut down at a certain point of exertion. It was a wonder she was playing at all. The torn ACL was like a heads up, to prepare her for the revelation of her heart condition. If she hadn’t suffered the torn knee ligament, she might have killed herself by over-exertion on the field.

Kaitlyn, after the ACL tear.

In effect, the Good Lord saved Kaitlyn’s life. It was an agonizing, heart-breaking “No” to her personal ambitions, for which she had prayed about for years, but it was a life-saving “Yes” to the person of Kaitlyn Amos, and to the celebration of God’s will in her personal experience.

We can never see it at the time, but, that’s why we are called trust. God can see things we can’t. We run against Him without even knowing it. But He deals with us, just the same. He doesn’t change everything to suit our personal fancy, but He always has the best interests in mind for those that love Him. That interest is ours to learn. The faithful at least try to learn.

Kaitlyn became a wonderful Christian friend to all her teammates, and thus a most integral part of the team. She traveled with them, prayed with them, and was definitely ‘one of them,’ even though she simply couldn’t play. The NCAA honored her scholarship, and she still wore the Green and Gold jersey.

Kaitlyn did not run from soccer, as though it were a bad memory, or a deep scar. It was like a token of spiritual development. Through this circumstance she was led to understanding and faith. Therefore, she loved soccer the more. This is truly the finest, noblest way to deal with suffering and disappointment. Most of us find it easier to turn away and find something different. Kaitlyn was true to what she loved, and true to her Lord, both. Top performance, indeed.

Posted by David Yeagley · October 2, 2010 · 8:10 pm CT · ·

Tags: Christianity · Health · Op-Ed Columns · Religion · Sports · Women

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9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Pat // Oct 2, 2010 at 8:53 pm   

    Great article!

    3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

    4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

    5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

    Romans 5:3-5

  • 2 Pamela K. // Oct 2, 2010 at 9:02 pm   

    Although it is a shame that she can no longer play soccer, I am sure God has something better planned for Kaitlyn’s life. He always has the better plan. We just have to trust Him. It’s funny how by tearing her ligament, her heart condition was revealed. Reading the symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy it definitely saved her life.
    I know all about strange heart conditions. I use to suffer from attacks of superventricular tachtycardia. I don’t know why I began having these attacks in my late twenties. I do know that when I would have an attack, the first thing I would think is that I was going to die. The best way to describe this condition is that if felt like my heart had suddenly become an outboard motor. One minute I was fine, the next minute my heart rate jumped to 260. Sometimes if I could make myself cough hard enough I could get it to stop and return to normal but that did not always work, especially once the fear set in. I would have to make a trip to the hospital where I was treated with a medicine called Adenosine, which would actually stop my heart for a ninth of a second and then restart it again. My condition grew worse (I would feel like I was going to pass out during an attack) so in 2005 I had a procedure called a cardio ablation. My cardiologist used a laser to burn out the extra electrical pathway in my heart that triggered these attacks. I have not had any more attacks since then, Thank God! This is a condition I would not wish on my worst enemy, even if I had a worst enemy.

  • 3 David Yeagley // Oct 3, 2010 at 9:19 am   

    It seems that the trends of life, the things that we do in this world, are all casings, trappings. The meat, the spirituality, is behind the scene–and yet manifested directly in the scene.

    It seems to me that Kaitlyn was in touch with the unseen. And, when you read her own story (“Breaking Through”), you can see that her parents were loving Christians, too. That is a big help! But, still, the experience was hers. She had to face it, individually.

    It just struck me as a terrific testimony. I know there must be many such, but, they do have to be told, if others are to know about them.

  • 4 David Yeagley // Oct 3, 2010 at 9:22 am   

    And here’s some other Oklahoma women’s soccer news!

    OCU Women Shut Out Texas Wesleyan, 2-0
    “OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City University women’s soccer team notched its second shutout of the week 2-0 over Texas Wesleyan on Saturday at Stars Field.
    The Stars (4-2) gave goalkeeper Brittany Tibbs, a senior from Kansas City, Mo., her third shutout of the season and her 29th of her OCU career.
    OCU coach Brian Harvey is pleased with the continued success of a stalwart defense.
    “It was a good win in terms of we won earlier in the week 4-0 against Southwestern Oklahoma State, and then again another shutout so I’m pleased with the shutouts at the moment,” Harvey said.”

    Blerta Rashica [white jersey] earned her fourth goal of the season in the 2-0 victory.

  • 5 Thrasymachus // Oct 3, 2010 at 2:51 pm   

    VERY inspiring account.

    Such a fine-looking young woman!

    “It was a suspended quandary, the kind that drive most people to a different field of interest.”

    Well put! This choice of words reveals a wide understanding of the human condition.

    This had to be a profound experience for Kaitlyn. No personal triumph-glory for her on the field, but great glory and honor going to the Lord. God moves in mysterious ways indeed!

  • 6 David Yeagley // Oct 3, 2010 at 9:06 pm   

    “Great glory and honor in going to the Lord.”

    Now, that really is well put. To humble ourselves before the Lord–in the eyes of our peers, is, in fact, the greatest honor possible. We honor ourselves when we take His name, in sincerety, humility, and honest, willing recognition of our own need.

    I am given to understand, however, that we can’t or won’t even do this, unless His Spirit has already worked upon our hearts.

  • 7 hulagirl // Oct 4, 2010 at 12:33 am   

    When you love something and you’re talented at it, it’s hard not to see it as a “punishment” when it’s taken away from you by illness or injury. And then to accept it graciously is truly a blessing for her and others…….I’ll have to read it and see how she did it, I’m a Christian but bitter and wanting to give up at my losses, rather than overcoming in any way!

  • 8 Pamela K. // Oct 4, 2010 at 7:21 am   

    True contentment in life comes when when we want God’s will more than our own way. Genesis 13:10-11 reveals the choice Lot made concerning the selfish desires of his heart.
    “And Lot looked and saw that everywhere the Jordan Valley was well-watered. Before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, it was all like the garden of the Lord.” Genesis 13:10
    The Jordan Valley with it’s fertile soil and abundant flow of water seemed like paradise for Lot and his family. But the land in which he chose to settle was also a land full of human wickedness. “The men of Sodom were wicked and exceedingly great sinners against the Lord.”(v.13).
    Lot’s desire to be self-sufficient apart from God would cause him to be deceived by what he saw, and cause him to stumble into heartache and judgment.

    Meanwhile, Abram was content to allow God choose for him. In Genesis Chapter 12, In obedience to the Lord’s instructions, Abram had already surrendered control over his life to God by leaving the pagan culture of Ur of the Chaldees, the land of his fathers, and departing for the “land that I will show you.” By allowing God to choose his destination, Abram, who later became Abraham, also entrusted to the Lord the details of that destination.
    “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name famous and distinguished and you will be a blessing to others.” Genesis 12:2

  • 9 David Yeagley // Oct 4, 2010 at 7:54 am   

    And so it appears. Following the Lord seems to mean we initially take a back seat. Most of us, anyway.

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