“It’s ridiculous that you continually are allowed to miss school for basketball. Only 3 percent of athletes get to play in college on a full ride scholarship. Your chances are slim, you should focus on your studies” I remember those words from my 7th grade teacher to the class, like it was yesterday. I remember sitting there thinking I will prove you wrong, weeks before I received my first scholarship offer. I heard his voice again the day I was able to choose from over 75 schools, all of which would pay for my education. I did it, I proved him wrong. I beat the odds and I was on my way. As I reflect back on the things that have motivated me over the years, often it has been the nay sayers. The “wise”, know it all people who have a say about everything. The people who think they know best, and will point to a million reasons why they are right. Now hear me well, it’s important to have voices in your life that don’t always agree with you. However, at the end of the day if His voice is not the one you are following you are in danger. Be willing to be obedient, no matter the cost (and sometimes it feels like a huge cost). I hear the nay sayers loud and clear again. Many mean well, some are fearful, others are just unsure a blackish, 28 year old, woman can do it. While many won’t say the last part, it’s the elephant in the room. Only this time I hear God telling me, it’s not healthy to be motivated to prove people wrong. So I hesitated to hit send on this. It’s often difficult to discern tone in an email, but know I share this out of love and trust of our Hope Street family. I don’t want to be stuck in the rut of proving my worth. I want to live in the truth that I am loved because of who created me. I want to keep my ear close enough to the ground to discern and follow His will. Then I can rest assured knowing no matter how big or small, safe or crazy, known or unknown the next steps are.. they will be His steps and I will have the grace I need to enter in. That’s my prayer, that each of us would be willing to obediently take the next step. No matter how inconvenient or scary it may seem. That our motivation would be because He said so, not in spite of what they say. Amen.