Hanging up the Cleats

{The very first post I wrote explained the reason why we used “laceyvigor” in the URL. It’s because “vigor” is defined as “effort, energy, and enthusiasm.” And I said that every post would have some aspect of one or more of those three things. This particular post will mostly be about “effort” – what we’re working on, working through, and working towards. It will also be about “energy” – what, and primarily Whom, keeps us going.}

Since we’ve moved here, Tyrel has been training with the Sounders – the premier soccer team here in Seattle. He was personally invited to come on trial with the team to see if he would be a good fit for the team and vice versa. His knee has been pain-free throughout the process, and he’s been able to give 100% each day in training which is a huge blessing that we are so thankful for! (A year ago we thought he’d be battling knee pain for the rest of his life.) 

This last Saturday he was told that they were torn between signing him and another goalkeeper, but that they had ultimately chosen the other guy. Their reasoning was this: they were each equally skilled and had proven themselves well in practice, but their hesitation with signing Tyrel was the fact that he had been out of the game for the past year due to injury, whereas the other guy hadn’t. They were hesitant to write a contract for him on the basis that they were unsure as to how his knee would hold up once he began playing in frequent games at a high intensity. They communicated how disappointed they were that this particular hesitation was what it came down to. The coaches earnestly complimented Tyrel on his leadership skills, his presence both on the field and in the locker room, and how well-respected he was by the players and administration. (Things I, as his wife, love hearing and respect him tremendously for.) They asked him that while he’s in this transition of pursuing other things, if he wouldn’t mind continuing to train with them when possible because of how he raises the level of play in the game. Because he enjoys the sport and all the guys, it’s something he’ll consider doing. 

Since training with the Sounders, there have been opportunities present themselves elsewhere regarding soccer, but after praying about it so much while we were still in Norman, we knew Seattle was the place. And as we discussed it, we decided that if the Sounders didn’t sign him, this is where we’d stay. Yes, his health is great, and yes he’s still in peak form, but when I asked him why he didn’t want to continue playing and pursue the other teams that have shown interest in him, his response was “this is where we’re meant to be, Lana. And this just means that my knee can be preserved for the future when I can run around with our kids, ya know?…coaching their teams and all that fun stuff. And when we’re 60 we can still do all the active things we enjoy doing together. That’s most important to me.”

So that’s where we’re at. Now we can do some intense skiing and snow-shoeing without fear of an injury putting a halt to his career! That’s big. It really is. 

Like I said, we prayed about this decision a lot. We didn’t want to move to Seattle solely for the opportunity for Ty to play soccer, and didn’t want to make such a big decision in haste even though it seemed like the perfect situation to us both. In time, we both just felt led to move. So we did! And even to this day don’t regret it. I’m certain we’re supposed to be here. I’d be lying if I said this week has been easy, though. It’s been quite hard on us both – experiencing such an abrupt end to something we thought was just the beginning. It’s uncomfortable hovering in a state of uncertainty with regards to the future. We’re surprised, disappointed, maybe a little bit fearful, but hopeful.

Looking back on every circumstance I’ve considered “major” in the last few years that has not gone as I’d planned, there has been divine purpose behind each. For instance, getting injured my freshman year of college and having to red shirt both the cross country and track seasons…I thought I was going to die. But I didn’t die (obviously) and because I had an extra year of athletic eligibility, I met Paula Whiting who has become a very close friend whom I value tremendously. God had a plan for that to happen, and had I been able to write the story my own way, it simply wouldn’t have. Not to mention the fact that I fell in love with Tyrel a couple years before we even began dating. Had I hit puberty before my junior year of college…(just kidding…sort of…) then things would have moved way too fast and the timing would have been off. But again, if I could have had my way sooner, things would have been different, but not ideal. What I’ve learned (having been taught repeatedly by experience) is this: I have a very narrow perspective, and don’t know what is going to be best for me long-term. But God created us, created the world, is aware of every present detail, knows the emotions and happenings within our past, has an infinite knowledge of the future, and knows how every aspect of the aforementioned things are perfectly intertwined for reasons beyond our cognition.

I trust that there is a perfect purpose behind the news we received Saturday. 

So we’re working through feeling a little bummed, working toward what career Tyrel will pursue in the next few weeks, and working on trusting God throughout the process, and relying on him as our source of hope, identity, and security.

We truly are excited to experience what’s next! As for now, we’re hanging up the cleats.

…But only for a short time, until we have babies (hopefully with Tyrel’s athleticism and coordination) when we can pull the cleats back down, and have a pick-up game in the backyard with all the neighborhood kiddos. And because of my serious lack of hand-eye coordination, I’ll make lemonade or something. And pass out granola bars out of my mommy fannypack. 

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3 thoughts on “Hanging up the Cleats

  1. Karen Kennedy says:

    Lana,

    I am sorry it took me awhile to respond, but Tad and I are so very proud of you and Tyrel! I admire your maturity and awareness of God’s plan for your lives. I know God has you right where He wants you and He will provide. I love reading about your experiences; you are so eloquent and funny too!! I can’t wait to see you in the mommy fannypack (but not yet).

    We love you guys,
    Karen

  2. Vickie says:

    My sweet precious Lana, reading your words just now filled my heart with so many different emotions. It is so refreshing at your young age you can see the Lord’s handiwork in all your various trials and tribulations. It is easy to speak those words but to genuinely feel them is another deal and to read your eloquent words I know that you and Tyrel both feel them deeply. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt the Lord has a purpose and a plan for you two in Seattle. This door may have closed but you both are in a vast mission field in the Northwest! I have no doubts the Lord is going to use you in a mighty way!

    When I read the news online ( you know me…I have to keep track of my peeps!) Tuesday my heart sank but just now reading your post it is uplifted and filled with hope and expectancy for what is to come next!

    Give your sweet husband a big hug from me! Please know me Uncle Mike are praying for you both! Love you sweet one but more than that I love how you have allowed the Lord to grow you into a wonderful Godly young woman.
    Love always,
    Auntie Vickie

  3. Valerie Roach says:

    Lana and Tyrel,
    We love you both so much! You both are so wise, beyond your years! I know this has been a difficult week, but through your disappointment you show such grace and strength! We are excited for the next chapter to unfold! God had great plans for you both! You both are number one on our book, we are team Lacey!
    Love you, Aunt Val and Uncle Ron

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