Monday, July 30, 2012

Dear Jordyn Wieber,

I sat on my sofa and watched a seventeen year olds dream disappear in front of a billion pairs of eyes. She had no privacy.  No place to escape from the glaring flashes coming from cameras.  I wondered what she was thinking and yet anyone watching would not have to wonder much, as you could see the agony, disappointment and anguish that Jordyn Wieber exuded from her tiny, yet muscular frame.  Did anyone else want to jump through their “telly” and usher her to a place where she could just break loose into the ugly cry? Did anyone else want to tell her it is okay to yell, “It’s bloody unfair?”  (Do you like my little shout out’s to the British language?) I wanted her to have a moment alone   that would help alleviate the shock of what some news channels called “failure?” 
Jordyn devoted her entire life to the sport of gymnastics.  Not only did Jordyn sacrifice “normal,” but so did her family.  The hundreds of thousands of dollars that had been spent on her training and left many around the world saying, “For what?”  What happens when reality does not meet your expectations?  So Jordyn, this is for you.

Dear Shining Star,

Today I woke up with you on my mind.  My heart hurt for you as I know you are in pain.  You are 17 years old and Abba wrote a song about you.  I’m sure you probably have no idea who Abba is nor do you know what song I am referring too.  When you are finished reading this, go get on your iTunes and download Dancing Queen and eat a cookie.  You deserve a cookie, sweet girl.  AND after so much intense practice, you should get to dance to Abba and be 17 years old.  Reality is that you want to be 17 and an all-around gold medalist.  I have no answers for you as to why it didn’t happen.  In a “fair” world, it would have, but you and me…..well, we do not live in a “fair” world.  Which leaves you trying to scramble, put on a brave face, and still compete in the midst of your grief.

If I were in London today, I would take you for fish and chips and ask you, “What do you think God is up to here?”  You might want to toss your chips in my face, and that would be okay.  I have no idea if you have a relationship with Jesus or if you are angry with Him or if you even believe in God.  However, just for a minute, would you consider what could be going on in your inner world?? Could your disappointment be an invitation to something greater than a gold medal?  Reality did not meet expectation. So where do you go from here?  A lot of people will want you to be okay right away.  They will want you to be okay so they can feel okay.  Girl, just ignore that.  Feel the freedom to grieve over your disappointment.  Also, many will try and give you lots of platitudes and cliches’….they so want to help, but again, you might want to punch them in the schnoz.  Are people already pressuring you for a decision about 2016?  Give yourself some time.  Ask yourself if there are other dreams deep down in that 17 year old heart of yours that are screaming for some space to be explored and developed.  Maybe your dream is Rio, but for now, let your mask drop.  Go there with the Lord.  You will find him in the disappointment.  He certainly knows about disappointment and loss and grief.  He can handle yours.  He can give you direction, perspective all while being able to handle your anger, sadness, and questions.  You might be met with silence to some of your questions, but some things can only be answered in time, and even then, some things can never be answered this side of Heaven, my friend. 

     I pray that as you are walking down the street in London tonight, that Abba begins to play in the background.  Not just the musical group, Abba, but the Father God, Abba.  Cheesy, I know, but it is true.  Press in and cling, Jordyn.  He’s got your back.  So know that as the world is watching you this week that you have at least one fan who is cheering you on to a deeper journey….without a mask.  Go gettem!


Chad McGhee said...

You're so cool

Anonymous said...

Beth, your letter to Jordan is absolutely beautiful. I also have been thinking about Jordan, and pray that Yahweh will answer her questions and show her the next step she should take. Jordan," only be strong and courageous and do not let The Book of The Torah leave your mouth. Meditate on it day and night, in order to guard the commands. Then you will make your way prosperous and act wisely wherever you go."(Joshua 1vs 8). Your hard work will not go in vain!!!


Nicole Ouwenga-Scott said...

Very sweet letter, Beth...

Shelley said...

Awesome Beth. Such a sweet and true letter. 17 is so young for such a public disappointment, especially without Jesus' comfort.

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