My big girl had her last basketball game today.
It was a great season.
She met new friends and loved getting to know them.
She had two fantastic coaches who got to know her as a person and helped her develop good skills for basketball and life.
She ran around a lot, made a lot of good passes, scored a fair number of points.
And her team lost almost every game.
It was, by the numbers, a losing season.
My big girl is competitive like her mama.
We don’t like to try things if we think we can’t master them.
We are still working on losing gracefully.
It’s been a rough school year for me.
If I rated each day as a win or a loss, it would, without a doubt, be a losing season for me too.
Can I be honest for a second?
I hate this.
It’s easy for me to tell my big girl that basketball is not that serious.
That I love her just the same when her team wins and when they lose.
And still I hate to lose.
I struggle not to let my self-worth get tangled up with what feels like a spectacularly terrible performance.
Friend, if you too are in a losing season, here’s what I want you to know.
What I want my sweet big girl to know.
What I want to know, deep in my bones.
Your performance does not impact your worth.
What you do is not who you are.
You are loved. Deeply, passionately loved.
If you are winning at basketball, at teaching, at Christian-ing, at life, you are loved.
If you are putting up a spectacularly terrible performance, you are loved.
Settle down into your true identity, Loved One.
Slip into it like a pair of comfy pajamas.
Wrap it around you like a suit of armor if you must.
And then get back out there—you’ve got a game to finish.