by guest blogger Kayla West
My husband, Sean, was called up to the big leagues for the very first time in May 2009. We weren’t yet married but living together. Sean came from a religious upbringing, me, not so much. I always believed in God and Jesus, but that was the extent of my Christian life. Within the first week of Sean playing in the majors, I met some really nice wives,one even invited me to attend their very first bible study of the season. I was shocked. She knew Sean and I were living in sin, right? I was confused as to why I was being invited but being the social butterfly that I am, I didn’t want to miss out on a get together – especially one that included food!
I didn’t have any expectations for this Marlins wives bible study. To be completely honest, I didn’t even think about the actual ‘studying of the bible’ part. I was just excited to hang out with my new friends. When I walked in to the room where the study was held, I was greeted by the sweetest woman I have ever met. She introduced herself as Wendy, wife of the team chaplain. She would be leadingthe studies. I was immediately drawn to her and wanted to know her secret. Why was she so joyful and peaceful and calm and loving and accepting? She handed out the book we would be studying, “Loving Your Husband”. Again, these women knew I was living in sin, correct? I sat quietly in my chair and listened to the study go on. I was so intrigued by what I was hearing. I never knew that marriage was a gift. I never knew the extent of God’s love. Honestly, I knew very little about the bible in general, I wanted to know more. The following week, I attended again andWendy had bought me a bible- because this adulteressobviously didn’t travel with one!
Accept him whose faith is weak, without
passing judgment on disputable matters.
In the middle of the season, Sean had been sent back down to the minor leagues. The night he got the news he’d be going down, we were devastated. Shortly after he received the news, I received a text from that sweet girl who had invited me to bible study. Her short message included this:In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps –Proverbs 16:9. Wow. That struck me. For the first time in my life, a bible verse brought me peace. It also happens to be the very first bible verse I would ever memorize. In fact, anytime a baseball friend has a struggle, I send that verse to them because it was such a blessing to me. It’s a verse that I’ve needed to cling to through this crazy baseball life. Two and a half weeks later, Sean was called back up to the big leagues and I dove back in to the studies.
I looked forward to bible study and learning all about a Godly marriage. I remember Wendy telling me that she loved the excitement I had to hear about the Lord, that it excited her. I really was excited every week and still amevery time I learn something new. The season came to an end and I was on my own to build my
relationship with Him. Sadly, I wasn’t very diligent on my own. The following season, my faith grew through more of Wendy’s bible studies. She planted a seed in me that took some time to bloom but it finally blossomed. I was so drawn to Wendy because she displayed the fruits of the spirit- that was her secret! Jesus was her secret! Over two seasons I watched these women cling to the Word and apply it to their lives. Through these newfound baseball friends I found strength and humility in our Savior.
Because of the sweet girl who invited me to bible study,sweet Wendy, the awesome group of Marlins girls just loving on me and teaching me what they all knew, I am able to share with you today my love for the Lord. We all want to so badly tell people about Jesus but we can’t stop there. We must bring them to Jesus. I think back to how important it was to my walk that these people took the time to invite me in, pass no judgment, and share the word with me. This all made for an environment that made me feel comfortable and safe. I often think about how crazy it is that my husband’s baseball career, and us living in sin, brought me to Jesus. He really uses ALL avenues. Baseball of all ways to reach me, a game.
In preparing to write my story, I read my daily devotional, Jesus Calling. The day I was preparing my thoughts, my devotional said, “While you were still living in darkness, I began to shine the light of my presence into your sin-stained life.” How true is this? I get chills at the ways God speaks to me. I get chills knowing that I was sent to share this message. Jesus began to show me the kind of person I wanted to be, the kind of life I wanted to live, through Christian women- and it ended up being a life centered onHim. In Christ, Sean and I are redeemed (Ephesians 1:7) of the life we chose to live before we were married. Though I wish we could have started our journey differently, I feel so blessed to be able to share my story.
Whoever turns a sinner from the error of
his ways will save him from death and cover
over a multitude of sins. James 5:1
Jesus didn’t spend his time on this earth hanging out with the religious people and condemning the sinners. He spent his time with the sinners, showing them mercy and love. His grace was so sweet, these sinners wanted nothing more than to live a life following Him. Ephesians 5:1 tells us tobe imitators of God. The sweet friend who invited me to my very first bible study was none other than Kylie Sanches. She will always have a special place in my heart.Because of the couple who first invited Kylie and Brian to a bible study, I was then invited years later- a chain reaction. If my story touches just one person, who then touches someone else, then the journey I took has done itsjob. Lets continue the chain reaction!
My prayer for today: Lord, thank you for the opportunity to invite others into our lives and share with them our walk with You. I pray that we are constantly aware of avoiding life in a Christian bubble. Please help us remember that reaching people is sometimes as easy as letting Your light shine through us. Father, continue to remind us what a blessing we can be to one another, and how easily we can change the course, and destiny, of someone’s life. Amen!
Grace be with you all,
A picture of the girls from 2009. I keep this picture taped in the back of my bible to remind me of this precious year.
The bible that Wendy gifted me. A treasure forever, Icannot move for the baseball season without it. She shared her favorite bible verses with me.
The bible study we did. Another book I do not leave at my house when we move for the season. All year long I am constantly rereading chapters to remind myself how to love my husband, as a Christian wife.