Fresh off their 3-1 victory over Florida State to clinch the Women's College World Series and their third straight national title, several players on the Oklahoma Sooners women's softball team stunned reporters when they explained that their "true joy" comes not from winning a game, but from their unshakeable relationship with Jesus Christ.
"How do you keep the joy for so long when anxiety seems like a thing that can very easily set in?" a reporter asked a panel of team members during a post-game presser Thursday.
“Well, the only way that you can have a joy that doesn’t fade away is from the Lord,” shortstop Grace Lyons answered without hesitation.
“Any other type of joy is actually happiness that comes from circumstances and outcomes," she continued. "Joy from the Lord is really the only thing that can keep you motivated, just in a good mindset no matter the outcomes.
"Thankfully we’ve had a lot of success this year but if it was the other way around, joy from the Lord is the only thing that can keep you embracing those memories, moments, those friendships…that’s really the only answer to that, because there’s no other way. Softball can’t bring you that because of how much failure comes from it and how much of a rollercoaster it can be," Lyons said.
Three-time First Team All-American Jayda Coleman agreed, saying that as a freshman in 2021, while she remembered feeling “so happy” that her team had won the college World Series, she “didn’t feel joy.”
"I didn’t know what to do the next day. I didn’t know what to do that following week. I didn’t feel filled. And I had to find Christ in that," she said.
Coleman added that now, “it’s not the end of the world if we do lose,” because her identity is found in Christ, not as a championship-winning softball player.
Junior Alyssa Brito agreed.
"I think that's why we're so steady in what we do and in our love for each other and the game, because we know that this game is giving ps the opportunity to glorify God. And once we figured that out and that was our purpose...it's really changed so much for us," she said. "I know myself, I've seen so much of a growth in myself. Once I turned to Jesus realized how he had changed my outlook on life, not just softball...and that's living just to exemplify the kingdom."
In a world in which so many athletes have caved to pressure to use their platforms to promote woke propaganda and political garbage, it's refreshing to see these talented young ladies use their moment in the spotlight to glorify Christ.
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