My Hockey Trail to Christ
Although I grew up in a Christian family, my faith became my own the first time I went to a Hockey Ministries International camp in Chicago. I was probably 11 or 12 years old and even though I knew who Jesus was, I had no understanding of what it meant to have a personal relationship with Him. To me, the Bible was just a giant, old rule book that was confusing and hard to read, and church was an obligation. I was just a kid, and unfortunately I had never had the Gospel explained to me in a way that I could wrap my head around. HMI camp did just that. My coaches and counselors explained to me what it meant to follow Christ and did it through the use of one of my favorite things: hockey! They used concepts that were easy for me to understand because of my love for sports, such as that I was being called to be a member of "God's Team" and that as a player in the game of life, it would be vital for me to learn about "God's Playbook" (the Bible). I returned year after year to HMI camps; there is not a doubt in my mind that they were the most meaningful and influential weeks of my life.
Today, I am currently a member of the University of Minnesota Gopher Women's Hockey team. I played for Team USA u18s when I was in high school and have hopes of continuing my international career with Team USA in the future. My playing career has been anything but easy, and I have had to learn the hard way that anything you worship or idolize that isn't God will ultimately fail you and leave you broken. For years, I worshipped hockey, finding my worth and identity in athletics. I was a slave to performance. It wasn't until I realized that the Word of God is the only mirror through which we should evaluate ourselves that I felt free to live and compete with a thankful heart.
I would challenge anyone who wants to take their relationship with Christ to the next level to ask themselves the following question, understanding that all opponents of God will leave you empty:
"Who or what do you worship?"
- University of Minnesota NCAA Div 1