Where Do We Go From Here?

“X” was so last year…
“O” is past its prime…

*tap, tap, tap…*

It’s literally taken me days to figure out how to even begin this mantra of collective thought. The fact of life is that the Kansas City Shock has ended its first season; it ended at 6-3 with a trip to the playoffs in Dayton, Ohio. We did lose in the first round to the eventual Midwest Division champion out of the St. Louis area.

It’s incredible to know that this summer has been a complete blur and that the soccer season has come to an end. Now the echoing question that sits in my head, “Now what?”

The nasty reality is that these past two weeks have been absolutely devastating to my personal life. This summer I’ve recorded a grand total of dodging bankruptcy three separate times; not something I’m proud of, but something very real. Losing my job in June wasn’t ideal, though it still isn’t something I regret. The amount of personal financing that I placed into the Kansas City Shock has wiped me clean and then some. My firm belief is that it was needed to ensure that this business, more importantly, this ministry continued to run its course, and amazingly it isn’t even close to being over yet.

With that said though; this is where the challenges lay ahead. In a few short weeks Darco and I are getting married; we’ve already started merging our accounts together, including banking, credit cards, student loans, and the similar. We’re already tackling several different obstacles…all of which are mine. This is the baggage that people talk about I’m certain. It’s caused for some tension and sacrifice within our soon-to-be family and our business. There comes a point to where I cannot financially give, give, and give to ensure the stability of a program without doing damage to my own family. The reality is that one of the hard choices, but correct choices, is knowing that family is my priority. That means employment, wages, and ensuring that they [she] is taken are of.

So, that dramatic paragraph brings us to the simple question: Where Do We Go From Here?

Darco and I have taken some time to review our options, make notes, and see the direction that we’re going to aim for. As I’ve stated several times over, she’s looking at promotion in Starbucks starting next month. This likely will set up a move in September to the Kansas City area, and an elevation in her pay. Now, that brings up the question of where I’m going on the side of employment. The immediate direction is heading back into the classroom as a substitute teacher. With so many school districts in the area, my hope is that I can be occupied throughout the week. This also gives me the flexibility to ensure that I can maintain optimum standards on the Kansas City Shock, since it is indeed a year-round program. Now, that’s saying that these schools are available to get me in the classroom.

We’re giving it a go in August; at least eight districts are available as of this moment. If substitute teaching isn’t available though, and the funds aren’t there, then I’ll need to go towards other employment. This is financially smart and keeps family as the top priority, but most likely it’ll require the Kansas City Shock is placed on the back burner.

At that point, and this is where Darco and I were at tonight, we’re stuck at a unique spiritual…block. One of the things that I most thoroughly enjoy about Darco is the fact that she sees the Kansas City Shock as a move from God, that it is our responsibility to treat it as a ministry because…well…it is. How do you maintain a ministry that requires 24/7 care, but at the same time ensure that your family is taken care of? That’s the responsibility of the husband, it’s never about fun, I’ve read enough marriage books that never define the role of the husband as fun, but more so as a role of sacrifice. I can’t say I thoroughly agree, but I don’t necessarily know anything different. The Kansas City Shock isn’t putting food on the table, and it isn’t ensuring that bills are paid. It’s a great idea, I see God’s handiwork all around it, but the pressure from outside forces is unbearable. When I have to live a style of reckless faith; that’s enjoyable. It’s when the voices from the people around me, the books of theology, and the overall stature of the culture I live in begin to breathe down my neck that I’m uncomfortable. I don’t know what to do. I can 100% say that I’ve never worked as hard as I have for the past 18 months, and the only monetary result from the adventure is making sure my student loans do not default. That’s it. My family sees no value in it, I see no resources from it, and the only thing I clutch to dearly is knowing that it is positively affecting an individuals life.

It’s after midnight now, and I still don’t have answers. I don’ t know the next move, and I know that Darco is deep in prayer as well. Why love a passion so strong that your only option for survival is to step away? I fought for a year trying to convince people that this was a job, that this is my work, that this is my ministry, and now I return back with…a few spare coins, an empty coffee cup, and a broken heart.

This doesn’t even include the arguments within the league, this doesn’t include the errors I made within the Kansas City Shock program, and this doesn’t include the plan for a 2014 season. There’s not enough time tonight to even think about those topics.

Childishly, I just want to be able to wake up, go to work on this project, and just enjoy what I naturally am comfortable doing; building and developing, helping and assisting, demonstrating and growing not just a sport, but a reality that the average man can build something great that has God’s grace laced within it, and people of all backgrounds will have no choice but to see His glory, and not myself. That’s what I want, that’s what I dream.

Reality unfortunately tells me something completely different.

This is when adults lose their imagination.


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