We won't sugar coat it, being at the beginning stage of a professional golf career is TOUGH. We are apart MORE than we are together, but we make it work with God's help. If it wasn't for God, we wouldn't be able to do what we are doing right now. He has blessed us above and beyond what we could ever imagine. We thank Him as often as we can. We can't stress how much easier and stress free life is when we put our COMPLETE hope, trust, and faith in HIM. He has been with us every step of the way and we are extremely grateful for His guidance, love, and GRACE. We are both sinners and are the farthest thing from perfect, but because of God's GRACE, we are forgiven and cleansed of our sins. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's GIFT- not from works, so that no one can boast." We can't do anything good enough to earn God's love and forgiveness, He CHOSE to give it to us freely!
We wanted to share with you today how God has helped us get through our crazy golf life.
First of all, He has given us some close Christian friends that PRAY for us, check up on us, and spend time with us when we are able to be together. Community with others has been such a wonderful gift that we are so grateful for each and every day. When Jared is at a tournament, he has a few guys that he usually travels and stays in hotels with, but they also pray for one another and encourage each other. Golf is such a hard sport because you don't have any teammates to help you, you're on your own. These guys are constantly playing against each other, but they also cheer each other on!
We met Zack and Katie on the Web.com tour two years ago and we have kept in touch and meet up every once in a while. They are incredible people and we are grateful to have them in our lives. Katie and I text each other often and so do the guys, just asking how things are going and if they need any specific prayers.
Jamey and Laura are here in Jax with us, so we can physically meet up whenever we need to talk about golf related things, or when Laura and I are lonely because the guys are gone to a tournament. We are SO grateful to have a couple here locally to grow in friendship with! They are great encouragement to us and also attend the same church! The guys are in the same Bible study when they're in town.
We are also extremely grateful for our church and Sub30 (the young adult group). Being a small group leader and being involved in Sub30 gave me a newfound strength and I actually wrote a post about it HERE.
These girls are the highlight of my week every Tuesday night. They make me laugh, sometimes cry, and just enjoy fellowship so much! They are prayer warriors and lift me up when I need it. Jared is very grateful for the guys group he attends as well.
Another way we get through this crazy golf life is by supporting each other! I grew up playing softball and basketball. I played a few summers of Junior golf, but definitely wasn't interested in it. When I met Jared, I began to fall in love with golf because it was something HE loved! I remember when we were first dating, I would tell him about the stories I read in GOLF magazine at the gym and he was impressed. Of course, I only wanted to learn more so I could understand it even better. Now, don't get me wrong, there are so many different variables in golf, and I am still learning things every day, but I will say that I have gotten quite a bit of the lingo down pat! I've come a long way since I used to confuse the word, ALBATROSS (double eagle), with the word Alcatraz! Oops!
I have my OWN set of clubs now and am itching to play another round or scramble with Jared, we just haven't had the chance to play together with Jared prepping for tournaments and there haven't been any scrambles that we can afford.
I've caddied a few of the smaller tournaments to help save money and I've gotten a lot better about knowing where to stand so I am not in anyone's way and also keeping up the pace! (those golfers sure do walk fast, especially since they don't have a heavy bag to lug around all day)
Jared ALSO supports me in SO many ways. When he's home, he helps me work date nights for our friends, the Wheatcrofts! He won't change any diapers until they are for our own kids, but he plays with Chase and helps me clean the dishes and toys while I'm feeding Chase or putting him to sleep. It's so fun to watch Jared enjoy time with Chase now that he's older and can really play. Chase likes to copy Jared being silly and it melts my heart!
He also comes over to Christopher's house once in a while. Christopher absolutely ADORES Jared. He plays Mario Kart with him, makes silly jokes, and is just a good BIG KID for Christopher to play with. He asks me all the time to call Jared and tell him to come over.
Another way Jared supports me is by taking a GAZILLION photos with food that I am reviewing for this blog. He has come a long way since we first met, even doing silly pics and sending me pics of his food when he's by himself at a tournament! I've even gotten a few texts naming companies and asking if we can reach out to them about a review. :)
Jared also knows that my love language is Quality Time, and that because we are apart so much, pictures, videos, texts, phone calls, and FaceTime are the only ways we can "be together". He has done so much better about making me feel included and sharing things about his day that I wish I could be apart of but can't at that time. (It's second nature for girls to share every single little detail, so when I get a random pic or text of something simple, it MAKES MY DAY! It shows that he truly cares about me.)
I absolutely positively long for that FaceTime date that we try our best to do at least once a week when he is on the road. It means so much to me and he agrees that he looks forward to it to! It has really helped our communication and strengthened our marriage since he is so intentional about giving me the Quality Time I need and I can tell he's genuine and sincere that he loves it too!
Last, but certainly not least, we get through this crazy golf life by soaking in as much quality time as we possibly can when he is home. We are so grateful for the gift cards that we receive at Christmas and our birthdays because it gives us a chance to do something different. It's fun to get dressed up, (and for me actually wear makeup,) and just try somewhere new to us. We don't go out too often, and yet we still enjoy cooking together and watching Netflix. Just being together is what helps us feel closer and makes our relationship stronger.
God is so good and we are so thankful for His unconditional love and sacrifice that He made for OUR sins. Our goal in life is to shine God's light wherever we go and lead people to Him. It's not about us, it's all about HIM.