Something happened yesterday, something big for our family. A chapter ended. A door closed. It challenged us on many levels as Christians, parents, teachers, and for Stone, as a coach. Our daughter Grace quit basketball.
We knew it might happen at any time. We’ve spent long hours in contemplation, conversation, prayer. We gave our permission long ago. But when it finally happened yesterday, somehow it was still a shock. And although the shock faded quickly into relief, this morning relief has morphed into utter joy, prompting me to write this letter:
My dearest Grace,
I am so proud of you. You are brave and strong. You have done the right thing—a hard thing—with grace and dignity.
As your mom it feels so weird to talk about quitting as the right thing, just as I know it has been hard for you to think about quitting as the right thing. That’s because we are not quitters. It’s something we just don’t do. Our family is all about hanging in there with each other and facing adversity, not leaving when the going gets tough, whether it’s marriage or church or our jobs or Algebra. Quitting is mostly a bad thing in our vocabulary. And I want it to stay that way.
But I want something else for you too, baby. Something I see in this situation that is really painful, but so beautiful and right. You found something you wanted and went after it. You committed yourself with your whole heart. You worked hard. You faced difficulties and kept going. You wrestled. You fell and got back up. You prayed. You gave grace to yourself and others. You cried. You sought advice from wise people. And after a reasonable time, you faced the fact that it wasn’t working, and there was nothing more you could do to make that happen. Then—wait for it—here comes the most beautiful part. You had to courage to walk away. You let it go because to keep holding on was not healthy for you. Bravo!
I heard your friend ask why you quit, probing for details from a heart of concern. And I was proud of how you answered. You said, “I have no beef with the coach or the other girls on the team. It was just something I needed to do.” That was so classy. And even though it may be hard as you walk through the halls of Junior High School in the next few days, stick to it. Tell your truth in love and kindness. This sets you and others free.
I hope you remember this for the rest of your life—that you are too brave and strong to quit unless quitting is the bravest, strongest thing to do. Click To Tweet When there’s a relationship that’s toxic to your soul. When there’s a place that’s not safe for you to be. When there’s a decision that takes you down a bad path. Whenever your hard work and commitment are not enough to create what you need for your own health and well-being, no matter what it is, walk away. Jesus walks with you. And I’ll be cheering you on.
And now, since you are so fond of the music of my generation, and love it so much when I rap to get my point across, I’d like to close with some lyrics from M.C. Hammer, adapted by yours truly for this very important milestone.
I just press harder (Yeah!) than I ever did before
Going for the dreams that I have in store in my mind (mind)
And I know that I’m makin it cause Gracie don’t play
She’s kickin at the top cause she’s too legit to quit
Only sometimes she’s too legit to NOT quit
Love you forever,
*Photo and cap credits go to Alex Marshall