Going Home

Earlier this semester, September 7 and 8, the volleyball team took a trip across Iowa to play a pair of matches.

One match was played against Grand View, a team Dordt has played a home-home series with the past several season, the other, a few miles down I-80, was against St. Ambrose in Davenport.

Davenport?  That’s a long trip for a volleyball match.

Yeh it is.

Why Davenport?  Well, there’s a significant number of members of the team from the Chicago area and Aubrey Drake calls Rock Island, one of the quad cities, home. It gives those families a chance to see their daughters relatively close to home, and I think it’s a way for the college to say thanks for all the miles they’ve traveled.

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to see athletes able to play and compete on trips in close to home.  I’ve been to Denver, Washington, California, Chicago, Michigan.  It’s a great opportunity, but it can’t happen every year, so the opportunities are special for the athletes and families who make Dordt home for their collegiate careers.

I asked Aubrey Drake if she’d document what the return home meant and also what things look like with three years plus in the rear view mirror. 

You’re going to think I planted some seeds and thoughts and I can tell you unequivocally that I did not.  I asked her to write about “returning home” to play a couple matches and she took that idea and ran with it.

Aubrey, thanks for an inside glimpse at returning home and what goes through a senior’s mind with the finish line in sight.

Mbyk

Home is something I have always held close to my heart. Choosing to attend college six hours from my favorite place in the world was a hard decision at first.

Home is something I have always held close to my heart. Choosing to attend college six hours from my favorite place in the world was a hard decision at first.

As the years went on I found it more difficult to make the drive across Iowa through endless corn fields to end up in Sioux Center. Little did I know this would be where I would begin to build my own sense of home at a school called Dordt College.

The biggest thing that helped me make Dordt feel a little bit like home was volleyball. I have been playing volleyball since early junior high and once I started, I couldn’t stop. Whether it was fun home matches or road trips with my dad to a national qualifier club tournament.

Playing volleyball at Dordt has built so many relationships I would have never imagined possible and opened up so many doors for me. Whether its playing in a national championship twice or even attending the national tournament, to little girls coming up to you and telling you they want to be just like you when they grow up, they all hold a special place in my heart but one sticks out more than all the others.

The most memorable and meaningful thing Dordt volleyball has done for me was allowed me to introduce my collegiate volleyball team to my home.

Our program has never made the trip across the state to the Quad Cities to find different competition. Seeing that most of our competition is in Northwest Iowa, Nebraska and the Dakotas was a little disheartening knowing my family & close friends wouldn’t be able to attend my games. Taking the road trip with my team was one of the best experiences. My two favorite worlds collided and my heart has never been more full. Although having all of my close family and friends attend my game for the first time gave me endless joy, it wasn’t what made the trip for me.

As a team we set a standard to serve the Lord in the community and in any way we find. The biggest part of my childhood was the ministry my father is the executive director for called Youth Hope. Youth Hope is a ministry developed to serve low income children & families. Offering anything from tutoring to rides to job interviews to a full camp and even Bible study and fellowship and so much more to make these neglected & refugee children feel loved and desired.

Whether it was serving food at camp all summer, serving as a camp counselor, playing with kids in the youth centers and just being around all the time it was easy to say I was born into the Youth Hope family.

Our team took the opportunity to run a Saturday event for about fifty-five children. We were participating in dancing, relay races, Bible stories, bookroom, and all around fellowship. Keeping in mind we played a game later in the day I have never enjoyed watching my team-mates and some of my best friends interact with children that have held a special place in my heart from the day I was born. Watching God work through my Dordt family & home to impact the lives of these children in my real hometown for all of our eternal Home was a feeling I cannot even begin to describe.

My view of being a student-athlete has completely changed my last three years here. All because of the way my team and the Dordt Athletics Department as a whole has proved to me the internal and eternal importance of the physical abilities God has provided us.

I will never be able to thank my teammates, coaches, Dordt athletics and the college as a whole for the way you have taught me the importance of serving. My view of being a student-athlete has completely changed my last three years here. All because of the way my team and the Dordt Athletics Department as a whole has proved to me the internal and eternal importance of the physical abilities God has provided us.

Before each game we have a devotional as a team lead by one of us players and a devotion that will always stick with me is one about playing with God instead of for Him. Taking this mindset into everything I do makes me feel much more valued and overjoyed holding so much more purpose.

God doesn’t need us to do things for Him, we’re here to perform as athletes, students, and Christians WITH God.

Going home with a group of the most amazing girls to serve with God through our performance on the court and also spread an eternal love to those who have no comprehension of the relationship they could have with Jesus Christ is something I hope each student-athlete, student, visitor and staff have the ability to experience with their time at Dordt.

As I’m taking the court with the most caring and loving group of girls that I have ever had the opportunity of playing with for my last season I know it’s in all of our drive to play with God and for each other.

As I’m taking the court with the most caring and loving group of girls that I have ever had the opportunity of playing with for my last season I know it’s in all of our drive to play with God and for each other.

That’s the difference about Dordt College and Dordt Athletics.

The Defender Way is a real thing and I am fortunate enough to benefit from it with the most amazing team, coaches and school.

So thank you Dordt College, for being my home away from home and thank you Dordt College Volleyball, for teaching me how to use my love for volleyball as a way to show my love for my eternal Home and Father.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Up ↑