You don’t go unnoticed. I know it feels like that at times, perhaps all the time, but it’s just not true.
I see you sitting there waiting…for the coach’s eyes to meet yours, for the nod that means you’re getting in the game. I see the disappointment on your face when you’re taken out. I see the frustration and anxiety that comes with feeling like you don’t measure up. I once was you, wishing for the chance to play, critiquing every point that was scored while I sat. I know.
I know that in that place and at that time, what goes on between those lines feels like the whole world to you. Let me remind you, it’s just a fraction, a tiny part.
I know that where I sit from where you are seems so very far away, a lifetime, but let me assure you I can’t remember the last time I even thought about my time sitting with the least bit of sorrow. It just doesn’t happen. The time when they were playing and I was not only mattered for moments, not weeks, not months, certainly not years. Moments. Remember, this is only a fraction of your life, a fraction of who you are. You are so much more.
I do see you sitting there, but here’s what else I see…and this is the truly important part.
I see your perseverance, your desire, your love of the game. More so I see your care for the people who play it along side you. I see you congratulate your teammates and attend to their needs. I see you as a part of the team in ways that are too often overlooked. They’re not overlooked by me. I see you.
Take a look down the bench. No, not yours. The one on the other side of the court. Look at the other team. Do you see her? The one sitting? The one just like you? You are not alone. You’re part of a sisterhood, one that spans the decades. I’ll say it again. You are not alone, not even close.
While the crowd watches every movement of the ball, I watch you. While the crowd lives and dies with every point, I couldn’t care less about the score. While they cheer victories and agonize over defeats, I only cheer, for victory is found in you simply being there.
I know those hours can seem like wasted time. Perhaps you could spend them differently, but take heart, they are not wasted. Here’s what will come of your time. Those moments waiting will help you to be a patient mother, an empathetic physician, a thoughtful teacher, a compelling businesswoman, an eloquent speaker, a devoted wife, a faithful friend. You will be one who is described with words like integrity and grace and virtue and charitable and marvelous and strong.
Girl Who Sits the Bench, you don’t go unnoticed, not at all. You stand out in the most glorious way.
For those of you who also sat the bench (and maybe even those of you who didn’t) 🙂 …please share below any additional stories or words of wisdom and encouragement.