Editor’s Note: Life sometimes feels like an April Fool’s joke. We love Hailee’s take on the importance of being able to find the humor and irony in life. Happy April Fool’s Day!
The summer before my 9th grade year, a new coach came in and started a softball program at my small rural school. That Softball Summer league was brutal. It seemed my teammates could throw better, run faster, slide smoother, and catch the ball better than I could. Unlike the Summer heat, my initial naive excitement soon sizzled out.
Autumn approached and whispers of the starting line-up seemed to consume every mouth and mind on the team. I was hopeful in thinking that I would gain a starting spot. Sadly, when the Starters cooly yet excitedly took the field for the first game. I warmed the bench in crushing disappointment.
A few games passed and I got frustrated at my coach, my teammates, the game, and mostly at myself. I made it a point to work even harder than I had been before. I started to be the first one on the field and the last one to go home. I changed my eating, sleeping, and outside of softball habits in order to be healthier and be better on the field. I asked my teammates for help on various aspects of the game.
All of that extra work paid off because at the second to last regular season game, I earned the starting first baseman position! I can remember the exhilaration and pride I felt when I went home and told my entire family. I remember being proud that I witnessed first hand that hard work does actually pay off.
Game day came and I’m pretty sure that sparks of excitement and nervousness were flying off of me as I was warming up.
I was throwing grounders to my teammates, probably with a big smile on my face (I was not the person to be too “cool” to express her feelings, nor am I now). The umpire signaled a last warmup call and I threw the last ball the the third basemen, who was usually our starting pitcher. She rocketed the ball back to me. As she was throwing the ball to me, my younger sister yelled my name from the stands and I gave a quick glance that way. As I was returning my eyes to the field, I saw this blur of yellow. Then felt this crushing blow to my forehead. I bounced up, tried to throw the ball back, but was stopped by a cacophony of questions from both my father and head coach. Suddenly, I found myself being pushed into a car and heard the word “hospital.”
I was utterly crushed by defeat. I had earned my starting spot and it was all taken away because of a stupid mistake. In the backseat of my dad’s truck, I went through a rolling sea of emotions—anger, sadness, bitterness, and back to anger. I didn’t want to hear any of the encouragement or reassurance my parents were attempting.
The doctor came in, saying these hard to hear words, “You do not have a concussion.”
My immediate response? Laughter. The irony was too much for me and I met it with rolling laughter. The doctor and my parents just stared at me at first, then nervously laughed with me.
I laughed because I was taken off the field as a precaution for a concussion and come to find out I did not have a concussion. I laughed because God showed me that all of my works achieved absolutely nothing that day. I laughed because what else could I do? Anger and bitterness would only harden my heart, so I laughed. I laughed because I knew that I had been chasing softball in my vain-filled efforts, instead of the heart of God. In that moment of laughing in the doctor’s office, God brought me back to Him.
In retrospect, I see how God moved in order to show me that even all of my vain efforts were not enough. All of my work and time gained me what I wanted, yet, just like that, it was taken away. I truly am thankful that God moved in this way because it brought me back to this realization:
“And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” —1 John 2:17
My earthly desires will fade away, but the will of God will not fade away and that is where my hard work should be put in order to bring glory to God. The irony of that season of my life ended in reconciliation to God. Hallelujah.
So friends, I hope that through my story you can see that humor is a good thing and can be used by God. In whatever season you find yourself in, I hope you can laugh through it and with people that love you, because, no matter the season, God is still good. God is actively pursuing you and cherishes you as his chosen child. Laugh and find joy that God calls you one of his own and wants you close to him.
Meet the Author!
Hailee Alcaida is the 9th grade English teacher at Bethel Acres High School. Being an English teachers combines two of Hailee’s passions: literature and building relationships. Hailee and her students love to laugh at the current memes, dab, and learn about the world through reading and writing. Living with an enneagram 7 helps her to put a book down, get out of their house, and explore OKC with friends and all its fun that it has to offer. By the way, Hailee is an enneagram 4w3. Continue the conversation with Hailee – email email@example.com.