Not everyones decision to play overseas is a crystal clear one and for Tiffany Clarke it was exactly that, unclear. It’s now February and Tiffany is happily playing overseas, but take a look back at her blog post from August 13th 2013
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” (Proverbs 19:21)
Today, I officially announce the next chapter of my life. In exactly one month, I will be moving to the beautiful country of France to play basketball. Never would I have thought that I would be playing professional basketball as a career. Not because it has always been my dream, but because anyone that knows me knows that playing basketball professionally was the farthest thing from!
Up to my senior year of college, I was adamant that I was done with the sport of basketball upon graduation. People would ask, “What are you going to do when you graduate? Are you going to continue playing?” My response would be, “Anything but basketball.” I was not going to play, coach, give motivational speeches, nothing. I was either going to go to grad school, or go right into working in the sports industry behind a desk. In my mind basketball had served its purpose in my life. It had provided me with a free education at an amazing University, and I was done with it.
People would say I was crazy. They would comment, “What do you mean you don’t want to play anymore? You are so good, and you have such amazing talent. Why are you wasting it?” My reply would simply be that basketball has fulfilled its job for my life. I got my degree, and now its time to hang up the Nikes. However, God had other plans and I might have been done with basketball, but it wasn’t done with me just yet.
As I got deep into my senior year, I began to worry about my future. I began to think, “What are you going to do? You need to find a graduate school or a job ASAP.” All of my friends around me had begun to either get accepted into grad schools or get offers for jobs, and I felt behind. I began to talk to different people for advice, and everyone kept suggesting that I consider basketball one more time. After about the 10th person, I finally gave in and opened that door back up. I decided to consider basketball as another option, but it would have stipulations. I would say, “The ONLY way I am playing professionally is if I get offered to play in either France, Italy, or a Spanish-speaking country. That was it. No exceptions.” And I meant it.
So time passed and I continued to worry and get anxious. I had gotten no job offers, and grad school was not looking to hot. One day I was fed up with stressing about my future, and decided to let go, and let God. I decided to stop trying to figure out my future and let Jesus finally take the wheel. People would ask what were my plans after school, and I would shrug my shoulders and say wherever God takes me. I’m done worrying, and I am going to finally live in the moment and enjoy the rest of my senior year. God takes care of his children, so I believe He will take care of me.
Long story shortened, when I decided to finally let God take control of my life and stop trying to run it myself, I began to have revelations. I began to realize that one of God’s plans for my life was that He wanted me to continue playing basketball. He was not about to let me get a 9 to 5 just yet. He was not about to let me waste the talents/gift He generously gave me.
I did not realize my gift until recently. Many people don’t know this but I started playing basketball in 9th grade. I was not one of those kids who had been playing since they were 8 and grew up just wanting to play. I started very late. Yet somehow I was able to “master” (for lack of a better word) the game quickly, get offered a scholarship to a Top 25 NCAA Division 1 school within 3 years of starting the sport, get numerous basketball awards and accolades while in college, become amongst the few to get invited to a WNBA training camp, and do all this without ever encountering a single injury. I am truly blessed!
After looking back at all of this, I finally realized I have a unique story. My story is almost impossible for anyone else to duplicate. Everyone can’t say they accomplished all I have, in such a short time, and be injury free through it all. This could only be God on my side. I fought basketball so much, with all my strength, but God would not let me win. He had a greater purpose for it and for me. He wanted me to finally realize that His spiritual gift to me is my athleticism and the ability to play, and He was not about to let me waste it or throw it away. I finally realized that He had plans for my talents that I could not see yet. I needed to just trust Him. So here I am. With a month to go, I am packing my bags and heading to France to play basketball! The one thing I said I was not doing. And to top it all off, I am going to one of the three places I said I would only go if I decided to play! You see how He works!
I do not know what is in store for me, and I do not fully know God’s purpose. But what I do know is that THIS is apart of His purpose for My Life. I might have had my own plans, but God’s purpose will ALWAYS prevail above anything or any plans you “think” you about to do. I am a prime example. So with God on my side, I am taking my talents to France, and will use His gift to glorify Him and make Jesus famous.
A new season is underway; a new game is about to begin. Feel free to join me on this new team. You got courtside seats.
Peace and Grace,
P.s. I promise my future posts wont be this long. J