Here are my notes to my Caddy Club support group that I thought would encourage you. They were written after my first round of the tournament in which I won by 13 shots! I believe the power of worship in competition set up an Ideal Performance State for that result to happen. I hope this informs and encourages you:
Most of you know, but some don’t: I am leading the Tennessee Women’s Senior Open by 3 shots!
I am into this tournament with a desire to win and a deep curiosity about how to worship God more deeply on the golf course and in competition.
I knew I was in a better place to score because I was coming off of competition last week and my MIND was already in the game. I was determined to be more consistent in my shot-making and made that a non-negotiable in my MIND AND HEART. I already knew the course, so I didn’t feel like I was in any place of striving. I wanted to ABIDE.
A few weeks ago in church, a visiting preacher prayed over me. In his prayer he affirmed the reality of golf for me: “God, golf is no longer the prize for Veronica, but a platform.” His words were so true. I am so freed from the need for golf to validate anything for me that I can now be free to express that VICTORY OF FREEDOM through my game. I no longer have an EGO attachment to my performance. I have released all outcomes to God, but that only frees me to do better!
Yesterday after my round which included 4 birdies amongst the bogies, I debriefed on what I learned about competition and worship:
- When you worship God, you forbid all negativity. The amateur I played with showed up at the first tee stating, “I don’t know what you did to deserve to play with me. I am in so over my head.” She was declaring her inadequacy and I was not going to allow that to come into my space. “Don’t think that way!” I stated. It’s going to be a great day for us!” (I had to affirm this was a no negativity zone, and change the atmosphere.)
- When you worship God, you claim your authority. This never happened before, but she put a fan on the cart. (What??) The noise was so distracting and I thought, “This is a tournament. What is this?) Normally I would just be nice and allow the thing to bug me, but not this time, “I’m sorry, but that noise is very distracting. Can you turn that off?” I realized I was taking ownership of my space and not bowing to someone else’s infringement on my ideal performance state.
- When you worship God, you keep an open heart. I was so free to converse with her, and even after the round, minister to her, as she shot a really high score. “Listen, a champion defines success from the start. Sometimes winning is just entering. You did something that was far outside your comfort zone. You showed up to play in a higher level tournament than you have ever done. WELL DONE! You ENTERED!” She looked at me like I was from another planet. That kind of mentality never entered her mind before, and she thanked me.
- When you worship God, you keep your composure of peace and stillness of heart. For the first time in my life, I was reprimanded for playing TOO FAST! The greenskeeper came over to us and said since we were the first ones out, we were encroaching upon the guys who were mowing the lawns on the holes ahead of us. We had to SLOW DOWN. It disrupted my pace and momentum, causing me to have a few higher scores on those holes, but then I told myself, “just keep your STEADY COMPOSURE and CALM CONCENTRATION” which is what worship produces.
- When you worship God, you can be fearless in your shots. This morning I began my day with worship. I was meditating on Brent Taylor’s song, “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.” Because of my IDENTITY IN CHRIST, I am set free from ALL FEAR. That truth sunk deeper into my spirit. There were some shots yesterday, particularly the ones were I was in-between clubs, that I sensed I was a bit tentative. NOT TODAY. Today I will play full out. NO FEAR….because…I AM A CHILD OF GOD!
- When you worship God, winning is FUN. I had so MUCH FUN being at the top. It was a NEW EXPERIENCE for me in this season—I’ve worked so hard and it’s nice to begin to see a RESULT OF MY FAITH and PREPARATION.
- When you worship God, you bring PRAYER into your atmosphere. During my practice round, I was praying for people and people were calling for prayer. Something punctured in the atmosphere on the golf course. I can’t describe it, but I went into another realm of freedom and experience of His presence.
- When you worship God, you give Him space to display His power and presence in you and guess what? GOD ONLY PLAYS TO WIN. It’s in His blood, so it is in MY BLOOD. 1 Cor. 9:24-26.
- When you worship God, you are free to FULLY EXPRESS yourself, and leave the OUTCOME to Him. Yesterday I had such a wonderful time after my round NOT PRACTICING too much, just working on my short chip shots around the green, hitting shots out of that wiring grass—and then heading to the fitness center to SWIM and hit the Jacuzzi. It was so wonderful to feel the ATHLETE in me BE HAPPY she was COMING OUT—and COMING OUT STRONG!!
- When you worship God, you are not afraid to include others. It was so much FUN to share on facebook and receive hundreds of well wishes from folks. It was like an on-line gallery. People love to connect to victory, so let’s create MORE OF IT!
- When you worship God, your mind thinks clearly. I made a lot of great decisions out there because I was in a place of peace and calm. I could see clearly.
- When you worship God, you invite community to be a part of it. I could feel the prayers of people because I asked for them and invited others into my championship.
- When you worship God, He finds pleasure in your ALL OUT PURSUIT and ALL OUT EXPRESSION of WHO YOU ARE! I am releasing all of me this week—athlete, competitor, writer, friend, minister, motivator, businesswoman (she’s still emerging!), coach and DAUGHTER OF GOD.
TODAY I AM GOING TO PLAY AS A DAUGHTER OF GOD, as UNTO MY FATHER WHO LOVES GOLF AND ME. Please pray for ALL my drives to land in the fairway. A connected-swing. Please pray for clarity of thinking, great decision-making, and for the putts to drop!! A strong start—and finish!
My tee time is 1:14 pm Central Time