Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Life as a Baseball Wife

Written by Chelsea Carroll, Wife to Daniel Carroll

I was 14 years old when I first laid eyes on my now husband. It was a Tuesday night and I was attedning our church's high school youth group. There Daniel was with a mouth full of braces, a cast on his right arm, and this bushy brunette head full of hair. The lights were beaming on him as he was on stage sharing his heart for the Lord. I was inticed. I leaned over and told a girl friend of mine that night, in my exact words, that "I was going to marry that guy someday". At 14, I wasn't honestly thinking seriously about marriage, but I saw a quality in Daniel that I was drawn too. It was his genuine love and passion for Jesus Christ.
Fast forward 5 years from that. February 2, 2008, there I was at the alter on that sunny yet chilly afternoon marrying my best friend. Daniel got drafted in the 3rd round of the 07 draft by the Seattle Mariners and after being apart for his rookie ball season, we decided after much prayer that we would get married the follwing offseason and we did. Going into that 2009 season, I really had no idea what I was truly getting into. The season started out on a high, he started on the team he wanted to and he was off to an amazing start. 15 games in though, on a road trip, he was hit by a pitch and broke his hand. (This was only the beginning of a series of injuries we would face in the next two baseball seasons;including a strained groin,broken thumb,pulled hamstring. If Daniel could go out and play in a bubble, I'd be all for it!)
Anyways, after breaking his hand in 2008, we would miss the next 2 months while it healed. That year, as soon as the Mariner's and doctor's felt Daniel was well enough to play again, they sent him to Arizona to get some at bats in. We decided I would go along with him to AZ because we figured it would be a good opportunity for us to see our family. Leaving our belongings and car behind in Wisconsin, we headed to Arizona. After getting some games in Arizona, the Mariner's informed Daniel that we would not returning to Wisconsin, but instead, California, the next level up! Also, less then an hour from our hometown!
We we're excited, yet weary coming off an injury. We left from Arizona straight to California for Daniel to join the High-A team. Knowing we had to figure out a way to get all our things out of Wisconsin, we took advantage of the All-Star break that took place a week and a half after we got to Cali. We decided during that time, that we would fly to Wisconsin, pack everything up in the car as quick as we could and drive back to California during those few days that we had off. But as I'm sure you girls in baseball already know, plans change quick! As soon as we arrived in Wisconsin, Daniel's phone rang. It was the Mariner's calling to tell Daniel that they wanted him in Arizona TOMORROW! We quickly packed everything up, stuffed our car to it's full capacity, left our keys with the clubee to be shipped back to California and we're back on another plane within 24 hours.
While in California, Daniel was really struggling to pick up his hitting. He was still feeling an immense pain in the wrist below the hand he had broken. After being there for a little over a month, I got a call from Daniel on a Sunday. I still can remember that day like it was yesterday. I was having lunch with Daniel's parents after Daniel had left for the field when my phone rang. My phone ringing at that time was unusual and as soon as I saw Daniel's name on my cell, I felt a sick feeling in my stomach. I knew it probably couldn't be good. And it wasn't. Daniel informed me that he was being sent back to Wisconsin. I was devastated. We had just got our car back to Cali, moved & unpacked into a house we we're renting with another couple from the team and I was loving being back home close to family and friends. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to move back out to Wisconsin and finish off the season with Daniel. We had already got rid of our apartment out there and had already spent way too much on moving expenses that year, so I knew I was going to have to stay behind in Cali.
It amazes me how the Lord always meets us where we are at, when we need it. As I was driving to Daniel's game that day, I was listening to our local Christian radio station, the lady on the radio was talking about how her and her husband had to be apart during the summer (which most of us experience) and the verse she shared was Isaiah 40:29-"God gives POWER to the WEAK and STRENTGH to the POWERLESS." I was blown away on how perfect that verse was for me in that very moment. There I was, powerless, knowing my husband was going to leave and that I couldn't go with him nor know when I would see him again, but what a peace in knowing that God would give me the STRENGTH I needed to get through it. I still cling to that verse! I know many of you girls can relate to that powerless feeling we experience as wives of baseball players at times. The "not-knowings" ('not knowing' where we'll end up each season, 'not knowing' why other guys get moved up when our husbands didn't, 'not knowing' if we'll face an injury, this list goes on). There is so much unknown that comes along with this career. But there is such a peace is knowing that although we are powerless, God is in control (not the organaztion or teams our husbands play for), God is on the throne!
That night, Daniel got home from his game at 11:00 and he had to leave at 2:00 in the morning to catch his flight. So we had 4 hours to pack up and say our goodbyes. After the baseball season ended, the M's sent Daniel to Seattle for an MRI. Turned out, he had 2 broken bones in his wrist that they hadn't caught before, which explained all the pain he had been feeling.
Two years later, this 2010 season, Daniel is still playing in the same league.Although, this year I can proudly say we have faced no serious injuries (yet,still got one month left) and Daniel is doing well. The Mariner's are now affiliated with another team out in this league and this past week we went on a roadtrip to where it all started for us-in Appleton, Wisconsin. Being back in Wisconsin, I did alot of reminiscing. It was tough being there, knowing that this is our third time in this league. (Daniel broke his thumb last season-so we faced another injury season, that's another story). Being in Appleton this past week, stirred mixed emotions for me. At times, I felt discouraged knowing that we are still in this league, but other times I felt full of praise thinking back on what the Lord has shown us since we've been there last. It made me realize that even though we may not have alot to show for on paper for baseball the last 2 seasons, the Lord has taught us so much and we have grown so much in the last 2 years. Two years ago, when I would sit in those Appleton stadium seats and watch Daniel, baseball was our world. At times, maybe even our idol. Sitting back there this time, two years later, having gone thru the things we have gone thru in baseball, I have so much more of a peace at where the Lord takes us in baseball, whether I like it or not, or whether it makes sense to me or not. Because no matter what it is, He will be there with us each step of the way (and better then that, He goes before us and prepares the way!). Going through the injuries and having baseball taken away from us at those times was so humbling. We have grown so much through them and I know we still have alot of growing to do, but I praise God that "HIS GRACE is sufficient for us"!


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4 comments:

  1. Wow! It sounds like Your year with the Mariners has been just about like ours! I just keep telling my husband and myself we are here for a reason and God would not bring us to it if he can't get us through it! Although it is so hard I have comfort in knowing we arn't the only ones going through this. Good luck, the season is almost over and we get our husbands back until nex year=)

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  2. Wow! It sounds like you guys have had a season with the Mariners just like we have!!! It gets pretty hard watching your husband go through so much living out his dream. I keep telling my husband and myself that we are here for a reason and if God brought us to it he will get us through it! I hate for anyone to go through a season like this but, I find comfort in knowing that we are not alone. It was nice reading your story and being able to relate! The season is almost over and we are close to having our husbands back until next year! Good Luck to you both!!!

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  3. Loved your post! Thanks for sharing!! I can recall you and Daniel on a tv show for your wedding??... I saw your wedding picture and couldn't figure out where I had seen you! Then it all of a sudden came to me!

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  4. How true is it that we often times put baseball on the Throne? Putting our priorities in check is a must, or else you can get completely caught up in this craziness. Great story! And good luck to you all!

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