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Loving Well

Published on March 30, 2020

Robyne Baker

Tara Behrens discovered the influence of an FCA Huddle coach early in life. As a young athlete, Behrens joined her high school Huddle where she heard the Gospel and noticed that her FCA sponsor loved the Lord, and others, exceptionally well. Behrens wanted to live this way.

This desire carried into college and she accepted Jesus. She then

helped start an FCA Huddle on campus with Malachi, a guy who would eventually become her husband. Tara went on to become a teacher, head coach for girls soccer, and FCA Huddle sponsor at Ralston High School in Nebraska.

Athlete turns to her coach for help

One day, a talented freshman soccer player knocked on Behrens’ office door during prep period. Behrens sensed something was wrong and invited her to talk. The athlete’s story spilled out. She felt a lot of peer pressure to have a popular reputation. She had found temporary satisfaction in poor choices like using drugs and alcohol, and she had engaged in harmful activities to gain others’ approval. The hole she had dug for herself was a dark and empty place. She wanted out, but she didn’t know where to begin. The athlete turned to Behrens for advice.

Behrens listened, talked with her athlete, and then invited her to the FCA Huddle. There, the young athlete started discovering who God says she is, and not what others think she should be. She later realized it was God who gave her the courage to open up to her coach, and it was God who began to change her life.

Surrendering to Christ

The athlete began a journey to explore what it means to have Jesus as Lord of her life. She was full of questions. Spiritual conversations with Behrens popped up in many places: downtime during practices, on the bus returning home after matches—anywhere their paths crossed.

Sometimes Behrens explained that she didn’t have all the answers.

“You have to be willing to go all in, take a step of faith, and trust the Lord,” she would explain to the curious athlete.

Behrens kept sharing what she could and inviting her athlete to events where she knew her athlete would experience God, like Easter service at her church. After the Gospel presentation, it was Behrens' turn to ask a question: “Are you ready?”

 “Yes,” the athlete responded to her coach—and to Jesus.

She had finally realized that, in Christ, she was a new person. It was exactly what she had been seeking all along.

Loving kids well

Now the athlete continues to grow in her relationship with Christ. She is reaching out to others to build friendships with her fresh faith. As players continue coming to Behrens’ office wanting to discuss their life challenges, she reminds herself, “I need to love these kids well.”

She adds, “Coaching for Christ requires building trust with athletes. I just have to be available and obedient. I know God will do the work."


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