Sports

Faith on the Field: Softball Captain Emily Houck

As America’s pastime, whether we like baseball or not, we’ve grown up with our parents and grandparents telling us stories about old players and games. Many of us can vividly remember having a catch with our dad or brothers and sisters, trying squeeze a glove as best we could. Some of these moments can simply lead to some bonding time or it can provide a spark into an athletic career. Emily Houck, junior Softball Captain, recounts her time playing ball with her family as the starting point to discovering one of her passions and joys in a sport that has helped connect with her faith.

Despite only entering her junior year, Houck has already accomplished many things for Eastern’s team. She was a big part of the 2012 playoff run in which she learned many valuable leadership skills from older girls on the team. Now, she is the starting short stop and a major contributor to the team.

While Houck’s talents on the field have helped benefit Eastern, Eastern has also influenced her in a unique way in terms of her faith.  Houck’s story of how she became a Christian is similar to that of many other Christians. Growing up in a Christian home, she accepted Jesus into her heart at age four after her Aunt explained to her the meaning of salvation after reading a children’s story involving salvation. Since then, Houck has progressed greatly in her walk with God.

It wasn’t until coming to Eastern however, that Houck really saw her faith and softball, two things she spent a lot of time on, start to integrate. In reflection on her time before Eastern, Houck said, “Previously, I used to tell myself that if I kept working hard I would be doing things right.” Eastern’s classes and professors, according to Houck, changed the way she thought and made her realize that she should be working hard for the Lord. In her mind, this directly correlated to softball. “If I am playing softball to the best of the ability that God has given me and honoring him with it, “Houck humbly comments, “then I can bring God glory through playing softball, because I cannot do anything on my own power and ability.”

Since connecting her faith with softball, Houck finds that her attitude during good and bad time has been changed for the better.  Softball can be a very streaky sport in which batters can have torrid hot streaks or devastating slumps.  It is very easy for one to get overly confident or to try and press and do too much. Houck uses her faith to combat this issue that many struggle with.  “During the high times it is easy to feel like you are doing things on your own and forget that the only reason I was able to be on a hitting streak or knock in a few runs is because of the amazing blessings God has given me. Grace and humility are things that have been, and will continue to be difficult to learn but they must be my reaction to any amount of success,” Houck states. Similarly to how she embodies God with her personal approach on the field, Houck sees similar God-like qualities arise through interacting with her teamamtes. “A roster is just a bunch of names on a list that show up and practice and play together, but really don’t care about the rest of the people on the list. A team is willing to love each other and serve each other; the members want to be involved in each other’s lives and know if one of their teammates is hurting or could use help on their homework, or just a friend for a while.”

Humble, driven and motivate through personal desire and faith, Emily Houck looks to display her stellar skills and Christian leadership on the softball field this spring for the Eagles.

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