Love + Serve = ACE As We Embark on a New Chapter at FPU

Love + Serve = ACE As We Embark on a New Chapter at FPU

It is an honor to restart the FPU women’s tennis program. In an amazing first year we received All-Academic team honors, PacWest Conference Freshman of the Year and four All-Conference awards, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Community Service Award and went undefeated at home!

As I reflect on my first year, I am reminded how far God has carried me and my family from where we were nearly 15 years ago. In 2005, I received my first sudden cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead. Miraculously, I was brought back to life. As a result of sudden cardiac arrests, I suffered memory loss, numerous surgeries and was not able to work, play sports or drive for seven years. I am constantly reminded of God’s love for me as I walk around the FPU campus and see the verse from Matthew 19:26, “…with God all things are possible.”

I could have gone into a depression and lost all hope, and to be honest there was a period where I did. But true hope changes the whole perspective of our lives, and whoever has accepted the call from Jesus Christ can put their eternal hope into action by following their dreams and making a difference. Psalm 62:5 says, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.” God will give us hope that will empower us to radically change lives.

God could do what the cardiologists told me neither they nor I could do. He allowed me to relearn my lost memories, gave me the stability to drive and granted me the opportunity to pour into the next generation as a collegiate tennis coach.

It is a special opportunity to build an athletic program from the ground up, and I recruit students committed to growth beyond adversity. To instill the appropriate team culture, we make decisions every day to emphasize what is right and to immediately correct what is wrong. Through my testimony, I relate with these women about the pressures and trials that happen throughout life. Not everything will go as we plan it. How do we respond? As I remind them how far God has brought me, I assure them he will do the same for them.

I believe God allows us to achieve goals, but it is a sign of faith when our dreams are larger than our reasoning. Positive thinking is not the same as faith in God. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” If we choose to operate in God’s will, nothing can stop us as we move toward the things he prepared for us.

Through these past nearly 15 years, God has taught me multitudes of lessons. Let me impart just a few of them as we receive anxious new students walking around campus not knowing where they need to go, and returning students looking to rekindle friendships.

Time to Get Out of the Waiting Room

I felt imprisoned in my own home, unable to work, do sports, drive or pursue my passion for intercultural studies. Not only do I have a B.A. and M.A. in the subject, but I’m Dutch born and raised, of Indonesian decent and married to an American—it’s literally my life. God taught me I was in his waiting room as he molded and prepared me to be his servant. Now I understand! Many of us go through this waiting period…how did you experience yours?

Time to Live Again

God gave me a second chance in life, physically and spiritually. What are we going to do with our second chances this school year?

Time for Coffee

OK, most of us love coffee or tea. My coffee time is for friends, reflection, relaxation, quiet mornings, etc. As you drink your coffee or tea, maybe there is a colleague or student you can invite to join you, so he or she can be encouraged.

Time for Change

God created nature to go through necessary changes in order to rejuvenate for further growth. I went through my winter in the waiting room as God stripped me of my leaves and prepared me for the harvest to come. But I cannot remain in the winter, otherwise God cannot use me. Sweet is the spring nectar after a long winter! Do you allow yourself to go through changes as God leads?

Time to Pray

First Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Never stop praying.” (NLT). Do you have a set time to pray, or do you pray throughout the day? I encourage you to pray for specific students you meet in the first few weeks of this semester.

As we start the new year in FPU’s 75th celebration, can we wake up each day like Winnie the Pooh?

 “What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.

When we go through difficult days, four things become evident: clarity, confirmation, commitment and character. Having positivity, faith in Christ and a big dream can help FPU’s future. Let’s start this new academic year with this mindset as we celebrate 75 years of God’s faithfulness!

Finally, I must end with a tennis analogy. FPU is called to engage the cultures and serve the cities. This begins with LOVE. We must LOVE those around us in order to engage them. We must SERVE others to emulate Jesus as he SERVED us. If you LOVE others you will SERVE them, that is an ACE worthy of God’s victory!

Connections
Priscilla Jensen, M.A.

Priscilla Jensen, M.A.

Head Women’s Tennis Coach