H.S. volleyball coach exemplifies courage, keeps unborn baby with Trisomy 18

by Janet Denison |

Bishop Lynch Volleyball Coach Tricia Roos (left, standing) poses with her 2013 5A Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools championship team.

DALLAS (Christian Examiner) -- Bishop Lynch is a large private school in Dallas and almost always provides tough competition for opposing teams. Tricia Roos has coached the girl's volleyball team to three state championships in her seven years as head coach there. Tricia has been in the news lately for a different reason. She is six-and-a-half months pregnant with a baby who has been diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a chromosome disorder that usually ends in miscarriage or stillbirth. The doctors recommended terminating the pregnancy but Tricia has chosen to ignore that advice and continue to carry her baby. She has described these months of uncertainty as "a teaching moment."

Tricia Roos is an educator and she said, "I'm teaching these kids to fight and never give up." She told reporters, "Why would I choose the easy road or give up on something when my life is being challenged?" She wants to meet her little girl, even if she will only live a short time. The doctors are telling her not to expect that meeting but she is choosing to give her daughter every moment of life that God allows. I wanted to put Tricia's name out to all of you. Let's pray for God's perfect will in the life of this baby, this mom, this family and the wider audience of students, faculty and others.

We serve a God of miracles and I would love for this baby to be one. How about you? I really admire the courage and strength of this young woman. She is choosing to allow God to use her life as a powerful message about who he is. I wonder which of those students will be changed because of her story and example? God's ways are higher than our ways, and stories like this one serve as a great reminder of that fact. I used to pray to understand God's ways, now I pray for the wisdom to trust and remember his perfection, even when I can't understand a circumstance.

The woman who sent me Coach Roos' story has been battling cancer for a long time and she is a testimony to the power of God that is ours, through faith. She told me that there are hard days when she battles with her fear about her illness and the future. Coach Roos said the same thing. Faith does not mean that we don't experience fear, it means that we don't have to live with or be controlled by the fear. Scripture teaches us what to do when we are afraid.

The first verse I try to remember when I have fear is Psalm 56:3: When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Fears are a very real part of our earthly lives. To ignore them is often more about denial than strength. "When" we are afraid, we have to make a choice. Do we trust God? The answer to our fear is found in that question. Of course we will seek doctors, wise advice and professional council as well. The priority will be to trust God first and trust God most. Fears must be submitted to God or they will control our choices. God wants to lead our lives because he is perfect at that job. His Holy Spirit is our guide, our strength, our direction and our discernment. The answers we need are the answers he most wants to give us. Will we choose to trust God first and most, when we are afraid?

The second verse I try to remember is 2 Corinthians 10:5: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Fears can control our lives instead of God's Holy Spirit. That is why fear is such a useful tool in Satan's hand. One of the most potent spiritual weapons against fear is to examine our fearful thoughts. Why are we afraid? Who authored the thought and how is the fear controlling? Demolish anything that sets itself up between you and your relationship to God. Take captive your thoughts, determine who authored the thought and how it is affecting you. Then make that thought obedient to what Jesus has taught, promised and guaranteed. If you are still afraid after that, then keep taking your fearful thoughts captive, compare them again to God's word and choose to acknowledge and trust Jesus rather than the fear.

It sounds like Tricia Roos is leaning fully on the truth of God's word for the days ahead. She is not denying the facts, she is simply trusting the Creator God for his tiny creation within her. Roos said, "This isn't a mistake. There's a higher purpose for this."

I would like to "Amen" that. There is a higher purpose and each of us can be blessed by that higher purpose. Use the comment section to lift up this family. I will make certain she is aware of your thoughts and prayers. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing (Psalm 34:9). Tricia Roos and her unborn daughter are teaching a lot of people the truth of that verse.

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Originally titled 'A Coach's Courage,' this article first appeared at janetdenison.com.

Janet Denison is the Director of Spiritual Formation for the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture and the author of Content to be Good, Called to be Godly. Janet blogs regularly at www.janetdenison.com. To connect with Janet in social media, visit www.twitter.com/janet_denison or www.facebook.com/janetldenison.