Answering the Call
March 26, 2012
Fire Spotlight With Chelsey Lynn
Leaders can often be held at the highest regard, seen as the catalyst for all success. When measures become immense and direction needs to be provided, leadership is called upon to place order in any situation. Leaders are needed in many fascist of life, especially in sports. Some say that leaders are born with the essential traits that make them who they are. But what happens when someone is called into leadership? Enter senior Chelsey Lynn.
Lynn has played a massive role in the 2012 women’s tennis season. She has been a tenacious leader, showing experience in many different areas. But with the absence of a head coach, Lynn was called to become a tentative coach for the Fire. Without missing a beat, she provided exactly what this program needed. With great passion and dexterity, she has carried the load of responsibility like any true leader would.
I had the wonderful opportunity to converse with Lynn about her leadership role, being named player coach, and her favorite moment at SEU.
Williams: Give us your thoughts on your senior season.
Lynn: Putting in extra time away from practice to improve is always a key element to a successful season, but there are a lot of things I’ve been trying to enjoy apart from just playing tennis. Really enjoying the relationships with my teammates has been awesome, because I know I’m really going to miss them when I’m not here anymore. Trying to have a heart that aches for people like God’s does, on and off my team, has been the main theme for the season. I had the amazing opportunity to go to the Passion 2012 conference in January, which ended mere hours before our first season training session started. While there, I really started to have a stronger conviction for sharing the Gospel with my opponents. You can get caught up in competition on changeovers during a match and too easily forget that they could live their entire life never hearing the truth that Jesus can give them true freedom, unless you have the guts and confidence to speak up. What do I have to lose? Looking like a fool to people around me is nothing in comparison to what Jesus has done for me, by chasing and sometimes tackling me in order to ultimately save me from myself. Their reaction to the truth isn’t my responsibility, but it is my honored responsibility and passion to share it with them. God will use it for His purposes.
Williams: What has been your favorite moment playing for SEU?
Lynn: I’ve been on so many tennis trips to Georgia that they’ve really run together, but last season we were at a school that seemed like it was at least a hundred miles from civilization. That sometimes leads you to think that the team may not be the greatest, but when they started warming up it became apparent that they came to play. The number one girl on their team was over six feet tall. She and I ended up playing three full sets and I eventually won in a tiebreaker during the last set. I was definitely the underdog. Our ground strokes were very even, so it became a game of pure strategy and will.
Williams: This year you became a player coach for the women’s team. Tell me how that came about and what has that role been like for you?
Lynn: To be transparent, I really hadn’t even heard of the concept before last semester. It sort of felt like the combination of an RA, coach, travel agent, student, and teammate. I’m very appreciative to Duane (Aagaard) for encouraging me through the semester. The girls on the team showed a lot of maturity in their patience, with my learning curve and the entire process of selecting a coach.
Williams: How has being a leader on the court impacted your life off the court?
Lynn: I think leadership offers you the opportunity to really try and see people from God’s perspective. If you’re in a position to impact lives and communicate the truth of God, that has a huge tag of responsibility. Knowing the right thing to do and feeling compassion aren’t enough; I think being a true leader is choosing to do something with that knowledge, especially when your popularity may be on the line.
Williams: What has been the most maturing lesson you have learned since being at SEU?
Lynn: Being truly salty will almost assuredly cause friction, especially if there are insecurities in the mix, and especially among other Christians. But that friction can be positive, and there is a lot of growth to be had if you’re willing to go through the agony involved. If the Lord has given you freedom over insecurity, don’t give in to pressure from other people to falsely admit you still struggle with it to make someone feel better. Own up to your confidence in the Lord. Proclaiming the truth and sovereignty of God in your life is going to make someone uncomfortable, but approach it with the honesty that anything praiseworthy in you comes from God.
Williams: What’s something that many people might not know about you?
Lynn: I’m a singer. I’m reluctant to even say that, though, because just saying it seems incredibly cliché. I really feel like I’m doing what I’m meant to do when I sing to make Jesus known. He doesn’t need me, but I’m very glad that He would want to use me.
Williams: How has your experience been at SEU?
Lynn: I transferred in as a junior into Bethany Hall. That was definitely an interesting start to my time here after having my own apartment for nearly two years, but that hall has a unique sense of community or togetherness. A lot of my experiences have reminded me of a continuation of youth group, but I think the new leadership on campus has awesome vision for providing a separate experience that will serve to build off of high school experiences rather than continue them. After spending two years at a school that was not focused on Jesus Christ, coming here and praying before a practice was very refreshing. There are some mature men and women of God serving at this university.
Williams: What advice would you give to incoming freshman about the season?
Lynn: I would really encourage incoming freshman to take advantage of the fall semester when regular season isn’t in full swing to find a way to be fed spiritually and also serve through a church home in the area. Also, I would strongly encourage incoming freshman to give themselves a thorough chance to develop and deepen their dependency on Jesus, both with their sense of worth and desires.