“My Grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10
Have you ever struggled with finding the good in a terrible situation?
In May of 2017, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I had never felt so lonely and helpless. When I first started struggling with these things, everything that once made me happy – my friends, family, and soccer – were no longer satisfying. I wasn’t motivated to do anything at all and I began to question God… “Why is this happening to me now?”
I was about to begin my senior year of college soccer and everything was lined up how I planned. However, we all know that our plans aren’t always what is best for us. Through months of therapy and prayer, I began to realize that a lot of unhealthy existed in my life – I needed something to change. This prompted me to transfer to the University of Jamestown in North Dakota. Although it was a very last-minute decision, I was desperate for change. I had no idea what I was getting myself into (the cold weather, a new team, and a totally different culture). And yet, I was welcomed immediately by the community of Jamestown, the soccer team, and my coach. As I stepped into this new adventure, I was filled with hope. I continued to attend counseling and a healing group so that I could continue to work through the pain I had faced from my anxiety and depression.
Through all of this, something was changing in me. Things weren’t perfect and I was still struggling with some dark days and nights, yet I never lost hope in this new plan God was creating in my life. I found my passion for soccer again and realized that God not only sent me here to heal but to serve as a mentor to several girls on the team. Because I had taken on this role, I pushed myself to be as Christ-like as possible both on and off the field. I committed more of my time to God and with this, I wanted to say “yes” to 100% of what God asked of me. Just as things seemed to be getting better, two really hard situations were thrown at me. One of my teammates was at a terribly low point in her life – she began to self-harm and came to me after contemplating suicide. This was one the scariest moments of my life and something I thought I would never be fully exposed to. Looking back now, God is so faithful because He gave me the strength to put my own situation aside so that I could be a rock for m m y dear friend. As the weeks and months went by, my friend began to heal – and so did I. I noticed huge improvements in my mental health! I suddenly felt more motivated to do the things that would make my own life better.
Another difficult thing that I faced was the decision to end things with my boyfriend of almost two years. After years of him pressuring me to do physical things that I did not want to do, I decided to break things off with him. As I look back and recognize how painful of a decision this was, I feel so blessed that The Lord gave me the strength to stand firm in what I believe and to go through with it.
Ladies, I have seen God give me strength in some of my weakest moments – and I can stand confidently knowing he will do the same for you. Even the darkest of situations can be made beautiful by God. Today I write this to you free from so much of the anxiety and depression that I used to face and with an eager heart to know God more and to help others through their darkest times. God is good.
My name is Amanda George, and I am from Fountain Valley California. I am a senior at the University of Jamestown and majoring in Health and Fitness Administration. I am passionate about God, mental illness, and soccer! Thank you for taking the time to read my story.