“’For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans of welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and HOPE.’” Jeremiah 29:11
Starting my freshman year at the University of Texas, I seriously could not be more excited. My dream was finally coming true of playing college soccer and I was ready to show my teammates and my coaches what I was made of, both on and off the field. The first month of training was one of the hardest months of my life physically, mentally, and emotionally with two-a-days, fitness testing, and being in a completely new place; but it wasn’t anything like how the following months would be when I got injured.
One morning at goalkeeper training, I made a save that ended up in me hurting my back pretty seriously. After about 4 months of physical therapy, scans, and several injections to try to help the injury get better, I was told that I was going to need to get surgery. I was devastated because this was not at all how I saw my freshman season turning out.
After getting back surgery in December and returning to school after winter break, I was feeling torn up because I was going on my 6th month of sitting on the sidelines and still had several months to go. This has been one of the hardest things I have had to go through, whether it be the physical pain of the surgery or the emotional pain of watching my teammates everyday play the sport I love when I can’t. There were several nights where I wouldn’t pray, and I questioned God’s plan and why this had to happen to me. Even though I went through this period of disappointment with God, my faith is ultimately what has gotten me through this injury. Sometimes when we feel helpless, we try to find anything to help relieve us of our suffering; and when we don’t find any earthly pleasures to fulfill that helplessness, we feel even more broken. What I have learned is that the only relief to this feeling is God. He is the one that fills our brokenness and crushes our doubts because He will make the outcome of the trial so much greater than we can ever imagine.
During this time, I felt more connected with God when I journaled my prayers. There’s something about being so vulnerable through writing down your feelings that made my prayers feel much more intimate with God. In addition to journaling, I started to listen to worship music, especially on the way to the doctor! This helped me remember the peace of God and gave me the encouragement I needed. By doing these things, I was just filled with so much more joy and optimism that God provided me. I was reassure that He is taking care of me and He has a plan bigger than anything I could ever imagine.
I have about 3 months left of my recovery and I am so excited to get back out to playing. More importantly, I am excited to see how what I’ve learned through this trial helps me in the future.
Hi! I’m Maddy and I play soccer at University of Texas where I plan on majoring in Sport Management with a minor in business. I love being outdoors, the beach, my family and friends!