To be completely honest, it is hard to even process injuries that plague us as athletes. It has been 3 years since the injury that robbed my senior season of Indoor Volleyball at Louisiana State University. Looking back on November 1, 2015 there is only one word that comes to mind: PEACE. I was staring up at the ceiling at the University of Kentucky knowing my senior season would be cut short due to the injury that just took place during warm ups.
The worst part wasn’t the pain that had taken over my body, but it was experiencing the realization that my volleyball career was over. Yet, peace was the only thing that would be present. God gave me the capacity to soak in the moment, the team, the memories on the court, my family’s unwavering support, as well as, my coaches’ time, intentionality, and effort to make my teammates and myself great. So thank you Jesus for that time on the floor to (literally) sit on that. The doctor said that I would not be able to walk for 3 months and might not be able to return to play for 12 months. 3 months later, I was playing Beach Volleyball for LSU. Only God would script that into good.
Fast forward to that summer, I had the opportunity to be apart of an internship with FCAV. On July 7, 2016 I was on a beach journaling and reading in Galatians 6 and came across a verse that allowed me to take a step toward healing in my injury, and hopefully will help you too. “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the World. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule to the Israel of God. From now one let no one cause my trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” (Galatians 6:14-17). You see, before that moment, I consistently asked “Why did I go through that? “What was the point?”, etc. After reading and now (figuratively) sitting on that verse, Jesus was not only redeeming the injury, but gave it meaning and life. 3 things were highlighted that day on the beach:
The injury allowed my perspective to turn into boasting only for what JESUS did on the cross. He is the only reason our gifts as athletes can be put on display. And it was only by him that I returned in 3 months to compete with the best teammates.
“What counts is the new creation” verse 15. The person Jesus built me into was way better having gone through the injury. You can be made into a new creation because of it too! His plan is way greater than you or I could ever imagine.
I now have a tangible, authentic, and holy marking on my body that shows I belong to Jesus. The scars that you endured or have yet to endure will allow you to show your marks of being with JESUS. That is worth showing off and boasting in!
Everyone’s story/injury looks different and BEAUTIFUL. I pray that whatever injury (mental, physical, emotional) you have faced or are in the middle of facing, you allow your Heavenly Father to heal you in. Seeing that his GOODNESS never waivers despite any attack that would rob you from that belief. We get to boast in him at all times, He has made us a NEW CREATION, and now we get to bear marks on us that show who HE is if we let him. You are strong, capable, tough, a DAUGHTER TO THE KING, and able to be used by HIM.
Hi! My name is Cati Leak and I am currently serving as the Assistant Beach Volleyball coach at LSU. I had the opportunity to play Indoor and Beach Volleyball at LSU from 2012-2017. I suffered multiple injuries in my time playing! I hope my story can help others!