The start of my second overseas professional basketball season didn’t quite go as I had envisioned it. I got here on the morning of August 25th and everything was going smoothly. I had a whole weekend to adjust before training on Monday. I got settled into my new apartment, life was good – and exciting.
Monday morning rolled around and I went to my first training session. We began with some physical testing just to get a baseline for our fitness and then hopped straight into training.
Within the first ten minutes of drills I went to jump stop and pivot and slipped on the floor (the floor was very slippery). I wound up in an unintentional version of the splits. I was able to walk it off and hopped straight into the next drill, but my knee ached throughout practice. Right after training I iced it before bed because I knew something wasn’t quite right.
I didn’t sleep very well that night as every time I went to move my knee was met with a sharp pain. When I woke up in the morning my knee was really stiff and I just knew I wouldn’t be able to practice that day. I explained it to our assistant coach and went and saw our team’s physio after practice.
He diagnosed it as a Grade 1 MCL sprain. I was relieved it wasn’t worse (knees are a scary subject for basketball players), but it meant I would be out for a few days while it settled down. It was kind of frustrating.
So I did my due diligence and Thursday morning was cleared for some straight line running and shooting. I was excited to be able to join my teammate for an early morning shooting session.
Within the first ten minutes of the workout I went up to shoot a reverse layup and came down wrong.
My ankle rolled over the side of my foot.
Overcome with that initial rush of pain, a side of frustration, and a teaspoon of anger I hobbled to the side of the court.
I sat there with my foot elevated and a shameful bag of ice as my teammate completed her shooting session. Scenarios of the repercussions of my ankle roll flooded my mind as I waited. The initial pain was quite severe so of course my brain imagined the worst possible scenarios at first. I could barely climb the stairs out of the gym that morning. I was beside myself with frustration.
It was right then and there when I was sitting in the car waiting for our next session, as tears tried to leak out of the corners of my eyes, that my heart was convicted.
You see, just a few days earlier I had read an article about a man who had just lost everything and despite his earthly trials was still praising God. And he even mentioned that he wasn’t just praising God in the storm but rather he was praising God because of the storm.
In that moment it all came together for me. I was in a storm. And while I was far from losing everything, I did feel like I was losing. And the last thing my heart wanted to do was praise God for this storm. Not only I had let my earthly dreams and goals briefly overshadow why I am really here in the first place, but I also forgot that I’m not actually the one in control.
And that’s where I was wrong.
I am not in control. God is. I’m not here because I deserve to be. I’m here because God has placed me here and is using me for His plan and glory.
How could I let a swollen ankle overshadow my value in God’s kingdom?
Without Him my ankle may seem like a key aspect of my value. I wouldn’t be a very good professional basketball player without it. But through knowing Him I understand that my value isn’t something that can be reduced or tampered with. I am a daughter of the King of the Universe. The king who sent his only son to die for us so we could be saved. Nothing on this earth, physical or non-physical, can take that from me.
As it turns out, it’s just a minor ankle sprain. I should be back training by Monday, and feeling 100% by the end of the week. I’m thankful it wasn’t worse. And as weird as it sounds, I’m also thankful it all happened. I’m thankful I had this opportunity to check my heart before it slid deeper down the slippery slope of control and worldly values.
As I continue to be reminded of my weaknesses I am also reminded that He is my strength – and that His power is made perfect in my weakness. How amazing is that?
Praise God for the sun.
Praise God for the rain.
He is good.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” – James 1:2