A little over three weeks ago we were in Washington, DC for a game. We finished our shoot around and my teammate, Astou, and I grabbed a quick bite to eat before our meeting with Helen from Talltique (more about that in a future blog). After the meeting, we took our usual pre-game naps then headed to the gym where I ran through my normal pre-game individual warm up and work out with Coach Johnson. The next thing I know, I'm sitting on a hospital bed and it's 1:30 am. Turns out we played the Mystics and I was having a very productive game. However, with four minutes left in the fourth quarter, I went to do an 'up and under' move, tripped (or was tripped), fell chin first on the floor and suffered a concussion. For the next 3 hours I would suffer from short term memory loss (think "50 first dates" only within minutes, instead of days) and I would lose a 6 hour span of my memory completely.
Over the next few weeks I would endure some very unpleasant headaches. Thankfully they have now become infrequent although they still appear out of nowhere though they don't last too long. I also would not be allowed to drive, and would also have to admit that I couldn't sit court side and cheer on my teammates during the games because the noise was too much. The cruelest part though was not being able to play the sport I loved...AGAIN! When you suffer a concussion, they will not allow you to do any form of physical activity until all your symptoms (in my case the headaches) stop. I was not (and still am not) even allowed to shoot a basketball!
So at first, typical stubborn me I wanted to play desperately. And in order for me to play, I needed the headaches to stop. So when the headaches started happening periodically and only for minutes at a time, I felt like that was a good enough improvement to at least shoot a basketball, but no - I had to be completely headache free. The frustrating part was not having any control over the situation. I would sit in silence all day thinking that I was going to have a symptom free day and then - bam - headache. Someone would start talking a little too loud - headache. Music would be playing - headache. I would look at my phone screen for too long - headache! I hated not having control over how my body acted and reacted to situations. Then when one week of symptoms turned into two weeks, the worry started to kick in. What if my brain never heals? What if I suffer headaches for the rest of my life? Why won't my symptoms go away already? What if I don't get cleared in time to go to France? What if France cuts my contract? With each passing day I am losing my conditioning, endurance and strength! Why God, WHY? I had no control over how long the healing process would be, and I could see all of my plans and excitement for the remaining and upcoming seasons slipping away.
Once again, I had to be reminded of God's promises for my life, and trust that he has a plan, purpose and reason for everything. Even in this situation I was only seeing a small part of an even larger picture. Even though I am not yet fully healed, I am going to find joy in this trial. Maybe this is God's way of giving my body more rest. Or maybe this free time from not being able to play and travel is opening the door for me to spend quality time with friends that I hadn't had a chance to connect with this season. Perhaps God is protecting me from something that I am unaware of, or maybe he doesn't want me going to France this year? I do not have the answers and I may never get those answers, but I will trust in his plan for my life no matter what. I can say, though, that I am thankful for the God fearing people He has put in my life. People like my loving and supportive parents, Tonya our trainer, Coach Johnson, Ruth, my Grace Church family and family members who have been praying for me, our chaplains Ms. Betsy, Tracy, and Rev. Mignon, my supportive teammates and countless others who have reminded me to trust in his plan along the way.
Learning to truly trust God's plan for my life brought me back to when I was twelve years old. At that age I had decided that I was going to be a teacher, specifically, an Art teacher. Basketball as a career had never even crossed my radar. Little did I know that God had a different plan for my life. Thirteen years later I am a professional basketball player who has a small art business on the side. The experiences I have had and the places I have been far exceed any dreams that I had ever had for myself as a little twelve year old girl. God's course for my life has been far greater than I ever could have imagined. So why should I stop trusting his plan for my life now? Life may have knocked me down, but God will lift me right back up... and to a higher point than I was before!
Has life knocked you down recently or in the past? How did you get back up and/or trust in God's plan for your life?
Thanks for stopping by and God bless,