A story about how I was literally broken down and built back up.
I have never been the most graceful person. At three years old I ran into a wooden locker and split my forehead open resulting in multiple stitches, which I eventually yanked out myself, leading to the infamous beautiful scar that now and will forever be on my forehead.
Nineteen years later, I go crashing to the ground and break one of the smaller bones in my body causing me to have surgery and live with a small scar forever on my now crooked left pinky finger.
No that was not a typo…
Who knew that such a small, and often forgotten phalange could seriously impact my life? After my senior season at Texas I underwent an operation to fix the bone that had chipped in my finger. Costing me half a season of playing pro, thousands of dollars of what I could have earned, and the chance to experience the world.
However this measly digit turned out to be one of the greatest blessings of my life.
I have always had my life mapped out. I wanted to play college volleyball, go professional, retire, do something important like be a veterinarian or make dreams come true at Disney, get a dog, find the love of my life, explore the world, raise strong independent athletic children and live happily ever after. But what I (and you all that have read my blogs) have realized, life never goes as planned.
Let me just remind you all again… I broke mypinky.
It sounds weird, but I don’t think my tumble to the floor caused it, because you guys, I fell and my pinky didn’t even hurt until a few minutes later and the now permanently crooked joint, was completely straight after the incident until the following morning. Of course some of y’all may say that there is a logical explanation for that… But I will forever believe that God broke my finger.
I had planned to play professionally right after the last ball dropped and my collegiate career was over. I was excited to meet volleyballers from different countries. I was imagining seeing this amazing world and traveling to the most beautiful cities, trying new things, forced to figure out life and who I was in an unfamiliar place. All while getting paid to do all of that.
But in case you forgot… I broke my pinky.
- In December they cut my finger open and placed a screw and pins up in there.
- In February, after nine weeks in a cast, I was told I could ease into playing again.
- In March I couldn’t get an Italian visa quick enough to make the deadline to be on a roster.
- In April I applied to try out for the KOVO draft for South Korea, didn’t make the cut.
God does strange things in our lives that force us to grow.
In December I traveled up to Oklahoma and spent time with my aunts, uncles, and cousins, all of whom I haven’t seen in years due to basically committing my life year round to college volleyball for the past five years.
Deciding to move back to Austin rather than taking the easy route and moving back home for free, on a cold day in January I ran out of gas and only had two dollars to my name. I then realized I needed to not get just one job.. but two.
February, the toughest month by far! Had some high expectations of getting released and going overseas soon after. However I had the opportunity to spend an amazing weekend at an FCA retreat instead. God was not done with me yet.
March I had the opportunity to work with girls of all ages and give back to the volleyball world. I went to Chicago for the first time in my life and taught girls about the power of breathing and using it to cope with anxiety.
April changed my life forever. Mental health is and will always be something I’m passionate about. That’s why I write these blogs, make myself so vulnerable even though it’s a tough thing to do, and it’s what prompted me to create a YouTube channel dedicated just to mental health. EbbOnTheWebb. And in the past few weeks I’ve had coaches ask me to speak to their teams or schools. Players reach out for help and advice. My heart has felt so full the messages saying that I have touched a life.
Which is all I’ve ever wanted to do.
College Volleyball: Check
- Pro Volleyball: Coming Soon
- Do Something Important: Currently in the making.
- Find love, have kids: Too young for all that.
- Live happily ever after: Every single day.
When we are younger people always say “what do you want to be when you’re older?” Promoting us to plan out of futures and follow that path perfectly to get what we want out of life. However so much of our life is completely and utterly out of our control. I will still get the life I have mapped out, but I was forced to take a different path, one that I would have never chosen for myself. But I belong to God and I tell Him every night to use me and move me in a way that glorifies Him.
Me going overseas this spring would not have done that for Him. And He had to break my pinky to get my attention.
Let’s talk about what would have happened if I did go.. I would’ve made money, explored, posted cute Instagrams, played volleyball, possibly play with the national team, and then jump right into another season.
I would’ve never grown up, my faith wouldn’t be as strong as it is right now, I wouldn’t have had the chance to influence others and or had been gifted with the opportunity to travel and speak to hundreds of girls this summer on how important it is to take care of your brain. I am currently doing what I’ve always dreamed of. Had I played volleyball this spring I’m not sure I would doing the things that I am now, it would have taken me much longer to truly find myself and discover what I’m meant to do.
So the next time you find yourself in the midst of a trial and not sure where the end of the tunnel may be just remember: everything happens for a reason… Even a broken pinky.