Through His Grace
By Emma Kililan
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” -- Ecclesiastes 3:1
Entering my senior year of volleyball definitely didn’t look the way I had planned it in my head the last four years of high school. I was battling through my first real life challenge, a true challenge to test my faith.
It started when I got a concussion that resulted in three months of physical therapy and missing out on almost my entire season of soccer. Soccer is our family sport, my dad coaches, and my sister and I had already lost a season of playing together due to COVID. My summer then consisted of doctor’s appointments and checking off the boxes of possible issues. Starting my volleyball season had a lot of uncertainties and it didn’t get any easier as the season went on. I had been dealing with some different health issues and it wasn’t until over halfway through the season that I finally got a diagnosis. I was fatigued, had lost a ton of weight and a lot of food made me feel sick. Due to those symptoms, it made it very hard to get through a school day and volleyball practice seemed almost impossible some days.
During volleyball games, I just barely had enough energy to make it through, sitting down at every time out. This was not how I wanted to live as an athlete, but it also was not how I wanted to be living through my day-to-day life. I was in and out of school for appointments, which looked very different from what I would have thought a normal week would have been my senior year. Throughout every test, procedure and doctor's appointment though, the Lord gave me overwhelming peace. I never really thought about the outcome of each procedure or what could be the result of each test.
Through the grace of God, I was able to have peace about everything and not get anxious about what the possibilities were. I had many people praying for me and constantly saw God’s hand in situations. The Lord blessed me with an amazing doctor who helped guide me through treatment options. The Lord made a way for me to be able to start treatments very quickly. The treatment was successful and helped me to gain back the energy I needed to get through the day and be able to play volleyball. There is hope and joy at the end of the story even though I am still dealing with some of the health struggles; the Lord set things in motion and helped me finish my volleyball season. I was able to play the entire time for my last two games, which I hadn’t been able to do in over six weeks.
I share my journey because I hope that I can be a reminder that God gives us hard times to grow us. I went from being the girl who did everything, to learning how to rely on others to help me out. God also taught me the importance of prayer throughout this journey. I have felt the impact of prayer every time I would hear someone say they were praying for me, even people I didn’t know. This encouraged me to reach out to the girls on my team and others in my school and ask them each week what I can be praying about for them.
Through this journey, I have felt like I have learned the importance of making my faith my own and digging deeper into God’s Word. I was baptized this past September so I can publicly pronounce the faithfulness of God and His love and mercy towards me. While my health journey isn’t over, this challenge helped me to see who I am outside of being an athlete. It’s made me see that I’m more than an athlete or a student. I am God’ child and He has made me with special, spiritual gifts and abilities. I am empowered to use them to impact others despite my situation.
- How is God going to use the situation I am going through to impact others around me?
- What is God’s purpose for this season that I am in?
- Is it evident in your life if you have grown closer or farther away from God during this time?
Lamentations 3:23; James 1:12; Romans 12:12
“God, I know this season is part of Your plan. Some days I don’t even know how I am going make it through the rest of the day, but because of Your grace, You have helped me to overcome. Help me to see Your faithfulness through it and help me to draw closer to You in this season. Amen.”