“You probably won’t be able to play sports again; it is too big of a risk” said the doctor. These were the words that broke my heart when I was ten years old. I had just been diagnosed with asthma. The doctors had come to the conclusion it was allergy induced. Meaning any dust, grass, mold, trees and smoke would cause me to cough. Although I was glad to have the relief of feeling better and no more one a.m. emergency room visits, I was completely crushed. I loved sports.
It was a prayer answered, but a prayer to be continued. I had never been a person who loved being inside, watching, playing video games or sitting still. At age ten I was always on the go. Whether I was playing sports, going to school or playing with my siblings I never stopped. Surprisingly, at age ten, I had already identified myself as an athlete. No sports? What was I going to do? Why would God do this to me? Along with my crushed heart came much confusion and shock. As the doctor said those words a series of questions raced through my mind: my parents weren’t honestly going to make me quit soccer? Were they? What was everyone going to think of me? I could hardly speak at that appointment besides yes or no. The longer I sat there, the more it sunk in. I had a long road ahead to travel. If I played sports my performance would drop because I would not be able to breathe. Even knowing that my game would be greatly impacted, I decided to not let that stop me and to keep playing!
On the way to soccer that night my mom told me to remember, “You can do all things through Christ who strengthen you” (Philippines 4:13). I kept this in mind as practice started. I was working my butt off, but soon after, I started coughing. Taking a deep breath in, I glanced over at my bag with my inhaler. It was time; I knew what I had to do. I went over and sucked in that thick, moist gas and ran back over to start practicing again. At that moment I realized that the only one who was going to stop me was myself. I continued to believe this as I went on to play soccer on the top club team in my city, Arsenal Gold.
Since that time of revelation I have fought through much pain. From more asthma attacks, to allergy shots, to sinus surgery, to reflux disease, to broken wrists, but nothing has stopped me. Pain has become my motivation, prayer my encouragement. Instead of telling myself I can’t, I tell myself I can. Although there is still a long road ahead, I keep conquering my pain one step and prayer at a time. This belief has not left me and still to this day when people ask me, why I don’t stop, or how I keep going, my answer is simple. I know and believe that the only thing or person that is going to stop me is myself, and I will never let that happen!
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