Ashley's footThis sweet girl and her love for the game continue to amaze me. There doesn’t seem to be anything, pain included, that can make her stop playing. She hesitated in telling us that her foot was hurting for a couple of days. By the time she spoke up her inner arch on her left foot was purple and blue. As her mom, and a woman that does not like pain, I really cannot understand. Even after she told us she insisted that she was fine and didn’t need to go to the doctor. Luckily, we didn’t listen to her reasoning, and we took her in to be checked out.

It’s not broken…Praise The LORD! She has a bone spur, from a previous injury that we didn’t know existed, that is causing swelling, irritation and pain to her foot. When the doctor gave her the news that she would need to wear a boot and rest the first thing out of her mouth was, “Does this mean I can’t play this weekend?” Surprisingly, the doctor told her as long as she can bear through the pain she is allowed to take the boot off to play her sport and then put it back on. This is why she has a smile on her face in her picture…well that and Smoothie King, her new favorite.

basketball goal philippians 3Here’s what this strong-willed child of mine taught me this week… JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE PAIN DOESN’T MEAN YOU STOP LOVING! You press in! You pray! You LOVE! You keep going!

“Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me – so that I would not become arrogant. I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10

Paul understood pain. He experienced it physically and emotionally. He asked for it to go away. There was a purpose in the pain remaining. It was to keep him from becoming arrogant, to keep him dependent on His Lord to be his strength. I love The Lord’s reply to Paul. It’s the same for you and me…His grace is enough! His power is made perfect in our weakness. When we are weak, our God is STRONG therefore we are strong because he is in us. We can do hard things. We can keep going even when it hurts. We can forgive. We can love. We can press on towards the goal.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and Sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

Friends, I don’t know about you but those words bring me encouragement and instruction to follow. When we forget what is behind us and strain forward to what is ahead of us we will keep moving forward…one step in front of the other. Our girl’s love for the game of a sport has her heart passionate to keep fighting through the pain. That’s amazing, but what’s even more amazing is when we keep our eyes on the true prize of life, JESUS CHRIST, and we fight through our trials and pain knowing that we will WIN the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus.