My life was simple and beautiful.
I was in control — until I wasn’t.
I grew up in a loving home in Tallahassee, Florida, and had many opportunities to see the world. My family went to church on Sundays and I learned about Jesus throughout my childhood. When everything was going well, I didn’t feel a need to trust in anything bigger than myself, my intellect, and my strength. I loved God in my head but didn’t know how to love Him in my heart.
In 2007, I got a phone call that my grandparents were in a car accident. My grandfather was instantly killed. My grandmother was injured.
“God, what? Where are you? I’m hurting, my family is hurting, what is happening?”
I was confused, angry, upset, and felt a deep loss of control. I cried out to God in my pain.
This was the first time I experienced a deep loss of control.
Following this upsetting family crisis, I turned to hold tightly to the things I could control. I began restricting what I ate and exercising excessively. I controlled my love life by seeking one boyfriend after the next. I became obsessed with performing well in school as well as extracurricular activities.
And you know what?
One by one, each of these things crumbled in the same hands that were holding so tightly for security. My unhealthy relationship with my body resulted in medical and hormonal issues. The boys I dated weren’t always faithful and they let me down. I realized I would never be the smartest. I tore my hamstring and wasn’t even able to play the sport that had become my idol.
My peace was gone.
Anxiety was my daily reality.
All of these things pointed to my need for something bigger than myself for true satisfaction and peace.
At my lowest moment, rock-bottom, I began praying that God would help me. I didn’t even know how to trust God. I began reading His words from the Bible. I started with a verse that has held a banner of hope for me many times:
“We know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.” Romans 8:28
This verse showed me that all things that happen in my life are for our good when we love God. I began reading more verses and realized some really important truths:
I am broken. I fall short. I may try my hardest, but I will never be perfect. (Romans 3:23)
There are not enough good things I can do to ever earn God’s love. (Romans 3:27-28)
God loves me. God loves you. God wants a relationship with His people so much that 2000 years ago, He sent His son, Jesus, to die on a cross, paying the penalty for all of the wrong things we have done. He did all of this even when He knew we were not perfect and not everyone would follow and accept Him. (Romans 5:8, John 3:16)
If we believe in the loving sacrifice that Jesus made for us, our faith allows us to experience forgiveness and freedom from the darkness in our hearts. This is a miracle, God’s Holy Spirit living inside of us that gives us His peace and new life! (Romans 6:5-7)
These verses in Romans taught me so much about God and about myself. Though I had grown up around spiritual things my whole life, it wasn’t until 2010 in high school that I decided to trust Jesus — to truly, actually trust that He loves me and that a life trusting God is better than a life of trusting myself and what I am capable of.
My testimony of coming to a saving relationship with God is tightly woven into my professional career – physical therapy. After tearing my hamstring in 2009, I went through 6+ months of physical therapy. At first, I was devastated, unable to play sports and totally frustrated. However, God softened my heart through that therapeutic experience and I discovered a deep love for physical therapy and the opportunity to use exercise to heal the body.
Fast forward, I am graduating May 2, 2020 with my Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Central Florida. My dream is to work as a physical therapist in a developing country to serve underserved populations through medical mission work.
God’s way was better and sweeter than I ever could have orchestrated for myself. He took brokenness, injury, and loss and turned it into my passion. Our God is worthy of trust. When life looks out of control, seek Him and trust Him. He loves you.
If you want to know more about how to start a relationship with God or more about how to trust Him, it would be my JOY to talk to you personally.
Hannah currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida, and is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She loves helping others learn about God’s love for them, outdoor exercise adventures, and words of encouragement. Follow along with her on Instagram @hannahkwebster