Growing Through the Storms of Life

There are many natural challenges and struggles that a college student-athlete goes through. A natural disaster in their hometown however is not something common for students to process. As a result of Hurricane Harvey in Houston Texas, Hurricane Irma striking the coast of Florida, and Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico all this year, for several Lipscomb student-athletes they have been forced to process, struggle, learn and grow.

“Natural disasters are strange in the sense of being incredibly negative, but bringing out the absolute best in people. Though the hurricane in Houston was detrimental for thousands of people, it was amazing to see people who would normally never interact, be willing to give the shirt off their backs to someone who needed it more. This world we live in can appear to be so corrupt and broken, but in those moments I gained hope for humanity. Being so far from home during such a horrific time was hard, it was actually harder than hard, but the support system here at Lipscomb and through my volleyball team made each day a little easier.

The unknown was and always seems to be the hardest part. “What if it doesn’t stop raining? What if the creek overflows? What if the water gets into the house?” These real thoughts didn’t have answers at the time, and the only way to get through that was to understand that there was nothing else I could do or change. Life is so fragile and this was yet another reminder of that. Perspective is everything and it could always be worse. I’m grateful that my family is fine, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the support I had through the difficult time of uncertainty.”  Megan SullivanVolleyball


“Some things that I learned through the Hurricane in Houston were that I should never take anything for granted. I lived in that house for pretty much my whole life and whenever I saw it after the hurricane it was completely destroyed. I never thought about how much I would miss it until it was gone. A big thing I learned was just not taking anything for granted especially your house. The next big thing I learned was whenever a natural disaster occurs it’s very important that the community comes together and helps the people affected. After the hurricane happened, a church nearby donated 10,000 dollars and it helped my family so much. They also got some engineers and architects to come and help rip out the floor and walls and just get the reconstruction process to go by easier. I hope I never have to go through another disaster like that but if it happens I want to be able to help out the community in any way I can just like they helped my family.” Simon Holden-Soccer


“The feeling of helplessness is one of the worst feelings. You are not in control and there is nothing that you can do to help the situation at hand. This is how millions of people felt during Hurricane Harvey.  My family and my childhood home were safe and did not flood, but unfortunately so many of my close friend’s homes were destroyed. It is hard to understand how God could allow such a thing to people that are so good. That thought ran through my mind a lot along with anger and sadness. Sadness for the animals abandoned, the memories captured as pictures were destroyed, and the complete devastation of my home city of Houston, Texas.

Looking back now I still feel some of these emotions, but what I also realize is that Gods plans are way bigger then our own. (Proverbs 19:21). Houston will forever be changed after hurricane Harvey. We truly have to have faith in God and realize that His plans always surpass ours.” Maddie PhillipsVolleyball


“The first thing I learned when the hurricane in Puerto Rico happened was how truly scary it is. Not being able to communicate with your family is something you never really think about until something like this happens. It’s like your whole world stops and you can’t do anything but wonder how your family is. I was part of the lucky few who managed to get in contact with my family after the first couple of days but I know of friends who went weeks and months without knowing anything about if they were safe. It’s the little things that we forget to appreciate. We take so for granted the little thing.” Josh MartinezBaseball


“I always appreciated my beautiful island of Puerto Rico and my family but after the hurricane, different kinds of feelings surfaced. I felt sad that the island was destroyed, heartbroken that people were left devastated, and angry that there hasn’t been an immediate answer. Every time I heard of any situation going on around the world, I never put myself in the situation, and I honestly never tried to. But now I understand. I went days without speaking to my family, praying that they were ok. It was nearly impossible to get some family members to Florida because of flight and health issues. And it has been even harder to get a response from the government in regards to housing and electricity. I realized that we aren’t as big as we think we are, a truly humbling experience. And even though I realized that I am minuscule in the grand scheme of things, my God is the Creator of the universe and there is nothing too big for Him. I learned to lean on him when I felt confused or sad or hopeless. I trusted in Him and saw His hand throughout the lives of the people of the island. I also realized how great the people are. No matter what, we still smile and laugh and sing and dance because we know that God is in control. A beautiful mix of Puerto Rican pride and faith in God.” Marcella Emmanuelli- Volleyball


Thank you for your faithful prayers and generous support as the rebuilding efforts in these locations continue. If you would like to be involved in a Lipscomb Relief Mission Trip, please contact Chris Klotz at for more information.

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