I grew up in a Christ-centered home. I was very involved in my youth group, with which I traveled every summer for mission trips. My overarching belief is that everything happens for a reason.
In January 2008, I went in for an epidural to deal with some back pain, and I never walked out. Right off I assumed I would never swim again. When I got back in the water in April 2008, that changed. I started to believe again there was a life for me that could be just as rewarding, if not more rewarding, than the life I had before. To have that hope and belief kept me going.
When (the paralysis) happened, it challenged me a lot. I had been through a lot with my family, but I had a hard time believing why God let bad things happen to good people. Why can’t we just catch a break? That was part of my grieving process; I found myself questioning things.
Though this has been a challenge, my belief has become stronger since my paralysis. It really did test me and make me stronger; it made me go beneath the surface of my faith and figure it out more. It tested my faith, left me wondering why me? But as I have moved forward, I find that things happen for a reason, and I truly believe that God has a plan for all of us. You have to trust and have faith in Him.
I do feel like the life I am living now is more rewarding than four years ago. I wouldn’t change that day. I would love to walk again someday, but I wouldn’t take back the journey I’ve been on. That day, and those that followed, though they were extremely difficult, had a great impact on my faith and my family.
In everything I do in my daily life, struggles and all, I believe there is a plan. When I have days that are hard, I just have to believe God will make my best enough for that day. Though I may not understand or agree with God’s plan, I have to have faith in Him.
—Mallory Weggemann, USA Paralympic swimmer