Where do you turn for stability when your world is spinning out of control? Katherine Catlett identifies her sure handhold.
Will the Spinning Stop?
By Katherine Catlett
In the middle of my junior year of college I suffered a severe concussion while stunting at cheerleading practice. At this point, I had been cheering for 15 years and loved this part of my life. To lose it unexpectedly left me feeling extremely vulnerable.
I had to leave school mid-spring semester and move back home to Tennessee because I couldn’t take care of myself, let alone attend my classes. The summer months are a blur of sleeping through my days and being chauffeured around by my mom or friends to an endless number of neurology appointments and therapy sessions (physical therapy, speech therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, vision therapy—you name it, I probably did it). For ten of those months, I couldn’t drive.
Within this same year, I lost two childhood pets, my boyfriend of three years and I broke up, and my family moved out of what I considered to be my childhood home. This time in my life was so painful, but my prayer was that God would change my heart, not my circumstances. I knew if I came out of this season the same person, it would mean I didn’t grow more into who God has created and called me to be. However, nothing prepared me for how quickly the growth would happen, which left me not even recognizing the girl looking back at me in the mirror.
It’s been two years now since these events took place, and in the spirit of full transparency, I’m still not sure I can look back at this time in my life and say it was good. I felt like I had been stripped of something I wasn’t ready to lose. It felt like the breath had been knocked out of me, and I was gasping.
Even if your own story is different, maybe you have this feeling of loss or gasping for breath. Just because a part of our story isn’t good doesn’t mean God can’t work it for our good. Bad, gut-wrenching things that make our knees go weak are a result of living in a broken, fallen, sinful world. However, I felt strongly that I needed to hold on to the truth that God is consistent, stable, loving, secure, and kind. When my entire world was literally spinning (hello vertigo), God was the only thing that remained the same.
I ended up going back to school in the fall and graduated on time with all A’s. While I couldn’t physically participate in my senior year of cheerleading, I still was part of the team so I could be their personal cheerleader at games, workouts, and practices. Also, I can now empathize more deeply with those who have experienced loss and traumatic injuries. I’ve had the opportunity to speak in classes and will be on an upcoming God Hears Her podcast using my story to encourage others on their own healing journey. And now here I am, sharing my story with you, too.
I want you to know that you’re incredibly brave, and God keeps his promise to be with us in the midst of unexpected change and loss. Healing is hard and not linear. So, like the woman in the Bible who just wanted to touch the fringe of Jesus’ robe, keep reaching for God, even when healing seems unreachable (Matthew 9:20-21). You got this!
Katherine Catlett is the Social Media Manager and Strategist for Reclaim Today, a part of Our Daily Bread Ministries. She graduated in 2022 from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. She started writing at 12 years old and has filled up 29 journals (and counting) since then. She has a deep passion for writing, mentoring, and encouraging young women on their journey to become who God has created and called them to be. If you want to read more from Katherine and learn more about her story, you can follow her on Instagram at klcatlett.