A four-time NCAA champion. A 25-time All American athlete. A 2016 Olympic gold medalist. Morolake Akinosun has an impressive resume.
The sprinter likes to live life in the fast lane. A high speed life can be heart-pumping and exhilarating. But when a traumatic incident almost ended her career, Morolake had to slow down, allowing her to see God work in ways she could never have imagined.
Morolake shares a story of pain, recovery, and triumph in her new White Chair Film. Here are some of the most relatable quotes from her story.
“... I wanted my life to look different. I didn’t want to be the same college girl, I didn’t want to keep partying, and I didn’t want to continue being that person, but I was also scared.”
Change can be difficult. When you’re used to living your life one way, disrupting that routine—even if it’s for the best—can be agonizing. Changing your lifestyle may mean leaving a place you love or people you like being around. Morolake was afraid change would lead to loneliness and uncertainty. We can all sympathize with the fear that comes with change. Yet, as Morolake discovered, change can also be the place where God does amazing things in your life.
“I’d always been the person who would be introduced to other friends, to strangers, and they’d be like, ‘She’s really fast,’ or “She runs track.’ … And then all of a sudden it was completely stripped away from me, and I didn’t know, ‘Who am I?’”
Losing something so central to who you are is like losing your identity. When Morolake experienced that, she felt confused and angry. How could God take something away she believed she was born to do? Anger is an easy emotion to turn to when you lose your sense of identity. It’s sometimes simpler to assign blame when we feel lost. But seemingly losing your identity can be an opportunity to gain a new perspective. You just may discover that your identity should be rooted in something else.
“I had never been surrounded by a group of people who loved me for me, who were also a godly community who were a prayerful community … And for the first time I realized this is why we're supposed to live our lives together like this.”
When you find those people who are meant to be in your life, it’s like a breath of fresh air. You don’t have to put on a facade. You can be yourself around them knowing you will be accepted and loved. God led Morolake to a group of people who would be her support system through one of the hardest seasons in her life. These new friends cared for her in her brokenness and helped carry her through the journey to get back on her feet.
“I've realized that I've been in a tough situation that I didn't think that I could make it out of, or I was so unsure of how I was going to make it out of. And I looked back at it and I was like, ‘Wow, that was really easy.’ And it was God's hand in all of it.”
In the middle of a trial, it may be hard to see how any good could come out of it. On the other side of it, many see how that tough time made them better, stronger, or wiser. For Morolake, she saw how God never left her during her trial. He brought people into her life to strengthen and encourage her as she walked the road of recovery. And realizing how God stood by her side makes Morolake want to live second and rely more on Him every day.
Morolake discovered that God designed us all for community. People who support each other unconditionally can carry each other’s hurts and burdens to make it through trials together.
Do you have a community you can turn to in tough times? Surround yourself with others who love and care for you and who you can love back. You can also consider starting a Live Second Group to surround yourself with other people who want to know God more.