Beneath the Surface


Mallory Weggemann, paralympic swimmer, shares how going through challenges has made her belief stronger.

I grew up in a Christian home, going to church and all that. I was very involved in my youth group, where we traveled every summer for mission trips. My overarching belief is that everything happens for a reason. No matter what your religious beliefs are, you can come back to that.

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 all changed. I started believing again that 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, finding myself questioning things, but I always came back to that.

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 in that and have faith in that.

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 some day, but I wouldn’t take back that 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 daily life, struggles and all, I believe we have a plan. When I have those days that are hard, I just have to believe that God will make my best that day enough, and that’s all I can hope for and give to it. Though I may not understand or agree with the plan, we all have to have faith in the fact that in the end it will work out.

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