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Mo Isom, LSU, Women’s Soccer

by carmine on October 22, 2012



 

 

Spotlight Athlete Archive

By: John Van vliet

“My relationship with Christ is absolutely the most important, the most all-consuming and the beautiful thing in my life.”

Chapter 1 verses 2-4 (NIV) of the Book of James says to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

God does not let hard times ravage us as punishment for what we have done. It is rather a growing tool of our faith in Him. When we persevere, the immovability of our faith is rewarded to us and shapes us for better things.

Mo Isom has had her fair share of trials to endure.

You may have heard of Isom. She is the most decorated goalkeeper for the LSU Tigers, becomig the all-time recordholder with 43 wins. More likely, you have seen her on television appearances on ESPN and The Ellen DeGeneres Show as she became known nationwide in her endeavors trying out for the kicker position for the LSU football squad (more on that in a bit).

But before all of this, Isom went through a rough stretch in her life that now defines her incredible strength and passion for the Lord.

“I was raised in a Christian home, but prior to being saved and personally having a relationship with the Lord, there was a real separation between the two,” Isom said. “Going to church on Sunday with my parents was one side of things and then playing and practicing soccer throughout the week was the sports’ side of things. There was never really a mergence of the two.”

Throughout high school, Isom battled eating disorders. Anorexia and bulimia plagued her as she strove for the highest successes in her soccer career. She was able to overcome the disorder as she was entering LSU, however, but the trials did not stop there.

Her return home after an All-American freshman year changed her life. Her Father, John, who Mo described on her website (moisom.com) as being “my biggest fan, my cheerleader, my coach, my jury, my confidant, my disciplinarian, and everything in between”, committed suicide in January of 2009. A year later, Isom rolled her SUV on an interstate. The accident left her with a fractured neck and fractured ribs. Yet she survived and, in that, realized that the Lord had saved her.

“If someone saved my life and saved me from an eternity in hell, I am going to be proud of it! I am going to allow it to dictate my actions and my words,” she said.

After all that she has been through, Isom pointed to Romans 5:3-5 for helping her overcome the adversity in her life:

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

“That was the most mind boggling concept to me as I was going through these tough stages in life,” Isom recollected. “I was seeing life as I knew it start to crumble and yet I am suppose to rejoice?”

But through prayer and the Lord working through her, Isom began to understand what that meant. She alluded to John 16:33: “…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

With her faith bolstered with the promises of hope from the Lord, Isom began to see changes not only in her life but of those around her. Her commitment to the Lord, even after the tragic loss of her father and her car accident, has opened up conversations with teammates and friends about her walk with God.

“People began to see that I was a different people than before,” she explained. “There was a lot of confusion from the crowd that I use to hang out with. They saw something that they didn’t get. But as I remained stable in what I was pursuing, a lot of that confusion ceased and they saw that this was the real deal.”

As Isom wrapped up her illustrious career in LSU soccer, her transformation continued. She began to feel the Lord tugging on her heart about something, that there was “something big coming.”

That big thing the Lord had for her was to try out for the kicking position for the LSU football team. The Nationally ranked LSU Tigers.

Understandably, there was some hesitancy on Isom’s part.

“I was still a young believer at the time, I was still new to it all, so I wasn’t sure if I was willing to take that big of a risk. But the Lord kept tugging on my heart so I said ‘Okay, Lord, I am going to trust you.’ It also was one of the first times that I was going to take a risk that I was more than likely going to fail, and I don’t like that. I like to know what my odds are. But the Lord kept saying ‘trust me’, so I did.”

That trust has led to some pretty amazing transformations not only in her own life but in the lives of some LSU football players. Isom has been working out with the team since the end of her soccer career in January of 2011.

“It has been a really amazing and eye opening experience for what God has for us when we really seek His will. One of the greatest things of this whole endeavor is that the Lord began to teach me what it truly means to be a Godly woman. So I was able to walk into that all male setting every single day and not only respect myself as a female but to respect them as men and to not be a stumbling block for them. I was careful that the clothes I was wearing the words I was saying as all glorifying God.”

Isom continued to talk about some of the changes she has seen in some of the football players’ lives. She has seen a transformation in many of them as they have accepted her as part of the team and, more importantly to Isom, she has seen changes in their lifestyle.

“There was a guy on the team who was the primary reason I was hesitant to even begin this whole thing,” Isom recollected. The first time she met this individual was during a summer break and she described him to being “high as a kite” and drinking from a bottle of Jack Daniels and “cursing like never I have heard before.” And it was only 10 a.m. on a Tuesday.

“There was no way I wanted to be around this if they were all like this!” Isom said.

Fast forward to now and Isom said that this player no longer curses and regularly attends Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Here is a video of Mo sharing her testimony on www.mystep.me done by www.nextstepministries.com

This kind of Lord’s work Isom has seen in the last 18 months of her football pursuit is more than she can ever have imagined.

If after all this work I don’t make this team, that’s okay. Because I know God very much had me here for a very specific purpose. I know the Lord has done an amazing work on this team. That is worth it to me.”

As athletes, we are always surrounded by people, whether it is our teammates, coaches, trainers, students or members of the community. There is a spotlight on us. Isom gives us encouragement on staying committed to our lifestyle that reflects God’s will and that it will open up avenues that we may never expect.

“You spend so much with your teammates that there is no way they won’t see what is reflecting in your life. So when the Lord changes your life from the inside out, there is no way they are not going to notice a difference. When they begin to see that change, they begin to ask questions and it opens doors for great conversations. That is the most rewarding thing out of everything.”

-Photos provided by Stephen Franz LSU Athletics-

                                  

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