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Taylor Mims, Southeastern Louisiana Univ., Basketball

by carmine on November 3, 2014

Hey everyone! I’m Taylor Mims, a 23-year-old former collegiate women’s basketball player. I was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where I graduated from Episcopal High School in 2009. While at Episcopal, I played volleyball, basketball, and softball. After graduating from high school, I decided to focus on basketball by signing a full scholarship to play at the College of Charleston in beautiful Charleston, SC. After two years there, I decided to transfer back home to play at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA. Throughout my journey of being a student athlete, I learned so many great lessons and built lasting friendships. Thankfully, I mostly made sound decisions, but there’s one decision and one friendship that changed my life forever.

Untitled1I began playing high school basketball in 7th grade, which was such an honor. At that point in my life, sports were everything! They kept me busy, out of trouble, focused on school, devoted, and extremely competitive. Entering my 8th grade season, I found early success and even more confidence in my ability to compete at that level. Things were going so well! So it seemed. On December 10, 2004 I tore my left ACL in practice. I was 13 years old, confused, distraught, worried, and so many negative thoughts ran through my mind. Before tearing my ACL, I only heard of one person tearing theirs. I figured that would never happen to me. Without athletics for eight months, my daily life was much different. My life was less hectic, with much more alone time. At times, I felt so lonely without constant company from teammates and coaches. I remember sitting on my bed one night, very disappointed in my current situation. As I got quiet, I began to feel a stirring in my heart to cry out to a God who I really didn’t know well.

I knew of God. I attended a wonderful church, Bethany Church, in Baton Rouge every Sunday. I could even quote a few scriptures. But for the first time in my life, hopeless and confused, I encountered Jesus. In that moment on my bed, I cried out to God. I told Him everything. I asked Him why this happened to me. I asked Him what I did to deserve it. Immature in my faith, I thought God was punishing me. After I poured out to Him for hours, He showed himself to me. Through His son Jesus, I felt hope, peace, and unspeakable joy! He showed me I was putting my identity in basketball, which would often fail me. It was then that I began to understand that I evaluated myself based upon my success or failure on the court. Unintentionally, I was making basketball my god instead of allowing God to fill that void. Jesus was asking me to put my identity in HIM alone. It was in that moment, I knew the Lord was jealous for my love and attention. Exodus 34:14 explains that we should worship no other god because God is a jealous God. I was so humbled and honored that the Creator of this universe wanted my love! That night, I surrendered my life to Him. It was and still is the best decision I have ever made.

That decision changed my entire perspective on life. It changed the way I looked at my sport. I began to understand that whatever I did in this life was to bring glory to God (Colossians 3:23). I felt such freedom from my once performance oriented mindset. That night God wrecked my heart. I began to dig into the Bible and let the Word of God mold me, instead of just memorizing verses. Unfortunately, later on in high school I faced another major setback. I tore my other ACL in my right knee. Of course, it was disappointing and tough, but this time I remembered Jesus. I remembered how He captured my heart. How he put together every broken piece I presented Him with. I went back to that moment and remembered how Jesus met me right in the middle of my ugly situation. Instead of letting my situation overtake me, I let Jesus overtake me. I began to praise Him, encountered the Holy Spirit, and asked for His direction. I used my second ACL injury to grow with Jesus instead of turn away from Him. God changed my character and matured me in Him. I am so thankful for that much needed change. I found new life!

Untitled2College basketball presented great highs but also had its lows. Two more minor knee surgeries came. Through the surgeries, rehab, tears, and hard work to get back on the court, I stood on the rock who will never be shaken. After the long hours of studying for school, rehabbing my knees, and growing in God, I have now graduated from Southeastern! I am also totally pain free and by His stripes I am healed! (Isaiah 53:5) Jesus has truly carried me. I now understand it is not about my performance but my position in Christ! I don’t deserve it, I’m not worthy of it, He is just that good.

Whoever this is for, God knows your name. If you’ve been putting your identity in anything or anyone else except for Jesus, please surrender it to Him. He wants to be your one desire. Deuteronomy 31:8 says he will never leave or forsake us! He is right there cheering us on every second of our lives. He is not angry with you and will never turn His back on you. That messy situation you are in is where He does his best work. He is faithful!

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