Rehab has been going well so far this year, though not as quickly as I would have hoped or expected. There have been a few setbacks that haven’t been fun for me, but after the last time I saw the doctor, I feel like we’ve crossed the final hurdle and things are starting to look up!
The whole time I’ve been in Florida rehabbing, the Lord has been teaching me patience and how to trust in His plan instead of other people’s plans — or my own. After my initial surgery, the doctor said I’d be ready to play again in 8-12 weeks. But I knew that if God doesn’t have me ready by Week 12, I just have to be patient. He has a different plan for me. Everyone’s body, rehab journey and injury is different, so the process is going to look different. For a while, I was becoming really anxious because I wasn’t progressing as quickly as I wanted to, but with the recent breakthrough, I’ve been encouraged.
It’s definitely lonely being in a different state from your team, family and friends. But I’m thankful for the support group I have. I talk to my family and friends every day. My best friend and I are able to talk through the struggles each of us are facing and compare notes about what God is teaching us. Doing this, we can better recognize what it is God is teaching us, while encouraging each other to not be anxious but wait for God’s plan and timing.
There are a lot of times in life when we become discouraged for one reason or another. When these moments surface, we need to be in God’s Word as much as possible.
Lately, in addition to reading the Bible, I’ve been reading a book called “Not God Enough” by J.D. Greer. I should say I study it more than read it. There are times I spend half an hour on two pages, writing down my thoughts and really diving deep into its truths. This book has been challenging me in so many ways; its main theme is to recognize that when we worry or are faced with fear, it’s often because we don’t think our God is big enough to handle our problems. When we don’t think we’re going to make it through, we’re not embracing the reality that God is bigger than anything! And with Him, we have nothing to worry about. This truth has caused me to become very honest with myself.
In the moment, our struggles often seem insurmountable or surreal. But when we are able to have hindsight and look back at the situations God has brought us through in the past, we can gain perspective for our immediate and future hardships. Suddenly they become manageable when we surrender them to God. There have been a number of times throughout my baseball career when I’ve felt lost — I’m injured, I’m not pitching well or I can’t seem to catch a break — but then I find God turn my situation around. When I look back at these times, I am encouraged to continue working through my present hardships, preparing myself for what God has in store for me next.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” — Romans 8:28
— Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers pitcher
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.