The Path


Imagine high school LaRue:

A young, quirky freshman with straight across bangs who loved playing volleyball.

Volleyball was my sport; I loved it so much that my dad put up a net in the backyard. The skin on my arms seemed always burnt red, there was a worn part of my bedroom ceiling from setting the ball constantly from my bed. I went through the training camp and tryouts, even broke both of my fingers through the whole ordeal. I was viciously competitive by nature and did not like to lose.

I pictured what the next four years might be like: being a part of the volleyball squad and having that be my high school experience. I had it all planned out; I was so ready. Then the time came and I did not make the volleyball team.

All the plans I had went out the window. It was one of the biggest disappointments in my life at that time. A letdown moment like no other. Even today it is funny to remember how I felt, sitting in the van with a torn rejection letter. I was devastated, confused and angry. My life changed. My dad laughed and said, “The weird, goofy, strange part was you were stronger. You had height. Your worth ethic was killer.” Surprisingly, he even saved my torn up letter.

Now I wish I could tell little high school, broken-hearted Jessica that it was all part of the plan. That I would go on in my life, and in the end there would be another path I would take. I wouldn’t pick up a volleyball that year but instead a camera.


Time helped me see clearly how God used me through not making the team. When I look back, there is still a feeling of letdown during that freshman year, but time helped me realize that I may not have gone in the direction that I went in had I played volleyball. If I made the team, I wouldn’t have had time to take yearbook. I would have never gotten into photography which means I wouldn’t be writing this.

I wouldn’t be creating.

I wouldn’t be me.

What seemed like the end of the world really wasn’t. The path you think you should be on might not be the one God has in mind for you. In that moment, I could have looked to God and asked why?! (Well I totally did.) But all these years later, I finally understand. I see now what was in store for me.

You might be in that “crying in the back of the van because you didn’t make the team” moment. You may not understand it now but I want to encourage you to find your strength and push through. God has a plan!