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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mandisa- "Overcomer"

I woke up this morning, started a pot of coffee and turned on "Good Morning America" just like I do every weekday.  It's been a ritual of mine for the better part of two years.  I've decided, there is no better way to get my news, and certainly no better way to start my day.  The news anchors on GMA are incredibly uplifting, even when the topic is hard to discuss.

My favorite anchor is, of course, Miss Robin Roberts.  She is, without a doubt, one of the strongest and most inspiring faces on television.  Her genuine personality and the heart that she has shared with the world is truly remarkable... and the perfect example of the kind of person I want to be.

Robin has had to fight for her life more than once, and she has allowed the nation and the world to be a part of her journey.  Her perseverance and her will to overcome her illnesses are so moving, I can barely find the words to describe her impact on me.

Gospel Singer, Mandisa, just released a new song and music video that features Robin, along with other incredibly inspiring individuals who have truly overcome an obstacle some would say is too big to overcome (among those featured are figure skater Scott Hamilton and US Senator Gabby Giffords).

Since seeing the world premier of the video this morning, I have had the song on repeat.  The words are so relatable, no matter what your circumstances.  As an athlete, there were so many times when I thought I would not be able to go on.

When injuries plagued my body and the pain was so great I couldn't fall asleep at night, or hearing the news that I needed another knee surgery, I needed to hear that I would overcome this.

When the bone in my foot shattered into 4 pieces, I needed to know I would still have a chance.

When I just couldn't stay on the beam, or couldn't make that skill on bars and thought it would never get easier, I needed to know that hard work would persevere.

When my heart was in pieces because I was losing a fight with an eating disorder, I heard the voice that said you are strong enough.

And when we lost our Angel, Avery, and it seemed like the sun would NEVER come out again, He made sure it did.

You see, as Mandisa says so eloquently in her song, "There's nothing He can't do!"

When I was hurting and holding on to the smallest bit of hope that things would work out... they did.  My knee healed, (very well I might add) and I was able to do college gymnastics.  My foot healed, my shoulder healed and I got that second chance I needed to accomplish more of my goals.  Because of this, I was able to stay on as a coach and witness the team I love dearly achieve more dreams and more goals year after year.  If that wasn't the greater plan, I don't know what is.  ;)

During that horribly dark time where I thought I might not get better because I was so sick I couldn't support my body weight (very necessary as a gymnast), He hand selected some of the most wonderful people I have ever met to help me through.  I firmly believe that that support system is the reason I am the person I am.  Robin Roberts says, "Make your Mess, your Message."  --One of the most beautiful statements I have ever heard.  People sometimes wonder why I've been so open about my struggles, and well, it's because I don't want anyone else to go through what I went through.  So my MESS will become my MESSAGE.  To my friends at Team True Beauty... you'll always have me by your side because I am a firm believer in your wonderful mission.

No matter what you may be going through, there is always hope.  Life might knock you down here and there, but He would never hand you something you can't handle.  It might be a test, it might be a road block, but if you simply get up each day and make the most of the situation you're in, you will be an OVERCOMER.

Mandisa- "Overcomer" Video on Good Morning America
Robin Roberts receiving the 2013 ESPY Arthur Ashe Award for Courage

"You're an overcomer
Stay in the fight 'til the final round.
You're not going under
'Cause God is holding you right now.
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it's hopeless
That's when he reminds you
That you're an overcomer
You're an overcomer."

Love True-
Allison

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