Just Keep Swimming

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.” (Psalm 28:7 NASB)

I stood beside the blocks waiting to get started. If I’d had boots on, I’m sure I would’ve been shaking in them. My friend stood beside me ready to start the timer for my first 500 yard freestyle.

Was I ready for this?

Sprinting had never been my thing. But was that what God wanted me to do? At least this was long-distance and I didn’t need to go fast.

I’d done long-distance before. I liked the 200 Breaststroke the best, mainly because I didn’t have to sprint all out.

But a 500? What if I got a DQ? What if my time was horrible?

The whistle blew and I climbed onto the block. My friends cheered for me and gave me “good lucks”.
God, help me do this. It was a short, but definitely sincere prayer.

“Swimmers take your mark…”

Beep! The buzzer rang.

I was off. I went slow; a nice easy pace. And after the first 50 yards I was totally into it. God gave me incredible strength and power I didn’t know I had. As I thanked Him I realized how many times I’d doubted. How many times I thought I couldn’t do something. And yet there I was, swimming the 500.

Thanks to God, the amazing Grace-Giver, I was able to get through the 500 free with no problems. And no DQs.

Although I was scared, I know He was there, smiling down on me. And if I can make Him smile, that’s good enough. No matter how good or bad I do.

It can be the same for you. Give Him your best.


Thirteen-year-old Kayla Woodhouse’s zest for writing comes not only from her natural ability, but also from her love of the written word as witnessed by her voracious reading appetite. One of only a few dozen cases in the world, Kayla was born with HSAN, Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, an extremely rare nerve disorder. Unable to sweat, or feel pain, she’s also been through brain surgery. But even through a life of extreme hardships, her ever-present smile encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. In addition to being homeschooled and writing with her mom, she’s an amazing swimmer, and spends up to thirty hours a week in training. She has appeared on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, Mystery ER, and numerous other national programs. No Safe Haven, her first release from B&H Publishers in 2011, written with mother, Kimberley, makes her the youngest author to have a full-length novel published by a royalty paying publisher. You can find Kayla at http://kimberleyandkaylawoodhouse.com and http://kaylawoodhouse.com (read more…)


About Eddie Jones

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    Kayla you are an amazing girl! God has great plans for you! Thanx for bein’ such an inspiration, and encouragement to this lady..if a sweet young girl like you can endure, and trust God in all that she’s been through in her young life, then by all means SO CAN I!! God speed girl!! You’re a true blessing! Love you! 😉

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    Excellent advice, Kayla! We should just keep doing what we think is best for us and depend on the grace of God to take us the rest of the way. Blessings.

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    It’s amazing to see what you’ve accomplished since I met you in lovely Leesville, LA. I can only hope that I will be lucky enough to have daughters like you. Thanks for being such an inspiration.

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    Kayla, You’re an inspiration, even to this old gal. I’m facing my own “500” and have been freaking out on whether I’m able to do it. I loved your last line: “And if I can make Him smile, that’s good enough. No matter how good or bad I do.” Thanks for the reminder!

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    Thank you all, I’m glad it encouraged and helped you! Thanks for reading, it means so much that you came over here to read my article. You all are awesome – I really, really, really, REALLY appreciate your support!

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    WOW Kayla!!! I’m so very proud of you!!! God has given you such strength and wisdom beyond your years. When I close my eyes I remember the sweet little bounce of a girl who would come into my class and brighten up every room. You are a blessing. And So is your brother. I miss you both. Know you are always in my prayers and on my heart. I Love you my sweet. Your friend always and forever.
    Mrs Chris. akk Aunt Chrissie. 🙂