By TRICIA HILL
The second annual Women’s Wellness Day was held Saturday at the BMZ Church in Boscobel. The event was a day filled with spirited speakers, including Tanya Miller, Jean Buschke, Melissa Smit, Nancy Laugeson, Tracy Adkinson, and motivational speaker/former All-American NCAA athlete Mo Isom.
Isom was a huge part of the Women’s Wellness Day celebration, as she told her story of how she found God and fell away from him a few times in her life, until she finally realized she needed him. When Isom began speaking, she wanted people to think of a mosaic and how when we are all born we start our lives a perfect pane of glass. However, then something happens that breaks the glass, which then causes God to take the pieces and try to make us fit back together again, such as a mosaic glass window that can be found in churches.
Isom grew up in East Cobb, Georgia—where people in her eyes were known as the East Cobb Snobs. Isom explained to the crowd that when she was younger, she was a clean pane of glass that did what she was always told. She always worked hard to be a good person and earn her brownie points. Her parents also worked hard to instill the love of God into her every day life. As a young girl, Isom’s vision of being a Christian and believing in God was attending church on Sunday and youth group on Wednesdays.
“That was my first way of believing I was a good Christian and that I believed in God as long as I did those things, he would always protect me,” Isom said.
Isom was proud of herself as she was heading into high school because she had so many plans and goals for herself. She was ready to take control of her life and she told God that he had done a good job, but now she wanted to take control of the reigns and show him what she could do with her life. However, high school was not quite what she expected, as she walked in as a freshman girl standing 6 feet tall.
“Right away I was labeled the giant at my school,” Isom said. “I came to learn that I really had no control over things as there were other girls that were stronger and faster than me and reaching for the some of the same goals.”
After a long period of not being able to rank up with the other girls, Isom developed an eating disorder. It started out as anorexia and then quickly became bulimia.
“I would eat an apple and make myself throw up 10 to 11 times a day,” Isom said.
At this point Isom’s goal was not to be skinny but wanting to make herself become the best that she could be. She spent many hours either working out or getting sick.
“Because I was so tall, no one really noticed that I was sick,” Isom said.
Once Isom had received her acceptance to Louisiana State University, she was so tired of fighting with herself and her eating disorder that she decided she needed some rest. Isom decided to turn back to God. Immediately she felt a flood of confidence come over her and she decided to tell her mom about her eating disorder and get the help she needed.
Isom graduated from high school early and started training with the LSU soccer team. After overcoming her eating disorder, she decided she was going to give “God the glory,” as she put it, in everything she did.
“I remember back to my second soccer game, when I was able to make a 90-yard goal and at that moment I was like, ‘Wow, my leg just did that,’” Isom said. “I felt it was a great blessing from God as I soon after became an All-American.”
Due to that incident, Isom went from one incomplete view of God to another. She went from thinking that being a good Christian was attending church and youth group to if she gave God the glory, he would bring good things her way.
“It’s easy to be bold in our faith when things are great,” Isom said.
Isom was on top of the world when she went home for summer break in June of 2009 to the point that she noticed things were tense at home, but she did not really pay much attention because she had given God the glory and all would be good.
However, one night her dad was behind schedule at arriving home and everyone was worried. He had left a voicemail on the phone that said he loved everyone, but he needed to go for a drive and do some thinking.
“It was my dad’s voice on the voicemail, but it did not sound like my dad,” Isom said.
The next morning Isom and her sister were awoken by their mom frantically saying they needed to search for their father as he had not come home. Her mom handed Isom a crumbled up piece of paper, which Isom placed in her pocket. After they had been searching for awhile, Isom remembered the piece of paper that she had placed in her pocket and decided to see what it was. It ended up being a suicide note from her father.
“I remember the police telling my mother they had found my father,” Isom said, “However, they had only found his remains as he had shot himself in the heart.”
Losing her father once again made Isom turn away from God as she decided he didn’t love her anymore to have made something so horrible happen to her. Isom compared how she felt to having a hole the size of Texas in her heart.
When Isom returned to college, she turned to alcohol and anything that could ease the pain of losing her father. She saw herself getting worse as she began pulling further away from God. She would put on a show for people around her making them think she was okay, even when she was falling apart.
“I would compare what I was going through as if God and I were attached by a bungee cord,” Isom said. “I was pulling away and as I did there was the tension from the cord trying to pull me back.”
Almost a year later, Isom was driving back home and she decided to tell God that she had enough and she just wanted him to finish breaking her.
“I learned that was one of the fastest prayers he responded to,” Isom said. “The next thing I knew I ended up flipping my Jeep three times and was left hanging upside down all alone at 1:30 a.m.
“At that moment I felt God’s arms wrap around me and tell me how I was great and he had plans for me,” Isom said. “I once again had found God.”
At the end of Isom’s story she told everyone that in this world we are going to face battle after battle and we need to let God prepare us to deal with the situations because he will save us. If we just hand him the broken pieces he will make it fit back into our pane of glass.
“I’m here today working on rebuilding you,” said Isom. “But this can be hard, because we’re either focused on the past or the future, and not on the present.”
After the Women’s Wellness Day Event, Isom told of plans for a return visit to Africa. She left for Uganda on Monday. Isom told the crowd, that even though Africa is a wonderful place, she had never seen such a beautiful sight as the oceans of snow she had seen on her way to Boscobel from Madison. She had even taken the time to trespass on to someone’s land and take pictures of herself with their horses as she trampled through the snow in her running shoes.