Then & Now

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A little over a year ago, my sister and I started Letters From Lilaboo. Soon after we began our site, I had to have a second shoulder surgery and Lily was beginning her high school career. Since my second surgery wasn’t planned, we had to put Lilaboo on the back burner. Lily was busy figuring out biology and algebra, while I was spending my time in physical therapy. Today, I am a week away from finishing my first semester at the University of Alabama! The greatest school in the country might I add…ROLL TIDE!

First, lets take it back to this time last August. I was feeling pain in my right shoulder again and had a feeling it was just inflamed from starting back to tennis. I was playing in a tournament up in New Jersey with Hannah Burgtorf, when I really started feeling the pain kick in. When we arrived back home after our tennis trip, my parents and I went back to Andrews Institute to talk with my surgeon about the constant pain. We all felt that the shoulder was inflamed but to be safe I wanted to get another scope done to get a better view to make sure everything was OK, not the case.

After waking up from a 3 hour surgery, I was back in the same sling that I was just in not even a year and a half earlier.  I had felt such defeat in that moment. I wasn’t able to understand the extent of the surgery until a week after it happened. I remember sitting down to eat dinner one night with my parents when they broke the news to me. They told me I wouldn’t be able to play tennis again. I had re-injured my shoulder even worse than the first time. I didn’t want to believe what they were telling me but knew that I couldn’t risk being injured the same way a third time, my shoulder couldn’t take a third operation. My dad has always said that everything happens in 3’s though…

I remember looking back over our “When Giving Up Is NOT an Option” letter, and feeling lost. I did the therapy, listened to my doctors, got stronger, and I was also growing in my faith throughout that recovery. Someone once told me that if “I wanted to make God laugh, I should tell Him my plan.” The feeling of victory is what I got out of a year long recovery when I won my first tournament back. And sitting in my bed three months after my second surgery I couldn’t help but laugh at myself, because I did tell God my plan… lets just say I was so wrong with what He had in store for me.

img_0135-1Lily Bear has always been my rock. She is the younger sister you wish you could have. She truly is my best friend and she is my PERSON. Lily is the kindest, most forgiving soul that I have ever met. During both surgeries she would check on me before, during, and after she had school. She would lay with me for hours watching my favorite show, Friends, and make me countless bowls of cheerios. She would play her guitar for me on my bad days and make me laugh whenever I needed a smile. She was killing it her freshman year and I couldn’t have been more proud of my baby sis! If you know Lily, you know she’s a perfectionist in the best way possible. Always has her hair braided just right, and wears the most fashionable outfits. She was my rock during this second chapter in my unfinished shoulder story.

-Alyssa

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Hi everyone, Lily here!

It’s been a while since we’ve talked, so I thought I’d catch you all up on what I’ve been doing the past few months. In May, I got to tour the east coast with a couple of my school’s bands. We have a program called Rock on The Road and I am a singer and guitarist in one of the bands. It was incredibly fun! We got to play at a few Boys and Girls Clubs, some restaurants, a few coffee shops, and we got the play at THE GRAND OLE OPRY (on the steps outside.) It’s pretty amazing I get to say I could do all of that, all in my freshman year of high school!

Me and my best friends are still attached by the hips, and we never fail to have a good time. For Halloween, we all got together and went to a haunted corn maze, which ended up not being so scary, but we met a bunch of the people who were supposed to be scaring us. This guy, Justin, was really funny! We somehow kept running into him, so he basically became part of our little group by the end of the night. It’s Thanksgiving now, and I just ran a 10k with my brothers. The boys basically forced me into doing it with them, but it ended up being really fun and I ran 6 miles before eating half a turkey! What have you guys been up to this past year?

Happy Holidays and I’ll talk to you guys soon.

Until the next Letter from Lilaboo…

This is just a glimpse of what Lil and I have been up too. Stayed tuned for our next post to find out more about what God’s been doing in our lives!

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We always believe in:

Second Chances

Fairytales

Dancing in the Rain

Singing in the Sunshine

Tea Time

Exercise

Singing Loud and Proud Each and Every Day

Jam Sessions Can Fix ANYTHING

We are so excited for you to be here!

-Alyssa and Lily-

When Giving Up Is NOT An Option

Sometimes as humans, we are so quick to give up.

How many times have we been turned down and just decided to stop?

How often do we take rejection as a sign of failure?

Look for others to give us the green light?

Feel defeated if something doesn’t go right the first time?

`Over the past two years, I have faced many ups and downs in my home life, school life, and sports life. Roughly two years ago, I had surgery to basically rebuild my right shoulder. This surgery took place just as my tennis season was about to begin. I was devastated to say the least; I was in a huge sling for three months and unable to move my arm on my own for five months. During my 11 month recovery I couldn’t play the sport I loved, I couldn’t give my parents a real hug, I had trouble in school, and to be honest with you, I wasn’t the happiest person to be around. I was constantly needing someone to help me with something! I am a SUPER independent person who was relying on others for everything.

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`To make a long story short, 2013 and most of 2014 was a struggle for me. My parents always tell me that we go through hard times to get to the best times. The season after my surgery was quickly approaching and I still hadn’t touched my racket. My doctors all thought I needed to take my time and ease into the sport I had missed so much. Tennis is a sport I get to play on my own with individual results. It is a sport that I control to some extent and I thrive on the freedom of independence. I thrive on the highs and lows of the game because for every mistake, the learning and reward that comes is mine! I had four weeks until tryouts when I grabbed my racket for the first time. I worked extremely hard those four weeks to just make the team; I had to relearn how to hold my racket and service the ball in a whole new way! With hard work and total dedication I made #3 on the varsity team!

`This post is to share experiences, we all have hard times but we are never alone! No matter what you are struggling with, never give up! Many people don’t open up about their struggles because they believe it is not valid or worthy of attention. YOU SHOULD NEVER COMPARE YOUR STRUGGLES WITH SOMEONE ELSES! Whatever in life you are facing, the impact it has on you is big.

This Bible Verse got me through my rough patches and will continue to get me through hard days:

“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

Encouragement to Keep Trying

* journal your thoughts about what you are good at, what you excel at and what others compliment you on

*post this Bible Verse on your bathroom mirror and say it out loud every time you look at

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*help someone else who is wanting to give up, it will empower you to keep trying

*list 5 things you love about yourself

*PRAY

You girls are not alone. This is my story of falling down and standing back up again. What is yours?

All About Lilaboo

Hey Y’all!
WELCOME TO LETTERS FROM LILABOO!!  I am Alyssa, a girl on a mission, and created this blog for my younger sister Lily as well as my younger cousins.  The purpose of the blog is to offer advice to us girls as we grow and experience the ups and downs of becoming a young woman and navigating this beautiful life we are blessed with.
My greatest passion is travel and specifically mission trips where I am able to join a community and make a difference!
I am one of four siblings and have two older brothers and as I said one younger sister.  I love to play tennis and I am always exploding with crazy ideas and lofty goals…this keeps me happy and energized.
Disney World is My Happiest Place On Earth and a very close second is ANY NIKE STORE!
I believe in:
Second Chances
Fairytales
Dancing in the Rain
Singing in the Sunshine
Tea Time
Exercise
Singing Loud and Proud Each and Every Day

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