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  June 2018  
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Austin Chubb

Life was good. I had a great family and I couldnt ask for more. I was fortunate enough as to have parents that encouraged me to go to church. My dad was and still is a pastor in Lake Mary, Florida, so I was at the church a lot. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior as a young kid, when I was 7 years old, but I later on I rededicated my life to the Lord when I really understood what he did for me on the cross. I had an awesome childhood. I loved playing baseball more than anything and it came pretty easy to me. I played on many great teams growing up. I played for some great AAU teams and I played for two state championship teams at Longwood Babe Ruth. In 2005 we went all the way to the Babe Ruth World Series in Weimar, Texas where I was lucky enough to be named to the All World Series 1st team. I then took my game to Lake Mary High School. I started for Lake Marys varsity squad for 3 years. We won a district and conference championship, and won 57 games in those 3 years I was there. I was fortunate enough to be named all conference all 3 years, and I was named 1st team all Central Florida, and all state my senior year. I was invited to play in the State All Star Game in Sebring, Florida where the top 80 players across the state are selected. I was very blessed to have had the coaches and teammates that I did growing up. I was lucky to have had them in my life and they deserve much of the credit to the success that I had growing up. 

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1.2-4) That verse pretty much sums up what the Lord has been trying to tell me over the past 2 years. I was extremely excited for my future college baseball career when I signed with Manatee Community College before my senior year at Lake Mary High School. But man was I in for some change when I got to Manatee. I found out a week before I was supposed to move into my apartment and attend my first class at Manatee that I needed Tommy John Surgery. I had heard about the surgery, but I never thought that I would be one of those guys who would have to get it. I had only been hurt two times in my entire life before I got Tommy John, once when I broke my arm in 8th grade and also when I had some shoulder soreness when I was a junior at Lake Mary. I never had to sit on the bench and watch my fellow teammates play for an entire year. I knew that God wanted the best for me, and I couldnt quite understand why this was happening to me. I found myself wondering if I was supposed to be playing baseball. I knew that the Lord had blessed me with talent, and I wanted to use the talent that he gave me to bring glory and honor to Him. I was confused. I got the surgery on August 22, 2007. I watched an entire fall and spring season from the bench. I watched an amazing group of guys go all the way to the Florida Junior College state championship, only to fall to Chipola JC in the state title game. It was a bitter sweet year for me and an extremely tough year because I wondered if I could have been the difference in helping the Lancers get to Grand Junction Colorado for the Juco World Series. I wasnt sure why this was happening to me and my walk with the Lord was rocky for awhile because of that. However, the surgery was a success and I was ready to play summer ball in the Florida collegiate summer league in 2008. I had a pretty good summer, and was selected to the All Star Team as a first baseman; I played a lot of first and outfield because I was still rehabbing my arm to get back behind the plate for the Lancers in the fall of 08. I had a decent fall season, and was finally back to 100 percent and ready to help the prestigious Lancers get to a 14th consecutive state tournament and have a chance to win another state title. 

I began the season starting in right field, and catching every other game. I was so elated to finally be on the field for the Lancers. In the 7th game of the year, our first baseman got hit in the hand by a fastball and had to come out of the game. Juco hall of fame coach Tim Hill called my name and told me I would be going in at first the next inning. Later on that inning there was a bunt back to our pitcher, he fielded the ball and his throw went up the first baseline and as I reached out for the ball their runner ran straight into my left arm and we both fell to the ground after the violent collision. The next couple of minutes were basically a blur to me. I was screaming in pain and knew that there was something seriously wrong with my arm. I went to get an x-ray and MRI the following Monday and they found a broken bone in my elbow, and a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. I couldnt believe that I got hurt again. I was extremely mad at God, and was confused and overwhelmed that I got hurt again. I was out 6 weeks, and thankfully my injury did not require surgery because it wasnt my throwing arm. I couldnt figure out why the Lord allowed this to happen. I went a couple of weeks without really praying, and trying to figure out what the Lord was trying to tell me. At about 2 A.M. on Thursday March 12th, I prayed and asked the Lord what I was supposed to do. I told him that I couldnt get through this by myself, and that I needed Him to help me get through this tough time. Immediately the Lord spoke to me more clearly than He ever had before. He told me to come along for the ride that we call life; He told me that no matter what, He would take care of me and be there for me always. He told me that life would not be an easy road, He told me that things werent always going to go the way I wanted them to go, but He said He would be with me through thick and thin. I surrendered myself to the Him that night, and the He responded. 

I was extremely blessed to find myself back on the field exactly 6 weeks from the day I broke my elbow. Our left fielder came out of the game with a strained muscle in his neck, and Coach Hill called my name and told me that I was going in to left field the next inning. I was so happy to be back on the field. After going through a serious injury and spending time on the sideline, you realize how fortunate you are to even be playing baseball. The third pitch of that inning, a sinking line drive was hit to me in leftfield. I made a diving attempt at it and the knuckling line drive tipped off my glove and hit me squarely in the face. I was taken to the emergency room and had numerous tests done to see what was wrong. I found out that I shattered my orbital floor under my left eye, and broke my cheek bone in 4 places. I had surgery done and 3 metal plates were placed in my left cheek the following Thursday after the incident. The surgery was successful and I had no damage to my eyesight. It was easier to handle this injury because of what I had been through before. The Lord was with me through this one and I knew I would be ok. It made me take a step back, and realize that the pain I endured through these injuries are nothing compared to what Jesus went through for us on the cross. Most of my friends tell me that I have the worst luck ever. I dont think that I have bad luck; I think that I am extremely blessed. Sure, I have had some terrible things happen to me on the field over the past 2 years, but it could be a lot worse. These injuries that I have suffered have humbled me significantly. I found out that instead of dwelling over trials and tribulations that we endure during this life, we must look at them and see how we can bring glory and honor to God through them. I guess it goes back to what the Lord told me early that Thursday morning in March, that this life was not going to be a walk through the park, but He would be right by my side no matter what, and that He has most definitely done. 
 

Austin Chubb