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In the Midst of a Storm

By: Max Godby

My mom tells a story about me and a pair of Buzz Lightyear glow-in-the-dark shoes. They flashed with each step! To a four- year-old boy, that is more important than life! While strolling through a department store, I found the coveted shoes. I ran to my mom with the shoes gripped tightly in my hands, treating them like the Holy Grail. She looked at the size on the box — two sizes too small. I have always been a big kid, from birth to now. I currently weigh 305 lbs. and wear a size 15 shoe. Needless to say, I towered over the other four-year-olds in 1995. Mom asked me where I found the shoes, so she could find them in my size. I didn’t know at the time, but she was praying that the right size was there — it wasn’t. She knelt down and told me that none of the flashing Buzz Lightyear shoes would fit me.  Sheer disappointment covered my face, and my mom’s heart broke for me. I walked to the spot where I found the shoes, put them up, and walked through the store with my head down the entire time.

Last Saturday, I left “The Swamp” with a look on my face and a tear in my eye very similar to the disappointment of the shoes when I was four. I left empty handed.  I had invested emotionally–whether my entire off season of strength and conditioning or lying on the floor and watching Toy Story when I was four– I expected a result, and I failed to attain it. We, as human beings, emotionally invest into so many different things in our lives, whether that is a sport, a career, or family. We expect, desire and work for a certain outcome or that attainable prize. We make sacrifices, and we feel like we deserve the desired result, but life has a mean left hook. The end result sometimes is pain and empty hands.

“What do I do now?” Probably everyone reading this has asked this question before. Please understand that I do not believe my level of disappointment over a pair of shoes or a football game is larger or worse than the disappointment of others.  Many have lost parents, children, and loved ones. People fight every day against cancer and illness. The way I see it, everyone weathers a storm, or storms, at some point. The question becomes, “How do we get out of the storm?”

Disappointment causes us to do one of two things–we either emotionally withdraw ourselves and give up on the dream or goal, or it drives us to push even harder to accomplish the dream or goal. Oliver Goldsmith once said, “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.” My answer to the question “What do I do now?” is to “keep fighting.” Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

We will never escape disappointment. In life, disappointment is inevitable. However, in the midst of the storm, utter chaos and disappointment, the Cross still stands. People often ask me, “Where is God when we are hurting?” My answer is simple. He is right next to us, suffering as well. God walked down that shoe aisle with me to help put the shoes up. He walked off the field with me last Saturday. God’s love for us stretches beyond our cognitive ability to understand. He is empathetic towards us as well. He understands that Buzz Lightyear shoes are important to a four-year-old and to the mother who loves him. He understands how important an SEC game on the road is to a fifth-year senior. God reveals something so amazing in times of disappointment. He constantly reminds us that He is so much bigger than football and shoes. He is bigger than cancer, death, divorce, pain and suffering. God is enough. Disappointment is inevitable, but so is God’s promise to us all–“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” -1 Corinthians 2:9

Take a step of faith. Leave disappointment in the storm, and live free.


  1. This is why I love this kid. He’ll be on the show tomorrow, Saturday, September 20, 2014

  2. John Park says:

    I was a Bible teacher at Christian Academy when Max attended. I am proud we have young men leaving an example for other athletes. I am proud of you Max! You have not only learned how to play a game, but more importantly you have learned what it is to be a Godly man.

  3. Karen Adams says:

    Thank you for the inspiration

  4. Donna Nelson says:

    I am so proud of you, and yes this Bama fan was pulling for you last Saturday. I taught with your mom at CAL many years ago, and I have eagerly followed your career. God bless you.

    In Him,
    Donna C. Nelson

  5. Lauren Peege says:

    Max, I am a former CAL mom. I have received a few articles about you recently, and am so proud of you. Your maturity and keen sense for what really matters in life goes beyond what most young men think today. You are well grounded and I thank you for speaking the truth to so many folks. We are Big a Blue fans and are watching you every time you play! Keep up the great work on and off the field.

  6. Linda Rafla says:

    Max–I am so very proud of you. God has continued to bless others through you–today you blessed me. I am so thankful for your ministry. Never forget you have the BEST mama in the world…I am sure there were tears in her eyes as you walked away from your shoes….she’s just that kind of mom!!

  7. Deborah C Reinke says:

    Max, I am a former CAL football mom. I have watched you since middle school. Let me assure you that, last week, the ONLY place you lost was on the scoreboard. Not to minimize that. I do love having the higher score. But you won in a more important place. You did your very best, gave your all, and that is a huge victory. Your disappointment is temporary. Your honor, integrity and FAITH will last forever.

  8. Beth Long says:

    My 19 year old son Zachariah used to love everything Buzz Lightyear so when a friend forwarded me your message it immediately caught my eye. You did a great job focusing on the big picture – that it’s not about us – its about Gods glory – He cares about even buzz Lightyear slippers or lost games – but He and His plans are so much greater than what we can imagine or understand –

    Thank you for the encouragement .

  9. Barry Norfleet says:

    Well said, Max. Like others that commented, my sons once attended CAL and played football and basketball until middle school, and we’ve been very encouraged by the example you set. We participated in Bible studies with your parents and clearly have enjoyed witnessing your character, successes and journey with Christ shine. Fight the good fight, Max.

  10. Brenda says:

    I am thinking my daughter would be a perfect match:)

  11. Don Rice says:

    You are one of a kind Max. They don’t make kids like you anymore. You are an example of a young man that every parent would love to have. I am very proud to call you my friend. Wish you and the team the best with the rest of your season. I know that God will continue to bless you.


  12. Lisa Martel says:

    A+++. Excellent article Max. Beautifully worded and heartfelt content. I’m so proud of you. (No red pen needed!)

  13. Karen Buchanan says:

    Excellent Max! I know your mom and have meant you several times…. I was meant to come upon this post this morning. I personally have had storms in my life as all have and your thoughts hit the mark and continue to encourage me to persevere. But most importantly I was trying to find something to share with a friend in the hospital this morning that is really struggling. Her storm is battering her but I think your words and the Lord’s love and compassion will comfort her. Thank you for sharing. God Bless.

  14. Dana Mitchell says:

    Max, Wow!! What wisdom and truth you speak! My heart is overwhelmed as I read your words.

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