Lancaster Bible College women’s basketball senior Kirsten Webster is having the best season of her collegiate career during the 2017-18 campaign. But six years ago, the idea of Webster having a season like this one would have seemed impossible.
Webster was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in 2007, but after one year of antibiotics and other treatment, she felt better. She believed everything was under control. Feeling more like herself, Webster participated in both soccer and basketball at Mount Airy Christian Academy in Mount Airy, Md. Though she felt some pain from playing two sports over the course of the school year, she maintained her overall health.
Webster was set to play soccer for McDaniel College in the fall of 2012, but one morning, she woke up and couldn’t move. Webster was re-tested for Lyme Disease and discovered it had returned. Rounds of doctor’s visit and trips to see Lyme Disease specialists began, forcing her to leave McDaniel College for the semester. After more rounds of treatment, she began to feel better – and eventually, her health improved.
Ready to try collegiate sports again, she enrolled at Lancaster Bible College in the fall semester of 2013. Webster played soccer in the fall, but just before the basketball season, began to feel the effects of the Lyme Disease again and after two basketball games, withdrew from school and took the spring 2014 semester off.
“I only had so much energy to give every day and by the end of each day, I was just completely drained,” Webster said of her fall 2013 semester. “I had a lot of neurological trouble, specifically with sound and light. Dr. Tucker really helped me through that semester with test-taking and my school-work.”
Following the semester off, Webster returned to LBC in the fall of 2014 after undergoing some more treatment at various facilities in the United States. She played just one soccer game that year, but enjoyed a successful women’s basketball season that saw the Chargers go 24-6. Webster played a full soccer season in the fall of 2015, and led the team in scoring with 14 goals, as she continued to deal with the effects of Lyme Disease.
After the soccer season, Webster once again played well for the women’s basketball team, as the Chargers enjoyed another productive season, winning another 24 games during the 2015-16 season. Over the summer of 2016, Webster had to make a difficult decision regarding her two-sport status, as she realized just how much she was draining herself each academic year.
“I decided to give up playing soccer, which was extremely tough to do,” Webster explained. “One of the reasons I came to LBC was because I could play two sports, but it just got to be too much.”
With a full tank of energy, Webster helped the Chargers to 20 more wins during the 2016-17 campaign and could only imagine what her 2017-18 senior season would look like.
What it has turned into is brilliance on the court and a new outlook for life off the court. As of early January, Webster is averaging a team-high 19.6 points per game, and has set a new career-high for points in a game three different times this season.
“I am very thankful for so many things,” Webster said. “I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to play this season, but after getting clearance from the NCAA to play a fifth season, I just wanted to take advantage of one more season playing with my teammates.”
Webster explained that it’s no secret how all of these trials have translated into triumph and success for her and her teammates.
“It’s so amazing to have God’s hand on my life,” Webster explained. “I’ve gone from bed-bound a few years ago to playing 40 minutes a game. I have learned to trust God with being in the moment as much as possible. I have learned how to use the time I have and just see what God is going to do with my life – He has become very real.”
Webster isn’t sure what’s next after she leaves LBC, but would like to return home to Maryland and get her certification in personal training and work with high school athletes in some regard. Whatever the future holds for Webster, it’s clear she has learned through her trials to trust God, and that His hand on her life has led to many triumphs at LBC.