When the pandemic cancelled high school athlete Macy Gerig’s extracurricular activities during the spring of 2020, she enjoyed being able to step back and refocus on the Lord. Yet the soccer player at Wauseon High School in Wauseon, Ohio discovered many of her peers struggled with identity during this time as their usual activities were temporarily stripped away.
“Everyone lost who they were and the hope of having something in their lives that helped them deal with stress,” Gerig said about their canceled sports seasons.
To help remedy the situation, Gerig, who is now 17 and a senior, began writing a book that provides a Christian perspective on the topics of friendships, identity and relationships. She did not initially intend to write a book, but to simply begin using the extra time she had been given to write down what God was placing in her heart.
Gerig began growing in her faith through sports when she started playing FCA soccer in fifth grade. Her involvement in the ministry over the years has also included being a Huddle leader, attending leadership camp and serving on the worship team at Fields of Faith. In addition to soccer, she was previously active in diving and basketball in her community.
Gerig credits FCA Camp in 2019 as the time when she surrendered her life to living completely for Jesus and recalls when the speaker discussed taking the next steps of faith and how to ‘go beyond’ in one’s walk with the Lord.
“I felt so wrapped in love,” Gerig said. “It felt God was calling me to ‘go beyond’ in my faith at that moment.”
Gerig’s inspiration for writing during the pandemic also came because she says there are not many other spiritually-minded books specifically written by teens and for teens. She believes something powerful happens when an important message for teens come from another teen who is experiencing the same struggles.
Over the course of 2020,Gerig’s time in quarantine allowed her additional time to finish writing. She compiled the result into her book, Dear Teen: We’re in This Together, which she self-published in April 2021.
“I wanted to show other people your identity isn’t in sports but Jesus,” said Gerig.
Gerig said she experienced the same struggles she writes about and God was working in her heart in all the areas she outlines. Her overall mission is to show teens how to honor and glorify God in all areas of their lives. Most recently, Gerig’s launched her newest initiative: Worship ‘n Workout, an online platform to teach athletes how to use their workouts as worship to God.
“Your walk with the Lord can start young,” she said. “By abiding in God and seeking Him, your life can exemplify who He is.”
Rex Stump, Buckeye Border FCA Area Director, said Macy is spiritually in tune and uses her writing to express her passion for helping teens thrive. He added that she has had a significant impact on her teammates and often leads them in prayer as well as encouraging her peers to participate in FCA and was instrumental in bringing several girls to camp last year.
Gerig says it is not often teens speak out about faith in Jesus, but she wants to help change that.
“I want teens to know they can live for God in a way that is bold and courageous,” she said.
Macy is quick to give God the credit for the ability to complete writing her book, acknowledging His strength and stamina helping her complete it.
Macy continues writing and has even started an outline for her next book, though she is not putting any specific timeline on that project yet. A recent experience with a serious concussion while playing soccer has taught her to slow down, seek God’s direction and rest in Him.
While forced to take yet another break from sports to recover from the injury, she says it’s helped her to prayerfully focus on God’s calling for her life. In fact, the entire outline for her next book is reflective of all the lessons she’s learned from the experience following the concussion.
She’s learned when she tries to accomplish goals on her own power, it doesn’t work, but through her recovery process and coming close to God, “I have peace.”
The Buckeye Border FCA area includes five counties in northwest Ohio and two in southeast Michigan. Rex Stump, area director, asks for prayer as they seek to add another staff member to grow the ministry. He asks for a spiritual awakening and passion in the ministry and for students to have the courage and boldness to witness to their peers.
For more about how to support the ministry of the Buckeye Border area, go to bbfca.org.
To learn more about Macy Gerig's book, visit here.
Photos courtesy of Macy Gerig and Max Householder - Fulton County Expositor