The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. Proverbs 24:15

I am a huge admirer of tennis star Venus Williams. For in spite of the many times she falls short in her quest to win a major tennis championship, she always finds a way to get back up again.

In 1994, after bursting on the professional tennis scene, she became the world's No. 1 tennis player, the first African American woman to do so, after winning seven Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal in singles play.

But in 1998, an expected foe arrived for Venus on the tennis circuit in the form of her sister, Serena Williams. Initially winning most of the Grand Slam tournaments during the early years when they played against each other, Serena began to overpower and outplay her older sister, causing Venus to lose every Grand Slam final she played against Serena between the years of 2002-2009.

To add insult to injury, in 2011, Venus was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that left her fatigued and experiencing joint and muscle pain, and she made the difficult decision to stop playing professional tennis. But two years later, after a change in diet and her training schedule,she returned to the tennis circuit and won another woman's singles title.

Venus continued to play professionally until she powered her way back to Wimbledon's Center Court this past July, and then advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Open in early September. Falling short again of winning the coveted Grand Slam title at both events, when asked if she would continue playing or retire after her losses, Venus graciously replied:  " It's nothing complicated. I will continue to play tennis."

As of today, Venus has yet to win another Grand Slam Title as a professional tennis player, but I"m thankful, in spite of her losses, for how this great tennis player shows us time and time again when life knocks us down, to get back up again.

To the survivors of  Hurricane Harvey and Irma: Your homes and businesses have been knocked down by the tumultuous winds and waters of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and though you've lost much, we're here to help you get back up again.

Sharing my perspective,


Jeaninne Stokes is a Christian author, poet and Bible-teacher, and writes biblical-based inspirational poetry, devotions, and social articles to inspire others as they live a life of faith. She also enjoys speaking at writers groups and conferences,and teaching workshops to help aspiring writers answer the call to write for Christian publication. To learn more about her, and to join her mailing list, visit her at

Copyright 2014  Jeaninne Johnson Stokes.  All rights reserved.