Mental Health Matters: Emma Raducanu’s ‘seemingly impossible’ victory

Emma Raducanu is a name that will not be forgotten anytime soon. Ethnically diverse with a Romanian father and Chinese mother, Emma represented Britain at the US Open (tennis) setting a record that no other 18-year-old has ever achieved. She unlocked something – her untapped potential to achieve the ‘seemingly impossible’. 

Success has followed Emma throughout her life. Before winning the US open (becoming the first-ever qualifier to win a grand slam), Emma had won multiple tournaments growing up, starting from the age of six.

So, what can we learn from her success story? How can mental health be looked after amid success?  

Know your limits and when to slow down

The decisions you make to look after yourself now, enable your future self to excel in ways you never thought possible.

The achievement of our dreams should never be at the cost of our health and wellbeing. In July this year, Emma withdrew from Wimbledon after suffering breathing difficulties. She said she felt the experience of competing in the championships last-16 had “caught up with her”.  Sometimes in life we need to know when we have to take a step back. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says:

‘“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’ 

Taking a step back can help realign our perspective and realise that God is sovereign over all situations. When we feel weak, we are more dependent on God to move, knowing our strength comes from Him. What may have been the hardest decision for Emma to make, was also part of her success story. Putting her wellbeing and health first meant Emma could reset and get stronger for her next tournament.

It’s possible to achieve the ‘seemingly impossible’

Emma’s story inspires the world that what we perceive to be unattainable can be reached. But more than this, Emma’s success is a pinpoint of proof that young people are leading the way. 

Often it can feel that we are working towards impossible goals when trying to resolve issues of injustice. Racial injustice, climate change, gender inequality are all huge issues. But as we follow Jesus and catch His vision for the world around us, the ability to spark change within our spheres of influence brings the possibility of a just world closer.

Make an ‘impossible dreams’ list 

Emma shared in an interview that she ‘wasn’t expecting to win this one (the US open) but that was one of my goals just to win one’. Although Emma didn’t expect to win, she chose to make small steps towards that dream consistently.

God’s plan of redemption for this world can feel impossible. But when we partner with Him a like-minded community can turn the ‘seemingly impossible’ into a lived out reality. As we work together as a community to resolve injustices around us, we have the opportunity to invite others to join us. Big dreams are more attainable when we come together. We believe together we are one

What dreams do you have for yourself and the world around you? 

Write down a small step you can make towards your dreams.

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