How I won the Olympic Trials: Water Walking
My story, like every human story, is at least in part the struggle between faith and fear. Fear will never go away. We tend to seek a world of comfort. We try to construct manageable lives with some real security and predictability to maintain the illusion that we are in control. Trust and fear battle for the human heart. Eventually one or the other will win. Winning the Olympic Trials was a chance of lifetime, and it was not to be taken lightly. I knew in my heart that God was calling me far beyond my spiritual comfort zone. And for me to truly follow Jesus I had to deny Comfort as the ultimate value for my life. Fear and growth go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly, it’s a package deal.
Main point is, comfort will often keep us from discovering the greatest purposes of our lives. You can be hiding and living, but you can’t be hiding and thriving. In order for me to successfully “Water Walk” I was forced completely out of my comfort zone. Months in advance I submitted my will to being completely vulnerable, living above all my current circumstances, trusting what God placed on my heart with unwavering faith and believing with ever fiber in my heart it would happen. Essentially it was taking all of my own self effort and putting it all on God. Taking everything I thought I knew, and all of my safety and pushing all my chips in on God. Let me explain…
Warming up for trials I was in total peace. I was confident that I had done everything possible to put myself in a position to win the tournament. I was completely locked into God, and we were writing the story together step by step. I had no idea how things would unfold, and I accepted there would be heavy adversity, but I knew I would rather trust my heart than fail quietly.
Looking around the room I noticed a lot of my opponents seemed to be carrying heavy burdens. After all this was the moment we had all been training for. I remember thinking, “should I be nervous? Am I taking this too lighthearted?” But the thing is, the Joy from being saved was permanent and the outcome of this tournament would not define me as a person like it had in the past. Success is when you’re sucked into thinking that your joy and satisfaction are not here but there- somewhere in the future, at some moment when you accomplish X or you accomplish Y. Success promises something it can’t deliver. As soon as you reach your goal, success creates a new one, which creates new anxieties and stresses. I was saved by GRACE!!! This tournament was about character building, and showing God how much I trusted him.
Throughout the tournament God allowed me to stay present, focused, and super aware of my thoughts, dispelling any apprehension. I couldn’t stop smiling, dancing, and goofing around knowing that God was with me every second of the way. In the midst of the storm God had my full attention. I remember eagerly pleading to God when I went out of bounds during the Stieber match. I had fallen behind, and I needed a takedown to regain the lead. “God I need your help here. Please grant me the the strength to pull of a 4pointer, in Jesus name.” I knew a td was not going to be a large enough margin to win, because it was a battle and God was my refuge.
Soon after I won the Stieber Match, my faith & trust would be put to the test. I dropped my first match against Pico, in a series that would go the distance. The door was open and fear was ringing in on my conscious. “How am I going to win these next two matches? If I lose this next match, my dream is dead….” God quickly answered my thoughts with conviction. “You are so much closer than when you started this day. You are two matches away from winning the Olympic Trials!” I had believed and trusted God all along the journey and I wasn’t going to bail just because the wind picked up, and the waves grew bigger in storm. I stayed connected to Him, I trusted all of my training, instincts, and preparation. I said yes to my calling, and experienced God in a way I will never forget.
When the last few seconds ticked off the clock, my dream had officially become a reality. I had successfully walked on water... I fell to my knees, clasped my hands, and had a moment with God that I will cherish forever. I had experienced the feeling of attempting to do what I was not capable of doing on my own, and then felt the euphoria of being empowered by God to actually do it.
Follow my journey to Olympic Gold, and stay connected through the following:
If you would like to help fund my family to Rio, you can contribute here: https://www.gofundme.com/24dh4u4.
I want to personally thank John Ortberg and encourage everyone to read his book, If you Want to Walk on Water you’ve Got to Get Out of The Boat. And Rob Bell for his inspiring words in his book, How To Be Here. Lastly, I want to thank Pete Wilson for his encouraging and purposeful sermon Water Walkers.