It was 2002, at the young age of 18, that Kelly Clark became the first American female to win an Olympic Gold Medal in snowboarding. It was a short 2 year trip from that mountain top experience to a feeling of complete emptiness that left Kelly not even caring if she woke up the next morning.
When you feel like the best has past you by in the first quarter of your life, what do you grasp onto in the next 3/4 of it? Where do you find purpose in your next breath?
In 2006, 2010 and this year in Sochi, Kelly is back competing for the gold. But there are BIG changes in Kelly’s life. A snowboarder’s board is a place of importance, a place to display stickers of sponsors and allegiances and things of value. Kelly placed a new sticker prominently on the nose of her board. It said “Jesus I cannot hide my love.”
When she had nothing left inside, Kelly overheard a simple conversation. It was one rider consoling a crying contestant who had fallen and been knocked out of the competition. “It’s all right, God still loves you,” the girl had said.
Kelly’s heart quickened, Maybe God loves me? Kelly found the girl that night at the hotel and asked her to tell her about this God who loves so deeply. Kelly didn’t know much about Christianity and began to read the Bible. She began to ask God her big questions and He began to fill her with His love.
Kelly admits that after meeting Jesus, life didn’t become magically perfect, but she knew win or lose, healthy or injured, snowboarding or not, she had an identity in Christ, a purpose and she was loved.
Finding purpose in the mundane can be just as difficult if not more so. Everyday it’s the same thing. Get everyone up and moving. Kids have their lunches? Backpacks? Did they finish their homework? You face the same daily tasks, the drive, the laundry, the bills and the ever resurfacing question of what’s for dinner? It can leave you thinking, why is this important? What difference would it make if I just wasn’t here? It is difficult to find meaning in the mundane, but “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
When we know we are loved beyond the mundane, beyond what we feel our purpose or meaning may be, we have hope. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
Maybe like Kelly, finding hope may simply begin with asking God your big questions and allowing Him to answer in His way.
If you want to read Kelly’s full story, it’s here.
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