Living My Dream
Success Meant Nothing
There's something different about professional snowboarder Kelly Clark. It's not just her flips and tricks. Or her speed. Or even her success in the X Games or Winter Olympics (she won gold in 2002 and finished fourth in 2006).
Instead, it's her dynamic and positive personality. "I love Jesus," she says. "And I guess everyone can tell."
It wasn't always this way. "When I was younger I was never happy," she said. She thought it would be better when she found success. But even after winning the gold medal, she still wasn't happy. In fact, she felt worse. "I was lonely and depressed. I wanted to die."
At one tournament, Kelly overheard other snowboarders talking about God. "They said God loved everyone," she says. "But I wondered if he could really love me."
Later that night, desperate and lonely, Kelly opened the Bible in her hotel room. It was the King James Version and she understood very little, so she went to the room of one of the girls she'd heard talking on the slopes. "I asked her if she could explain God and Christianity to me," Kelly says. "God really began to move in my heart."
Over the next few months Kelly began attending church while sidelined by a knee injury. Soon after, she accepted Christ. "It was the best day of my life," she says. "No trophy, no medal and no amount of money can equal what Christ did in me that day."
I Cannot Hide
As she healed, she was scared about returning to competing. "I didn't know how I'd tell everyone about Jesus and my new life," she says. "It was a tough time for me."
Kelly prayed about her fears and put it in God's hands. "Then, one night in worship, we sang this song with the words 'I cannot hide my love for Jesus.' That's when I realized God would work everything out, because I couldn't possibly hide my love for him."
Before returning to the slopes, she had a sticker made for her board that says: "I cannot hide my love for Jesus." That sticker's message is now the foundation of her whole life. "Everything I do is about Jesus," she says. "And that sticker has opened a lot of doors for me to witness."
Today, Kelly is one of the most famous snowboarders in the world and is living out her dream. Kelly is also on the prayer team at her church, teaches a young adult discipleship class and mentors other snowboarders. And by talking about Jesus on Olympic telecasts and boarding to the music of David Crowder, she lets everyone know who she's living for. She says: "God is blessing me so much by not only allowing me to do what I love to do, but by allowing me to tell others about him at the same time."
Copyright © 2007 by the author or Christianity Today/Ignite Your Faith magazine.
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