;

Trusting in God's Plan

Description

U.S. Wrestler Sam Hazewinkel discusses how he overcame the feeling that there was something in his life he couldn't get past.

I’m a third generation Christian, and I’m blessed by how my parents brought me up. I always felt like following God was what I needed to do. It was just the right path. I began my relationship with Christ at age 6 and I still remember that experience of talking to my Dad about God.
 
When you follow God and He’s leading you, you’re always in good hands. I feel like I see God’s direction in my life all the time, especially looking back on things. I can see where God’s hand was in it, even if I didn't see it at the time. Having parents that love the Lord helped, as I always had someone that had been there and could help me through situations.
 
A dream from childhood: the gold medal
 
I was born into wrestling, as my dad David was part of the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Teams and has been a coach all my life. He never forced us into wrestling, but I always loved it and had a knack for it as long as I can remember. From childhood it was a dream to make the Olympics and win a gold medal like my dad did.
 
I went to my first Olympic Trials in 2004 and placed third. Then in 2008, I was the alternate but did not get to go to Beijing. That was a hard experience for me, because I had planned on winning that year. I was just out of college, and I had put in so much work and effort and spent time away from my family.
 
After placing second at the world team trials in 2011, I went through a time of depression and felt like there was something I couldn't get past. I realized that God really does have a plan, and I needed to trust Him. I finally decided that regardless of what happened I was going to give the glory to God, win or lose. I think that mindset was huge for me and it paid off.
 
My mind was in the right place
 
At this year’s Olympic Trials, I felt like I was in great shape and my mind was in the right place. There was some heavy competition, and I drew some hard opponents, but I ended up with nearly the opposite of last year’s results.
 
Being an athlete is a great avenue to shine a light for the Lord, and faith goes hand-in-hand with sports. My faith really keeps me grounded and helps me during my training a lot.

I like the Apostle Paul’s writings because he uses a lot of athletic metaphors. I usually read Philippians 4 the morning of a competition because it has a lot of similes to wrestling like strength and the peace of God. I claim that promise and try to enjoy the matches and not get so nervous. I’m big on praying before each match so I remember to give God the glory win or lose. It’s good to have that anchor.

Related
It's Not So Easy
Jim Cymbala
Battle
Colin Smith
Keeping the Victory
Dr. Ken Boa
A Friendly Reminder
Dr. Henry Blackaby
Where to Find Your Purpose in Life
Dr. Jack Graham
Follow Us

Want to access more exclusive iDisciple content?

Upgrade to a Giving Membership today!

Already a member? Login to iDisciple