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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Bible Helps Missy Franklin Deal with Olympic Disappointment

Isaiah 54:10 (ESV)
For the mountains may depart
    and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
    and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

2016 Summer Olympics: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

At the 2012 London Games, Missy Franklin, age 17, took the swimming community by storm with her dominant performance. She left the Olympics with four gold medals and one bronze medal, along with two world records and two American records.

Next up for Franklin was a collegiate career at the University of California-Berkeley and plans to continue her international reign with Team USA. As the 2016 Rio Games drew closer, however, she struggled to regain her form in the pool. She was still a world-class swimmer, but not quite at the same level from four years earlier.

About a month before the U.S. Olympic Trials, Franklin expressed hope amid the uncertainty with an Instagram photo of a Bible page upon which she had drawn and colored a mountain with the words “Though the mountain may crumble you will not. Isaiah 54:10.”

Then came an unexpected disappointment. Franklin only qualified for three events and failed to make the American squad in her signature race, the 100-meter backstroke. When asked about her challenges, she referenced an iconic Bible story found in 1 Samuel 17

“I felt a little bit like David facing Goliath,” Franklin explained to a reporter from The Washington Post. “But I felt like I didn’t have any stones in my pocket.”

Even though she was focused on success in the pool, she also made sure to take time for some inspiration. While preparing in Rio, Frankln was pictured in a photo that U.S. Women’s Swimming Coach Dave Marsh tweeted along with several teammates following a Bible study with Atlanta-based pastor and best-selling author Louie Giglio.

Franklin’s first two performances didn’t go as planned. She shockingly missed both finals in the 200-meter freestyle and the 200-meter backstroke. Franklin stayed positive, however and ended her medal drought by participating in the heats that helped the 4x200-meter freestyle relay team win gold.

Three days later, she posted a photo on Twitter with the medal laid across her Bible next to Proverbs 3 and a caption to indicate how that passage was lifting her spirits and keeping her focused on the future:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart…something beautiful will come out of this, and…I will come back stronger than ever!”

Dear Lord, help us to trust You in all things.  Thank You that You make something beautiful in all things that we go through. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

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