Kelly Clark

Kelly Clark Olympian Snowboarder

viaadmin Volume 45

If you had no friends, no money, no success, no breaks in life, no significance and no future you could understand the dark feeling of being empty inside. Perhaps you have a horrible inner void, screaming out to be filled, that hauntingly echoes through the hollow caverns of your life. But what if you had everything above – yet, with each milestone reached, the gnawing empty void at the core of who you are grew stronger? Then what?

In 2002, 18 year old Kelly Clark, became the first-ever American gold medalist in half-pipe snowboarding at the Salt Lake City Olympics. At the top of her sport, with a gold medal hanging around her neck Kelly said: “I had achieved everything that was in my heart to do and at the same time I wasn’t finding the fulfillment I was expecting to get from it.”

So Kelly did what she thought would fill the void in her heart. She tried to be the rowdiest partier of all. But neither her gold medal nor her partying was enough to take away Kelly’s deep sense of emptiness. “I had spiraled into this depression and into this place that was just real dark. …Snowboarding’s still going great. I’ve got it made. I’m living the dream, but on the inside I’m dying.”

A couple of years had passed and she was gearing up for the Snowboarding World Cup season. From an outside perspective her life was picture-perfect and together. At the bottom of the pipe, a girl who had fallen on both runs was crying. The girl’s friend said, “Hey, it’s all right, God still loves you.” There was just something about that comment that caught Kelly’s attention. She couldn’t shake it or deny that it stirred something up in her.

“God still loves you.” She had qualified for the finals but did she qualify to be loved by God? “All I could think about,” Kelly said, “was what if this God loved me and do I qualify for that? I needed to know. If God loves this person, maybe God would love me. Maybe that would give me fulfillment and significance. I believe as humans we were created for significance and I was looking for it everywhere and I just didn’t find it.”

Kelly Clark literally ran back to her hotel room to find the Bible she knew would be there. But, as she opened the Bible she didn’t know where to look or start. How could she find out about God’s love for her in this big book?

She found out that the girl she had overheard was staying in the same hotel so she knocked on her door and said: “Hi, my name is Kelly, and I think you might be a Christian. I think you need to tell me about God.” Kelly reported, “The girl started sharing God’s love with me and how that God created me for a purpose … and that God loved me. She told me that it was about a relationship and she told me that Jesus loved me. It was what I really needed to hear.”

No one thinks an accident or a sickness or an injury is something to appreciate or value. But for Kelly Clark a knee injury gave her time to seriously look into the deepest and most important matter in her life. Not distracted by competitions or practices, she focused on her spiritual need to be right with God, to know the joy of having her sins all forgiven, and of having inner peace.

One day, during those months of being sidelined by her injury, she accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her very own personal Saviour. What Kelly Clark found was not religion – she found Christ.

That’s Kelly Clark. Now what about you? Are you satisfied or are you experiencing a certain emptiness inside? Do you have a relationship with God through Christ that has brought new meaning to your life? Is Christ the inner source of your joy?

Prayerfully think about these three questions and their answers from God’s Word – the Holy Bible.

Does God love you, even if you have never loved Him?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Can you earn God’s love and salvation by self-efforts?

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

How can you be saved and enter into a relationship and fellowship with God?

“But as many as received Him [Jesus], to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).

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