Feb. 22: An Olympic Gymnast’s Blessings

“God has given me this awesome talent to represent Him.  Glory goes up to Him, and the blessings fall down on us,” said 16-year-old gymnast Gabby Douglas, after winning the gold medal in the 2012 Olympic women’s all-around competition.

Douglas has turned to God throughout her life during times of physical training and emotional turmoil, such as her parents’ divorce and living apart from her mother, Natalie Hawkins.

Though Hawkins was reluctant, she allowed her daughter to move from Virginia Beach, Virginia to West Des Moines, Iowa, in 2010 so she could work with Liang Chow, the coach who trained Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson.  Unable to afford living expenses, Douglas was welcomed into the home of Missy Parton, her husband and four children who cared for her like a member of their own family.  Hawkins, meanwhile, sent her daughter Bible passages twice daily to keep her grounded.

Yes, Gabby Douglas is grateful to her Father in heaven for showering blessings on her.  Those blessings include two loving mothers, Natalie and Missy, who made her dreams possible.

Cast all your anxiety on [God].  (1 Peter 5:7)

Guide my steps as I walk life’s winding roads, Jesus.

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