I grew up with parents who followed Christ and attended church regularly. At about 11, I experienced God for myself, really felt His presence, and gave my heart to the Lord.
After leaving home for college, I wanted to go party and go drinking with everybody else. I told God, “If You are really real, prove it to me. If I’m going to dedicate my life to You, I want to make sure I’m not just following my parent’s beliefs.” He proved himself three times through three different people. The first time, my car broke down and this guy walked across the highway to help me; he was a follower of Christ and went to Hillsong Church. That happened three times in a week, with God telling people to stop and help me.
I got it, and ever since then, I’ve been His. God is my provider, helper, my friend, counselor; He’s everything I need. I’ve seen miracles in my travels and had the opportunity to pray with many people.
The biggest miracles always happen when I’m completely dependent on God and not trying to do it in my own strength. That’s why He allows us to be in situations sometimes, so we can live by faith. He wants us to place our identity in Him, not in our own abilities.
I learned this lesson the most while competing in the 2009 World Championships in Spain. I won the first race, but the whistle didn’t sound to say that I had won because I had caught up to the back of the men’s fleet. I was standing in the shallows of the water, watching the other girls finish when the whistle went for second! In haste, I turned my board quickly to get back out there and refinish when the fin on my board cut three inches into my shin, down to the bone.
A doctor spectator from the crowd offered help and stitches, but I said I didn’t have time for stitches. He put his body in front of my view, took a staple gun and stapled my shin together five times without anesthetic! He taped me up, and despite the metal staples pushing on my bone, I managed second in the next race. After a week of racing I was leading by one point going into the last day but was close to one girl in particular. We were coming in second and third, and on the last down-wind, she got away and with a few meters to go edged around the leading girl and won by a meter! We had equal points, but because she won the last race, she won on a countback. So I forever have a scar on my leg reminding me of the world champs I lost on a countback.
The lesson in it all was that my identity is in God and not in my titles. If you’re not complete and happy without it, you won’t be happy with it.
—Allison Shreeve, Australian Olympic Windsurfer