Scott Hamilton won Olympic gold in 1984 as a figure skater. He became successful as a professional skater and media personality. But something was happening behind the scenes. That’s the rest of the story.

Hamilton was adopted at six weeks old. As a child, a rare disorder stunted his growth. But he found he could skate as well as healthy children. His first competition was at age 11. During his amateur career, he was no taller than 5 feet 2 inches.

His parents financed his training at great personal sacrifice. Just before his first major victory, his mother died of cancer. Carrying that loss framed his soul-searching after his own bout with cancer at age 39. “I survived something that took the most important person in my life off the planet,” he said. “What’s my purpose now? What do I need to do?” He sensed that “there was something welling up in me that needed to get out.  I didn’t know what it was.”

He began dating Tracie, now his wife. She posed a question that caught him off guard. “Where are you in your relationship with Jesus Christ?” He realized it was questions about faith that had been “welling up.” Her pastor pointed Hamilton to the Bible for answers. “Christianity is a faith of history,” he said. “These things actually happened. It’s not so much about the characters and their stories, but about how God interacted in their lives.”

As he read, the words came alive. He gained a perspective on his sufferings and success. “I was an unintended child of a woman who had other options. I was sick. You feel like your life is a turbulent storm…and it was all for my good. Every bit of suffering was meant to build my character and endurance.” He was primed for the next step of his spiritual journey.

Hamilton was a husband for two years and a new father when the doctor discovered a brain tumor. When he told Tracie, she grabbed hands and prayed. “It was honestly the single most powerful moment in my life,” he said. “In that moment I knew where I was going to put my faith, everything.”

After coming to Christ, “I felt lighter,” he said. “When you surrender your old life for a new life in the power of Jesus Christ, it’s extraordinary how you don’t worry about the same stuff anymore. All those memories, regrets of the past…you now have permission to let those go forever.” The lightweight skater finally had his greatest burden lifted by the One who can.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matt. 11:28-29).