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  • Writer's pictureElana Withnall

There’s always a way: by faith, you can find it

Updated: Apr 10

Are you feeling like your faith is fleeting? Perhaps, you’ve been believing for something during a tough relenting season, a circumstance or a diagnosis.

That has no clear evidence it’s any closer, other than the posture of your heart.


Even if you don’t have the physical evidence that the thing you are having faith for is any closer, I invite you to just remain faith-filled. Hebrews 11:1 encourages us with: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’’


Even though we might not physically have evidence of God working, by faith through grace we can believe He is instead working on the things we cannot physically see.

It goes deeper than the physical than the tangible. Faith is a funny thing, we put so much hope into an outcome only controlled by the source of all of our outcomes.

And thank goodness, we have a big God who makes a way where we simply don’t see one.


Abraham’s faith is astounding.

Abraham was 75 years old when God first made the promise that Abraham would be made into “a great nation.”

He waited 25 years 

He was 100 years old, had been through decades of infertility, and yet held on to the hope that God would give him a child in such unbelievable circumstances. 

He faced these disheartening facts that it was humanly impossible to have a child, yet at 90 years old, despite all human evidence that they would not receive this promise, that She was too old, and it was too late:


Our Faithful God. Keeps His promises.


And at 90, Sarah gave birth to Isaac.


It took a crazy faith to keep going, when I broke my back throwing a javelin at the 2016 Rio Olympic trials for the heptathlon.

Despite all the ‘odds,’ diagnosis or prognosis against me. I prayed for wisdom and by faith I kept on going.


To walk again, to run again and to then drive a roller coaster down ice with speeds of 120km/hr as I then found myself causally talent scouted for The Australian Winter Olympic Bobsled Team; logical progression am I right?


But, it took a crazier faith, to say ‘yes,’ to Jana Pittman when she asked me to pilot her to the 2018 Winter Olympics in the Bobsled.

To say ‘yes,’ to that call, was crazy in itself.

Because it meant, flying to the other side of the world and learn how to essentially drive a roller coaster, that has no breaks, no seatbelt and no conventional steering wheel.


Oh, as if the path wasn’t already a bit tipsy Turvey. I was involved in a crash on the ice, during a training run and almost lost my life by saying ‘yes,’ to that extreme sport.

But by God’s grace and mercy I am still here to tell this story.


It took a crazier faith, to get back on the horse and believe I had a shot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this time in the rugby 7s.

Another not to typical transition, but you’ll begin to see I believe in saying ‘yes’ to opportunties. Even if they seem a little crazy to everyone but yourself.


So, I spent the next four years transforming into a rugby player. Tackling, grappling, passing a flat-ended ball against a wall to myself one hundred times to the left, one hundred times to the right, to refine my ‘footy skills.’

Waking up the day after a game feeling like I’d been hit by a truck, wasn’t something I’d ever get used to.


But we persevered. We persisted. And as ‘the underdog,’ the girl from the beach no one knew, that didn’t grow up playing touch footy, earned her way onto a national touring team.


Only be concussed and ruled out of Olympic trials just 4 months out from The Games.


That’s the crazy thing about faith, what we were believing for - mightn’t be what God has planned. Because he always had something better planned for us. He’s the God of second, third and in my case fifth changes.


My ‘better something planned,’ turned out to be my childhood love. My favourite thing about Little Athletics and in another odd progression.

The Triple Jump.

As in the ‘hop, step, play in the sandpit.’ The very same!



Another unconventional ‘plot twist,’ if you may. But as I lean into the lord using me as His vessel. I tend to not question the many detours, and unconventional paths, as often. And say ‘yes,’ to the ‘crazy faith things,’ that I know will be used for His Good.


Thanks to a global pandemic, I had another shot. I then had 18 months to transition into a speed x strength = distance athlete, once again.

ahead of qualifying for the newly revised 2020(1) Tokyo Olympics, this time as a triple jumper.


But in another plot twist, I underwent emergency surgery just 4 months from the trials to remove a tumour from my stomach.

Just. Another. Hurdle.


And good thing is, hurled are meant for getting over!

So we persisted.

We did the rehab (again), the training, the persisting, the enduring and ‘the waiting.’


Against all the odds.

I lined up against the best in the country, this time just a hop, step, and jump closer to my elusive childhood dream.

To miss out, once again and jump a distance two weeks too late - after qualification process had ended.


That takes us to here.

2024.

And my crazy faith journey, believing, persisting and persevering for another 3 years to this year’s Paris 2024 Olympic selection trials, which is only 1 week away.


This will be my fifth-times-the-charm shot at an Olympics.

Across 3 sports & 4 events.

And I am believing for a miracle.


I wanted to give up throw in the towel and be done with believing in this crazy big dream.

It seemed all too hard.

And there wasn’t going to be any point in the pain of falling short, failing or not making it,


But God!


God kept saying, keep going for it.

Not for me, but for those who will come after me. to show them impossible is nothing when partnered with God’s grace.


And yet I persist. Because I’m simply just believing God is going to use my story to show others of His strength. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭14‬ ‭NIV‬‬


My own strength ran out many years ago. It’s by the Lord, carrying me through each injury, near-death or misfortune.

That I am here and I am still believing it is possible, because of His faithfulness.

I have Faith that the Lord also redeems what is lost. For far better things have yet to come.


When I’ve begun to doubt whether I’ll step into what God has spoken over my life and I feel like I'm running out of my own strength.

I am reminded that right there in the middle of our hopelessness, God does some of His best work.

His strength is working.

When we learn to surrender our fears to him, when we let him be our endurance He can take the baton, to finish off the race. 


‘’But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’’ Isaiah 40:31


Faith is mentioned 336 times in the King James Version, of the Holy Bible. So you are in good company if you’re in a season that requires renewing your faith. You are not alone and the Bible can help encourage us to learn about the deeper aspects faith requires of you, when waking your path to desire to live by it over fear.



Faith is part of hope, and hope focuses on the future rather than the past.

In biblical terms, when faith is directed to the future. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us ‘’For I know the pans for you,’ Declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.’ Jeremiah reminds us, that by faith we can believe God has already revolved our fear regarding the future and we can rest in knowing those plans are for our good. 


Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping, even though he waited all those years, about what was spoken for His family’s future.

Hope remained and his way was only strengthened by the waiting.

“But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” Romans 8:25.

I have been refined by ‘the waiting,’ time and time again. But have faith it’s His timing, not ours. There is purpose in ‘The Wait.’


If you’re in a season of waiting for the promise.

Waiting on your breakthrough.

Maybe God is asking to wait with perseverance and patience. For His timing is always on time!

The character you’re building couldn’t be shaped without the waiting season.

I’ve found, it’s also the lessons learned, the attributes gained, and perspective found in having endured ‘The Wait,’ is part of God’s refinement. Because it’s the person you are shaped into having endured this, is who you need to be in order to receive that breakthrough, God has planned for you, on His time.


Instead of ‘why me?’ we can view this as a ’what now?’ Rhetorical question. If you’re patiently waiting for a breakthrough, that’s just around the corner ask God ‘what are you teaching me from this?’

Even if you’re feeling hopeless, like time is running out or you don’t have the strength to keep believing the outcome will change.

Keep the faith, you needed this newfound perspective, wisdom and resilience gained by the wait, to step into your ‘what now.’


Good news is: God has the final say!

And He always makes a way. 

Your promise may be simply delayed, but it's never denied. Just like Abraham and Sarah,

Or if you’re like me, persisting through 24 seasons of sport, still awaiting that final, crazy breakthrough.

While I sure hope you don’t have to endure ‘The Wait,’ quite so long for your outcome to change. You can remain persistent in having a crazy faith.


As long as you persevere your faith and don’t give in to fear of the future.

You’re never too old, it’s never too late.

No matter the odds - because we have  faithful God, the outcome will always be the same.

His promises are faithful.

In every season He remains the same.

Psalms 113:3 reminds us, no matter what season we are in, our God is a promise-keeper and can be praised.

''From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD's name is to be praised.''


I encourage you to simply:

Just keep going!

God sees your struggles.

He’s not any less faithful in the valleys.

Not any less God in enduring ‘The Wait.’


Your future is safe in His arms.

Just keep Running His race, and let your enduring, persevering, persistent, resilient crazy faith; be your greatest weapon in the face of doubt.




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