This week, grace ambassador, Christian Taylor, had the opportunity to speak with friend and fellow Track and Field Olympian, Michael Hartfield, as Hartfield freely shared his story of how he came to know Christ and the walk he has had with the Lord.
Hartfield began his talk with Taylor by openly stating that the Olympics had never been a goal of his. Yes, Hartfield aimed to do well in all he put his mind to, but it was never something for which he truly prayed. Rather, the 2016 Olympian out of Connecticut had always prayed to God to allow him to come to a stable point in his life with a family, and now the Lord has brought him to that point. “Life is great [right now]. Getting to this point in my life was my prayer and goal and now I know how precious this gift from God is.” Getting to this point for Hartfield came when he found the Lord in his life, chose to follow Him first, and trusted in God’s timing.
As a young boy born to very young parents, Hartfield spent a lot of time with his grandparents who were Jehovah Witnesses; therefore, Hartfield was taught who God was and he had always believed in God and kept Him in mind. However, even with the seeds of faith being instilled in him, Hartfield felt that the Word didn’t resonate with him the same way at a young age. “I remember early on when I had questions about the differences in peoples’ beliefs. I knew kids who went to church but acted like they didn’t know God at all; this made me protective of my faith, but it wasn’t until I was older that I began to dive deeper into the Word and came to know God.”
In Harfield’s journey, he found that God was constantly leaving hints around, creating a path to be followed. This was especially true when it came to finding his wife and her impact on his faith walk. Hartfield and his wife attended the same university where they became friends with a special connection, however, Hartfield knew it was not the time as God had not yet shown him the way to his wife. After some time, the two got together and this is where is faith journey boomed. While he has always known God and kept Him on his mind, Hartfield hadn’t gone to a church until he was with his wife. Still being very protective of the faith he knew, he felt barriers being broken as he opened himself and allowed the Word and community of the church to touch his soul. “I was sitting in church and began feeling a certain type of way—I became emotional. This broke a barrier of understanding God can be found in a church too, and I became more inviting to what God can bring while my understanding of who Jesus is and what He did for us grew. I began to know God’s Grace.” In finding an understanding to the truth in God’s Grace, Hartfield promised his allegiance to God and God alone as we are here to always give God’s glory.
God’s gift of Grace is not something to be abused; it is not a “get out of jail free card.” “God’s Grace is stable. He shows up to give what we didn’t know we needed. God is always going to parent His children through His Grace, and it makes you appreciate it that much more when you learn what Grace is, for the Christian walk is simple but in no means is it easy. Walking with God in His Grace has given me everything I have.”
Before Hartfield’s deep talk with Taylor came to an end, he left the readers, listeners, and viewers with a few simple words of encouragement: “The most important thing to establish that relationship with God is an invitation. Invite God into your life and He will make sure He speaks to you in a way that resonates with you, and you understand Him.” God is Good and he will make his Goodness shown in all things, we just have to look for it. “When God opens a door, no one can close it. I encourage people to go through that door and go for God.”
The Heaven to the Yeah team thanks Hartfield for his inspiring story and open testimony to living life for God and keeping Heaven in his sights. We pray for peace and good health for him and his family.
Heaven to the Yeah (HTTY) is an online retail start-up with a mission to encourage people to live with heaven in view and spread the hope of heaven globally. HTTY sponsors children and missionaries on four continents through universally recognized non-profit organizations such as Compassion International and Food for the Hungry.