When Alex thought he lost it all, God came through

Alex Olson learned what it means to be fully reliant on God to provide in every situation.

It was that moment I knew my life was going to be different.

I grew up in a missionary family. When I was younger, my family lived in Chico, California, while my parents were in missionary training. Then, for a mission, we moved to Fiji and lived there for a few years. When I was around three or four years old, my parents felt led to move to South Carolina. Crazy, right? Out of all places, we moved to South Carolina.

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I met Jesus when I was in the 5th grade at NewSpring Church’s 10th-year anniversary at the time — the Bi-Lo Center. It was that night I recognized what it meant to be saved. Obviously, I'd grown up in a church family and had that whole experience. But I hadn't reached a maturity level to understand that yet. My heart was beating out of my chest and I definitely felt the Holy Spirit was calling me.

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Life was OK until my sixth-grade year. My dad cheated on my mom, so my parents got divorced. The whole thing felt completely out of the blue. I pretty much spent the next three years pleasing myself and just trying to make much of me; looking to find anything that could possibly fill that void that my dad had left. Then, when I was in the 10th grade, my mom showed me the mugshot. My dad had been arrested for selling drugs. I was really confused because he used to be a missionary. I remember thinking that God wasn’t real; that I wasn’t actually saved. I felt abandoned. I spent my 10th-grade and 11th-grade year partying, doing drugs, and chasing after girls. I got into a super empty spot.

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My mom had tricked me into signing up for Gauntlet my 11th-grade year. I told my two closest friends at the time that I was going and their response was, “Just make sure you don't go there and change.” This made my heart hurt hard. While on the trip, I roomed with one of my good friends, Tyler. I remember watching him worship and seeing how much he loved God. I wanted that. So, I prayed. Not knowing what I was thinking, Tyler came up to me and spoke truth into my life. It was that moment I knew my life was going to be different.

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A few years later, I ran into one of the guys who told me not to change. He thanked me for not being fake or hypocritical. I think for the first time, he saw actual life change through Jesus.

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I’m glad the Lord brought me back when he did. Ever since I moved to South Carolina, I played soccer. I even got a scholarship to play at Southern Wesleyan. My first season was great — broke into the team and was getting good minutes. I loved my teammates, and I thought God was going to use me to do something. But sophomore year, I tore my patella tendon the very first game. I felt like my world was over. My thought was that nobody is going to listen to the guy on the bench. But then, I realized that God is using this as a way to witness to these guys, and to show there's a lot more than you kicking a ball on a field for the rest of your life.

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But God just gave me a passionate heart over these last 10 months it's been. Being able to forgive my dad, and seeing him being rebuilt by God, has been amazing. And also, knowing that whatever God has planned for me is the best possible thing. On the other side of all this, I’m at a whole new place. He is still continuing to show me I have more freedom and still dependent on Him. 


Sharing your story is a simple and powerful way to tell people about Jesus.

Sharing your story is a simple and powerful way to tell people about Jesus. By talking about what Jesus has done for you, it’s like joining a conversation God is already having with them.