By Sarah Rennicke
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
(FCA – Fellowship of Christian Athletes) – Alison Hovatter’s love of golf started early—out on the course as a 5-year-old spending quality time with her mom. After redshirting as a freshman at Ole Miss, her faith has matured, and she now gives full worship to God, who designed her and gave her athletic ability.
FCA: How did God change your focus from golf to Him?
AH: It was something the Lord revealed to me during my first year at Ole Miss, after I broke my arm in a weird weightlifting accident. I remember someone asking what I did, and I started sharing, and it was like the Lord put on my heart what to say.
At that moment I realized I had worshipped my sport and put other things before Christ. There were so many idols in my life, and here I was, physically broken but also spiritually broken. And He said, “Everything else can be taken away from you, but I’m here. I’m always here, and I’m never changing. I’m the most consistent Person in your life.” That was so powerful to me.
FCA: What else did it teach you?
AH: In competition—or life in general—things happen that we have no control over. But if you say, “Lord, I’m trusting You,” your heart changes. One of the greatest things about being a Christian athlete is every day I get to worship my Lord and Savior through my sport. He’s with me every step of the way, and I don’t do it for anybody else but Him. I have a greater purpose—not just to win tournaments or shoot really low scores, but to honor the Lord.
FCA: How has FCA kept you accountable?
AH: This world is tough. We need to have Christian accountability partners so you can share with each other and say, “This is what I’m really struggling with in my life; can you pray for me?”
I’ve been involved with FCA since my freshman year at Ole Miss. Being around other Christian athletes who are going through the same things you’re going through, being able to lean on them and have someone encourage you is crucial if you want to live a life for Christ.
FCA: How have you grown at Ole Miss?
AH: My best friend, Rachel Weathersby, and I lead a Bible study for high school girls. At first I was leery because I didn’t know if I was skilled to do it. But I felt like the Lord was really calling me.
It’s been such a blessing, not just for the girls but for me as well. We’re able to share our weaknesses, pray and challenge each other every week. To see how their hearts have changed and grown has probably been one of the biggest blessings of my time at Ole Miss.
FCA: What have you been learning with God?
AH: I am not defined by my performance; I am defined by my Creator. He loves me, He knows my every thought and everything about me, and He still chooses to love me. Believing in that helps me recognize that what I do on the course doesn’t determine my eternal destiny.
Right now, I don’t know what the future holds. I want to go into coaching college golf and still want to be involved in campus ministry, but I don’t know what doors will open. Trusting in His plan and not trying to figure it out on my own is something I’ve definitely been praying about. I know down the road I’ll look back and say, “Oh Lord, look at all the things You’ve aligned!” I’m excited to see what He’ll do