IMG_0043“Where’s my gym bag?!” Cried Molly, her eyes darting about the room frantically in search of the missing bag. The excitement of watching the gymnasts compete at the Rio Olympics was gone, and now it was time for Molly’s Dollympic trials for the next summer Dollympics. And she was quite high-strung about it.

IMG_0047“Relax, Molly. Emelie has it.” Josefina, Molly’s coach and older sister, reassured.

IMG_0044“Here it is,” A cheerful Emelie tried hard to relieve a panicked Molly of her stress. “It was under the computer desk with the other bags.”

Biting her lip anxiously, Molly grabbed her bag and swung it over her shoulder.

IMG_0053“I’m so nervous!” Molly screeched, pushing her way past those around her.

IMG_0055“I should probably get some stretching in,” she sighed, immediately plopping down and extending her hand to her toe.

IMG_0057“I wish I could say something to help you,” Chloe wistfully spoke. “But I don’t know what to say.”

IMG_0058“Molly,” Emelie began uneasily, hoping not to make Molly more nervous by telling her to calm down. Telling her not to be nervous didn’t always help and sometimes had the opposite effect. As Molly stretched the other way, Emelie continued, “Will you listen to me one more time?”

IMG_0059“Sure,” Molly answered, sliding into the side splits and extending her arms forward with her stomach touching the ground. “Go ahead.”

IMG_0061“Being nervous is like a warning sign.”

“What do you mean?” Molly questioned.

Emelie explained, “When you feel nervous, it’s a warning sign that there is something bothering you that you haven’t completely given to God.”

IMG_0062Molly sat up, switching to the front splits. She shrugged in response to Emelie’s words.

Emelie opened her mouth to say something more, but clamped it shut. How could she explain to Molly?

IMG_0063“Are you saying,” Molly spoke after she stood up from her stretching. “That I should pray and ask God for help?”

A relieved smile showed on Emelie’s face. “Exactly. 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) says, ‘Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.'”

Molly nodded. “Oh, I get it. That makes perfect sense.” Then she looked at the clock and the worries hit her all over again. “Josefina, go get ready, please!”

Josefina folded her arms. “We have two hours until it’s time to leave, Molly.”

“JUST DO IT! I’m so nervous and I want to be at least an hour and a half earlier than the time we’re supposed to be there!”

Josefina opened her mouth to argue but then clamped it shut. “You’re the gymnast,” She relented, leaving the room to get ready.

IMG_0065Not ten minutes later did she return. “What time do you want to leave? The Dollympic Qualification Meet is an hour away, and we’re asked to be there at 4:00. If it’s 12:30 now, when do you want to leave?”

“Right now! I want to be the earliest gymnast there at the trial!”

IMG_0066Cécile, who had been playing with her doll elsewhere in Madison’s room, heard the statement and dashed over. “Goodbye, Molls! Good luck!” She cried as she threw her arms around her in a hug.

IMG_0067Soon, everyone gathered around to give Molly their goodbye hugs and good luck wishes.

“Will y’all pray for me?” She whined, the nervousness hitting her again.

“Of course!” They chorused together. “And we’ll be there, too.”

IMG_0068“Will you pray for me, Jaz?” Molly called to Jasmine, who had been reading the Bible all this time.

IMG_0069“You’ll be fine.” Jasmine snapped in annoyance.

“Just pray!” Begged Molly.

“You’ll be fine.” Jasmine reinforced, not bothering to say another word.

IMG_0072She watched jealously as they turned to leave. I should be the one on my way to the Dollmypic trials, she mused in envy. I’m way better than Molly. If only it hadn’t been for Demetria.

IMG_0073“Bye!” Molly called in with frantic waving as she and Josie left. “Pray for me! Wish me luck! And pray! And be there early! And pray for me, too!”

“We will,” laughed Ellie. “Just go on!”

As they climbed in the car, Josefina looked over at Molly. “Okay, Molls. I’m talking to you as your coach. Take deep breaths.”

Molly nodded. “Yes, Coach Josie.”

“And now I’m talking to you as your sister.” Josefina studied Molly’s eyes. “You pray.”

Molly nodded again, closing her eyes and giving the entire situation to God as they drove off. Whatever happened that evening at the AG Dollympic Qualification Meet, she would do her best. The rest would be in His hands.


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IMG_0074The hours sped by. Molly’s numerous questions were answered. The warmups zoomed past. Before she knew it, Molly heard her name being called for vault.

She walked up, stricken with unbelief that this moment she had trained for was finally here. Her stomach twisted itself into nervous knots a sailor would envy, and then she remembered. Warning sign.

IMG_0075

That’s one sorry-lookin’ vault, isn’t it? I did the best with what I had. 😛

Molly eyed the daunting vault, taking a deep breath. She felt scared, and the idea of judges watching her every move intimidated her. “God,” she whispered. “Whatever happens next, it’s in Your hands.”

IMG_0076Due to instinct, Molly’s hands shot up in a salute to the judges. Her mind raced with fleeting thoughts.

This is crazy. I can’t believe I’m doing this. Wait, yes I do. Mark 9:23 (NLT) states that anything is possible if a person believes. 

IMG_0078And so she took a step of faith, beginning to run.

IMG_0079She pumped her arms and ran down the runway as fast as her legs would carry her.

IMG_0080Her feet hit the springboard.

IMG_0081She sprung onto the vault, pushing off with her hands.

pic1She flipped.

IMG_0083She turned.

IMG_0084She landed.

IMG_0085 IMG_0086She saluted happily to the judges. She hadn’t taken a step or a hop back!

IMG_0087“You did great, Molly,” Coach Josie hugged her when she walked back to where they had been sitting. “Your form was just a little off, though. Remember to keep your body straight when you spring off the vault.”

“Yes, Coach Josie.”

Molly looked up at the scoreboard and grinned.

“Very good, Molly!” Coach Josie praised. Then they watched together as the next gymnast performed.

“Demetria Dare!” The next gymnast’s name was called. Demetria saluted and began to run.

IMG_0089IMG_0090She side-flipped and then turned into a somersault.

IMG_0091She, too, stuck the landing perfectly. With a satisfied smile on her face, she saluted proudly.

IMG_0092Demetria passed Molly on her way back to her coach.

“Good job,” Molly spoke when Demetria drew near. She remembered to be a good sport about everything.

Demetria turned her head towards Molly. Demetria smiled. “Thanks,” She replied slowly, choosing her words carefully. “You too.”

“Hey, I’ve seen you before. Weren’t you at the Regional tryouts?” Molly questioned.

IMG_0093
“I was, and I won first place. That’s how I got to compete here.” Demetria answered.

“I remember now. I won third place, and that’s how I got here. Good luck.”

Demetria returned a forced smile, but didn’t return the good luck wish. She walked back to her coach, and Molly knew at once Demetria would be tough to beat.

*

Gymnasts came and went, and sooner or later, it was time to face Molly’s old enemy;

IMG_0096Uneven bars.

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Disclaimer: Madi here! I have NO IDEA what I’m talking about as I’m doing this photo story. I’ve done gymnastics before, but haven’t done any of the moves Molly or Demetria do. I’ve never competed, so I’m just going off of what I learned from the Olympics on the scores and deductions and stuff. 😛 I am aware that I probably got a lot of things wrong and that don’t line up with how a qualification meet really is. 😛 Despite my lack of knowledge of gymnastic competitions, I hope you enjoy this photo story series. 🙂

Oh, yeah. Almost forgot. Thanks to my awesome little brother for helping me with the photos of the dolls flipping!