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Shawn Johnson & Andrew East

The last time we sat down with Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, she was twenty years old and just beginning to find her way in a life defined by more than her career as a world-class athlete.

“As a sixteen year old at the Olympic Games, I found my validation – I found my purpose – through achievement in gymnastics, and I felt like my ultimate purpose was going to be fulfilled if I won a gold medal.  Fast forward to the Olympics, I was standing on the gold medal stand, I had the gold medal around my neck and I felt purpose-less…I turned to God at that moment and found value and validation through Jesus.”

Since the release of her first film with I Am Second, Shawn met and married NFL long snapper, Andrew East, who was on his own journey toward discovering a deeper value and purpose for his life outside of his sport.

“I had the opportunity to play NFL football…and right off the bat, every day I thought was a day that I was going to get cut…It’s taken me two years to fully realize that my worth is not in football.”

Shawn and Andrew found love and contentment in their life together; they found new challenges and opportunities in their work, and after years of fearing that her intense athletic training meant she would never have children, Shawn discovered she was pregnant.

“When I found out I was pregnant it was the greatest moment in the world because it was basically God’s miracle of, yes, you’ve hurt your body for so many years, but this can still happen.”

The next day, Shawn miscarried.  As they moved through all the complicated emotions of loss – guilt, grief, vulnerability – Shawn and Andrew found that something incredible happened when they chose to share their story with the world.

3 thoughts on “Shawn Johnson & Andrew East

  1. Amy at 12:26 pm
    Amy

    This is such a beautiful story. To be able to hear how God is working His plans and purposes in this couple. Shawn seems to be more comfortable and confident than she was in her first White Chair story.
    Together they are a picture of Ephesians 4:9-12.

  2. Dani at 10:05 pm
    Dani

    I too was a gymnast and have looked up to Shawn for years since her Olympic years! It has been so fun and encouraging to watch the journey that she has walked. Shawn, thank you for being real and sharing your faith, struggles and especially the love you have for your husband. Thank you to you and Andrew for using the platforms you have been given to live a lives that evidence your faith in a way that doesn’t push Jesus down people’s throats. Thank you for being real, and thank you for spreading joy wherever you go! You guys are awesome!

  3. Tiffany Sakura Dye at 10:18 am
    Tiffany Sakura Dye

    That was soooo good that Shawn and Andrew can talk I Am Second about their hard time that they have to go to!

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