Atlanta Braves' Dansby Swanson says God's timing is everything

In 2016, Dansby Swanson played his first full season of professional baseball at high-A ball and then Double-A  before being promoted to the major leagues with Atlanta. Playing in 38 games in 2016 for the Braves, he burst on the scene and hit .302 with three home runs and 17 RBI.

Expectations were high for 2017.

Unfortunately, the former No. 1 overall draft pick struggled at the plate and in the field. After hitting under .200 in the first few months of the season with Atlanta, he was sent down to Triple-A in late July. After being called back up to the majors in August, he was able to get his batting average up to .240 by September. However, he still ended 2017 below the expectations many had placed on him, including himself. But Swanson says what he went through last year was worth it in learning about himself, about God and about moving forward.

“When everything is going good, you don’t make any adjustments,” Swanson said on the That Sounds Fun Podcast. “Failure teaches you so much. We talk about God’s timing is everything. There’s so many things I can start to list out that His timing is everything and me struggling last year was one of them. Last year was miserable. But I’m so tremendously thankful that I went through it.”

In 2018, Swanson wants to improve on his season, but says he simply wants to be himself and appreciate the blessings that God has given him.

“It’s so blessed the fact that we’re even alive. The odds of you being born are ridiculous,” He told Annie F Downs back in March. “He has a plan and to trust and believe in that plan. I came into spring training, I was just like, ‘God I don’t want to have to re-live the same thing I went through last year.’ But there’s just like this overwhelming sense of peace that everything is going to be OK. I prepare with the best of them, I really do, and everything is going to be OK and there’s just this overwhelming sense of comfort from that.”

Swanson says that writing in his prayer journal every night has helped him grow closer to the Lord.

“Something I write in my prayer journal every night is persistent faith,” he said. “Just because it doesn’t happen right away doesn’t mean it won’t happen at some time, or won’t be answered in a certain way. God rewards people with persistent faith and every day you just kind of want to hammer away at it a little bit by little bit and you start to see all of a sudden, wow, this is how He really answered it. Even just simple things like safe travels for somebody. He answered that prayer by getting him there safely. There’s little victories in all of it.”

Keeping a prayer journal is something Dansby says he recommends for all of us.

“I would definitely advise everyone to keep some sort of journal just to be able to look back on or reflect on and you start to realize, ‘Oh that makes sense,’ as you look back.”

This year, Swanson has started off the 2018 on a good note. Through his first 26 games, Dansby is batting .287 with two home runs and 13 RBI, eight doubles and 31 hits. Even more importantly, the Atlanta Braves are playing well, winning 16 of their first 27 games and currently in second place in the NL East.

The Braves travel to New York to face the rival Mets in a three-game series at Citi Field starting Tuesday.

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