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Blake Roberts, Lindsey Wilson College, Football

by carmine on May 27, 2014

The term Testimony is defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as “something someone says promising to tell the truth; proof or evidence that something is real.” Sharing your testimony is a great way to not only share your story and faith with others, but inspire people to have the passion to experience and follow God, as well as continuing to grow his kingdom. Everyone has a different testimony, a different “truth” about their life. We all come from different backgrounds, we have all learned differently, been around different types of people and experienced different situations. The cool thing is, none of that matters in Gods eyes! Just because someone’s testimony might be more dramatic than yours doesn’t make them better than you or you better than them. We are all loved equally and saved by the grace and the love of Jesus Christ. Keep this in mind as you continue to read, “evidence that something is real.”

2 Corinthians 3:17,18

I am attempting to make this the shorter version of my story because when I get to talking about God and how awesome he is, I’ll end up writing 10 pages. Here’s a little background info about me. I was raised in a Christian family. God blessed me with being pretty athletic. I have played football since a very young age. I have always been involved in sports my whole life. I was baptized when I was about 9 and I alsostarted playing the drums around 3 years old. So as I got older I began to play the drums for church (I also did occasional puppet work for the kids sometimes). I grew up in church, I learned

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all the well-known stories of the bible, I went on the church retreats, etc. As I got older it just felt like something on the “to do” list, sports was also my main priority. I ‘had’ to go to church and I ‘had’ to worship and sing because that’s how I was raised. As I got older I came to be a hypocritical Christian. I still kept the ‘Christian mask’ on so to speak but I lived a double life. On Wednesday and Sunday I would go to church and worship and “love” God while the other days I was just living life to please me. I drank, I smoked pot, messed around with girls, I did all the things that the world told me was the cool thing to do. I have always had a problem with self-esteem, I always wanted to follow everyone else so I would fit in and be the cool kid. So in my mind, if they were doing it I should do it too because I don’t want to be the outcast. Now I’m not blaming this on everyone else, I was stupid and made many mistakes.

John 3:30

When my family found out that my father was having an affair on my mom for about a year it broke us, especially me. My brother and sister are much younger than me and were too little to understand everything. In my mind, I have this Christian role model, being my father, whom I look up to, and then he does this to our family and that raised a lot of questions in my mind. At one point I even questioned if God was real. My parents never divorced because of the little ones, but they separated. So with all this going on the partying got worse, the smoking weed became a daily thing. At this point it wasn’t to be cool, it was somewhat of an escape route, the same with football. I used football to let out all my anger and my problems. I kept all my feelings bottled up inside. Feelings about my parents, about myself, I didn’t even know who I was or what I was doing. Life just didn’t make sense and I just wanted to please myself. (God is so awesome though. My parents are still married and their marriage is better now than ever because they put God first and not themselves). So with this stuff going on in my life I was still looked at as one of “the cool kids.” I was a jock that only cared about being the best at my sport and getting the girls and a lot of people liked me, yet I was broken inside. Something was missing.

Hebrews 12:1,2

One night I was driving home and had so many emotions running through my head. I just felt hopeless, like everything was my fault and all I did was disappoint people. I thought to myself maybe it will just be easier if I wasn’t here, if I could just disappear. I grabbed the wheel, sped up to about 55 mph and slammed into a tree directly off the road, purposely. I hit the tree head on the driver’s side, totaled the car and I remember being in the back of the ambulance and the dude saying “It’s a miracle you lived.” I didn’t have a single broken bone or anything, my forearms were a little burnt from the air bag but that’s it.

I told everyone that the reason I hit the tree was I dropped my phone and went to pick it up and I guess veered of the road. I was ashamed that I even tried to do that, and of course like I mentioned before, worried what everyone would think about me.

Hebrews 11:1

This near death experience didn’t affect me. I still played the “I’m a follower of Jesus” card and went to church and posted verses on Instagram and Twitter so everyone would think so. In reality I just knew about Jesus, I didn’t know Jesus. I got a scholarship to play football at a very expensive school. I didn’t think of it as a blessing but as, oh I’m good at football so I should have gotten this scholarship. I’m not going to lie to you, I was selfish and cared more about myself than anything else. The whole first semester of college I was back to my old ways. It was all about the parties and the girls. I would have these “Jesus moments” or “spiritual highs” and be on fire here and there… then go right back to the old Blake. I was a fan of Jesus, not a follower. One day, second semester, I was just like man I’m tired and burnt out of trying to do everything my way. On the outside I looked fine but something was missing, it was God. He was there, I just wasn’t accepting him. I was pushing him to the side and saying I’ll come get you when I’m ready. It was January 22nd, 2014 when my life changed in one of my buddy’s dorm room. I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior before, but this day is when I made the decision to follow him, pick up my cross and die daily for him, not just sit on the sidelines and cheer for him when something good happened to me. That weekend, I went to an AIA (Athletes in Action) retreat and it changed my life. The accident hit me. God wasn’t ready for me that night because he has a plan for me, he has a plan for all of us that is greater than we will ever know. No matter what you go through in life, what struggles you face, God is greater than all of them. Jesus says, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but

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whoever loses his life for me will save it.” We can’t save ourselves. We can’t cover up the scars we have. Not with alcohol, drugs, sex, money, food, fame, anything you name it. If we try to save ourselves, we are just going to get lost. Just like me, I tried to cover up my scars and pains and save myself but I came to find myself completely broken and lost. We get the opportunity to die daily and lay it all down at his feet in order to find life.

I told you in the beginning to keep this in mind, “evidence that something is real.” My testimony, along with everyone else’s, is evidence not just that something is real, but that Jesus is real! I’m not proud by any means of some things I have done in the past but by God’s grace I am forgiven and we are all forgiven. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in our past. Our stories are all real. Real life, real struggles, real happiness, real sadness, etc. But the most real thing is God’s love for each one of us. That love and grace overpowers anything else in the world. We have the opportunity to die daily for him. Dying daily for him is giving up everything and putting him first in all we do, picking up our cross daily. Not just on days we feel like but every single day. When you seek God and have an intimate relationship with him, you will discover his purpose for you. Luke 9:23 says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Let’s be blunt for a second. No one ever said Christianity is going to be easy. It may cause us to lose friends, family, not get that promotion, etc. But life on this earth is just a trial run. It is the pre-game warm up for eternity. We weren’t put here to be remembered, we were put here to prepare for eternity. In order to live in eternity we must give up everything at the feet of Jesus and fully trust in him. It is so much more than just knowing who God is, he longs for us to grow close to him and have an intimate relationship with him. Once you make that decision to not just sit on the sidelines and cheer for him, but take that step and commit to dying every day to follow him, you will never look back. As athletes, we are on a stage. God gives us athletic abilities and talents not to make us look good but for his glory and to share his enduring love for us. Sports are more than having fun and winning, it is an opportunity to minister and share God’s grace through something he has blessed us with the talent to do “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
~Blake Roberts, Lindsey Wilson College

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