Carson Case, Football

by carmine on April 25, 2013



Growing up in Arkansas has really been a blessing. I’ve always had so much to be thankful for. My family is wonderful and I couldn’t ask for better parents. A lot of things have been given to me but most of my life I’ve taken those things for granted. Being raised in a good Christian home, I have gone to church most of my life. But just because I went to church doesn’t mean I went for the right reasons. In my eyes, being a Christian was just going to church because your parents made you and singing some songs here and there. As I started getting older I began to grow out of the “church thing” and I only opened my Bible occasionally. I wanted people to like me and I was living for their acceptance. Sports were my life and that is what I focused on. I was blessed with talent to play most sports and I loved every minute of it. Making sports my number one priority made it hard for me to make God a priority. I never “had time” to talk to God and build a relationship with Him. Of course, that’s what I thought. Starting high school, I didn’t drink or smoke. That was one thing that was different about me. Almost everyone I knew did those things. Sometimes I felt left out though. I didn’t want any part of that but what was I going to do? I was the “good” kid.

As high school went on, I began to head down a wrong path. I started drinking a lot over the summer of my junior year which was the first time I ever had in my life. I wasn’t treating people the right way and it started to rub off on my relationship with my family. For months I tried to find happiness in alcohol, girls, and pleasing other people. I was popular and I thought I had life all figured out. It was ridiculous. Continually lying to my parents didn’t do me any good. They had always been so great to me and supportive in every way. It upsets me to think how bad I treated people who loved me so much. On New Years of 2011, I told myself I was drinking for the last time. Beginning in 2012 I started to attend church every Sunday. I read my Bible often and really wanted to build my relationship with Jesus. It was for the next couple months that I stayed on the right track with God. Basketball was going great; I had a lot of friends, and an amazing girl in my life. Spring break came around and things changed. I choose to do the wrong things and ended up hurting the ones who cared about me most. Not only had I let down some amazing people in my life, but I had let down God. I had not done the right thing as a Christian. I was a fake. All along, I had been talking like a Christian but not walking like one. What I didn’t know, is that my life was about to change forever. I ended up hurting my back while lifting weights for football in the offseason. What I thought was only minor became major. I was an emotional wreck and I was embarrassed of who I had become as a person. After weeks of being depressed and crying, I got the worst news. The injury to my back was a big deal. I needed surgery. I had a herniated disc in my lower back, possibly two others, and a cyst on my spinal sac that caused major pain down my left leg. The surgeon even thought the cyst could be a tumor. This just absolutely crushed me. I was scared to death and even though it turned out to not be a tumor, I had no idea what was ahead of me. My relationship with God wasn’t good and I could possibly lose the most important part of my life, sports. Before this surgery, I was fortunate enough to be a candidate for the Naval Academy. I planned to play football for the Navy and then chase my dream of becoming a Navy Seal. That had been my goal in life since I was 13 but it was MY plan, not God’s. In the blink of an eye, all this was taken away from me.

It was around the middle of summer and I felt like I had lost everything. I was broken. I asked God, Why? Why have you done this to me? No football. No basketball. No Navy. God had crushed my plans and I felt like I had nothing left. This is when it really hit me and I came to a realization of everything that had happened in this past year. One night in my bedroom I just got on my knees and cried out to God. I told Him that I accept Jesus as my Lord and personal Savior. This will always be the greatest moment of my life. I decided to trust God’s plan for me, and not my plan for myself. God heard my prayer and now I’m doing my best to live for Him. Today, my relationship with Jesus is the most important thing to me. I believe that God has a plan for everything that He has put me through. I am currently leading a Tuesday morning Bible study with other seniors at my high school and a school wide Bible study once a week during lunch. I’m also working on a Christian based watch line where some of the profits would go to kids in Ethiopia. I’m not able to play sports as of now, but I’m encouraging my teammates and doing my best to stay positive. It’s amazing to see how God is working in my life. I want to be the best role model for the people around me, especially the younger kids. God has blessed me with a platform to draw people closer to Jesus and that’s what I intend to do. Soon after my surgery, one of my friends told me to read Jeremiah 29:11. “I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.” Every day I remind myself of this. I may not know what the future holds or even where I’m going to college, but I know that God holds my future. I would never want to change what has happened in my life. For so long I tried so hard to be satisfied through things that were only temporary, but then I realized that my relationship with Jesus is forever. This is not my story, this is God’s story.

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