I know that the majority of my blogs lately have been focused on lifting up other writers, and while I’m going to continue that today, I am going to deviate from my light-hearted format and dig a little deeper.
Today, this one comes from the heart.
My husband and I had the extreme pleasure of attending a Good Friday breakfast put on by our local YMCA—an outstanding organization by its own right. But the chosen guest speaker for this year’s breakfast was the infamous former Ohio State All-American linebacker and four time pro-bowler, Chris Spielman.
No, he doesn’t write romance, though the love he still has for his wife, who lost her 11-year fight with breast cancer in 2009, will undoubtedly be found throughout his book THAT’S WHY I’M HERE (which we bought, by the way, and will be fighting over who gets to read it first). Instead, he writes about what he and his family lived through as they fought to find strength, hope, and eventually peace in God throughout their journey together.
His speech today brought the book to life. The stories he shared were humble, not boastful. They showed his human side, the pride he was forced to set aside and accept that no matter how much he believed growing up that he was in control of his life, he wasn’t. God was. And is.
At the core of his message today was a question that kept interrupting his thoughts: “What’s your purpose?”
Before Stefanie Spielman’s cancer was discovered, his answer had always been, “to be a football player.” With that first diagnosis, everything changed. After much struggling to accept the cards his family had been dealt, he eventually submitted to God’s plan, and realigned his priorities: God, family, community.
See football in that list? Nope.
Though Chris is still actively involved in sports, he now does so via a microphone. And I have to say, our household takes great joy in every OSU game he commentates on television. Today I got to see my husband shake hands with a legend. Even snapped a few pictures of the two of them. But what will stick with he and I the most is that we got to hear Chris’ message on how to find strength and joy in during difficult times—one that really hit home as our family deals with the battle with cancer someone very near and dear to us is fighting, but will ultimately succumb to it.
The message today served as a reminder to each of us that we need to be careful of where we set our priorities. To step back from time to time, and make sure that we are answering to the call God has for each of us. And so I ask each of you on this Good Friday, what is your purpose? I hope and pray that when you search, it will be found, and that God will give you the strength to accept that calling, and for you to pursue it with everything you’ve got.
Chris certainly has.
I hope and pray we all can do the same.
Happy Easter, everyone.