I was fortunate to grow up in a Christian home with Christian parents. I knew who Jesus was, and that He loved me and died for my sins. When I was drafted in 1996 out of high school and put into the world on my own, I had a decision to make. Would I follow the crowd and do what the world does, or put my life in Christs hands? I chose the latter and gave the Lord complete control of my life.
Through the years life hasnt always been easy. When I was 19, I broke my arm while throwing a pitch in Rockford Illinois. The doctors said that the injury was a freak of nature. Over the next eight months I let it heal, and came back to spring training in 1998 with renewed optimism, only to have the same injury happen again. I was at a cross roads in my life. I knew that God had given me the ability to pitch in the major leagues, but these injuries were really getting in the way. My wife, Janelle, and the rest of my family thought I should try it one more time.
I remembered the Scripture verse from Jeremiah 29:11 that says, For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future. I prayed, Lord, if this is what you want from me, let my arm heal well enough to pitch in the major leagues. Since then He has blessed me so much on both on and off of the field. The Lord blessed my wife and I with a baby girl in 2001, the same year that I made my major league debut.
I believe that God has a plan for everybodys life. It may be playing in the big leagues, or something completely different, but if we walk with Him day by day He will bless us with the gifts that He promises His children. I know that when I cant play ball any more, God will be there guiding me to what He wants me to do with the life He has given me. I believe in His plan for our lives, and I hope you will too.
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