Find Hope

From starting NFL quarterback to cut and humiliated.

I was realizing that more of my identity was wrapped up in the NFL and in quarterbacking than in who God says I am, my worst moment of life converted to my very best moment of life in a matter of fifteen seconds.

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I played eleven years in the NFL. And in my eleventh year, I got the start for the Sea Hawks and I got the start for the Eagles. And we won most of those games. I had a pretty darn good year. So I signed a great big contract from my twelfth year of football. I got cut. I didn’t earn that contract. I didn’t get one cent from it. I didn’t make the team. I flew home from Philadelphia back to Seattle to my wife and my kids who I had been gone from for seven weeks. I’m being rejected by the NFL. My career looks like its going down the tubes and finally a quarterback gets hurt. He happens to be on the Sea Hawks. In the town where I had played for five years. Our kids are going to school. Our home is there. So, I called the coach who I knew. I said; “Coach I’m in town. I’m in shape. I’m ready. Call me at any minute. Sign me. That was a voice message I left for him. Then he got my message machine and said; “Hey Jeff, sorry about you getting cut from the Eagles. We’re going to sign a guy from the World League.” And my heart dropped. I went out to my front porch. Shut the door. Sat down and said; “This absolutely sucks.” I can’t believe all I have gone through, fighting, persevering, climbing the ladder, being a good teammate, getting traded, getting cut, helping this new team; the Eagles. Now I’m left out of the league altogether. I’m just going to sit here and feel this stinking pain. I’m not going to pray. This isn’t fair God. So, I’m having this pity party. And then, I really believe in teamwork. Not just in sports. I believe it in marriage. I believe marriage is the absolute ultimate team. And my wife, my teammate comes out to console me. I’m sitting on the porch. I’m telling God I’m not going to pray. I’m mad. Um, having this pity party. She says; “Jeff I can’t imagine how much this hurts but we’ve been through some tough things together and God has always had a purpose. He’s always had a plan. He’s always shown that He’s good.” I sat there and I looked at her and say; “I know that. I just can’t believe it’s finishing like this. I just want to finish football with some dignity.” She said; “You know, as I recall, Jesus lived a perfect life and when He left this world He didn’t get any dignity. Maybe you need to let go of that desire.” Wow! I actually looked at her and said; “Maybe you need to go inside.” I was upset. So she went inside. And my worst professional moment of my life, when my career was dropping out and it was ending and I was shattered. I was realizing that more of my identity was wrapped up in the NFL and in quarterbacking than in who God says I am, my worst moment of life converted to my very best moment of life in a matter of fifteen seconds. Because I had this epiphany. I started thinking about the Jesus that she talked about living a perfect life. He was God. They said He was falsely claiming to be God. They whipped all the flesh off of His back. They pounded His face and they made Him drag a wooden cross up a hill. Then they hung him like a murderer with no dignity. Instead of having an intellectual, “Oh yes, I’m a Christian. I believe in the Bible.” I started having an emotional experience and I started to cry. I felt the love of God more than ever in my life because my circumstances were falling apart. I was turning to my relationship with God to fill the gap. It was a million times better than good circumstances. So, I went from being blitzed in my career to being blessed by the love of Jesus Christ.

Jeff K - From starting NFL quarterback to cut and humiliated.

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