So, several years ago my husband picked up an 18-year-old boy off the curb who had no where else to go. He’s lived with us for going on so many years now…so many, I can’t remember just how long it’s been. That summer he had spent time in jail. This summer he is living the dream none of us ever thought would come to fruition. He is a football player. A Junior College boy. And he’s got offers coming in from all over the country. It’s amazing what can happen when you turn your life upside down and start over again with God.
As part of the recruiting process, it has been my privilege to speak on the telephone with head coaches from all over the country. I am surprised how many of them are men of God. These are church-going coaches, most of them. And they are raising more than just football players, they’re raising honorable men. Sure, we talk about scholarships, and positions, and play time, but more importantly we talk of morals, and attending church, and Jesus.
I don’t know a whole lot about football. But I know about Jesus. When my dad found out about these ongoing conversations with head coaches, he just couldn’t believe it. “Who would have ever thought my daughter would be talking with Nick Saban, Todd Graham, Hugh Freeze, or Kyle Whittingham?” He chuckles every time I tell him about my recent conversations. Remember, I don’t know a whole lot about football.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to talk to the head coach of Arizona State University, Todd Graham. My dad wanted to hear all about the conversation…the details. “I don’t remember much of what he said,” I told my dad, “but I do know this ––he’s a good Christian man.” “You must remember something,” he said.
Well, actually, I do.
The part that stood out to me from that conversation had nothing to do with football. It was when Coach Graham told me about his mom. He spoke of how she raised him, what he learned from her, and how she prayed for him several times a day. “She spoke victory over us,” he explained.
I stopped dead in my tracks in that moment and started searching for a pen and a scrap of paper. I had to write it down. It was a phrase I didn’t ever want to forget.
The image of a mother speaking victory over her son several times a day penetrated deep down into my heart.
I want to be a mom like that. I want to keep regular appointments with God to discuss each of my children. I want to speak victory over them.
You know, there are good people all over this country…such good, good people. And when we stop for a moment to talk with them about their lives, about their passions, about their mamas, we can learn things that make us better.
That’s what happened when I talked with Coach Graham. You would have thought I would have learned something about football from a man like that. Instead, we spoke of the kind of victories that can only be won through Jesus.
Good Luck with your season, Coach. Go, Sun Devils!