Something was missing, and I knew it.
I was playing for the University of Oklahoma, and for the first time, I was alone. I had always had family around me. My mom and my grandparents raised me. I had my brother and my friends. We were always a close family. To this day, we kiss and hug every time we leave each other, even if it's just for a few hours, because we're family.
And then I was alone.
I met Christian athletes at Oklahoma, and I asked questions. There was something about them that made me aware of an emptiness in my life. I went with them to Fellowship of Christian Athlete meetings, and I asked more questions, and learned more and more. And then I became saved. I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
Oh, it took me a while to grow in my faith. I thought if you just read the Bible and prayed that was about it. But then I realized there is so much more. All of life, whatever we do, is to be lived to the glory of God.
And since that time, God has surrounded me with friends. I met my wife, and we have grown together, in our marriage, and in our friendship, and in our Christian walk.
And it seems that everywhere I have gone, all throughout the minors and into the majors, with the Giants, God has put someone in my life to guide me. There has always been someone there for me. And it has been so helpful.
Even when I was up and down between the Giants and their AAA team, there were people there to help me. I was sent down 4 times and each time, I would say, "God, whatever You want for me is fine. I'll just do the best with the ability You have given me." And I found myself surrounded by other Christians who would support me and encourage me. In some ways, going up and down between the majors and the minors was easy. It was in God's hands, and there was always someone there for us.
I have learned, as I have grown and as I have been guided by others, to do everything to the glory of God. I used to think that God had given me a gift and I just needed to use it. Now I understand that everything I do is to His glory, on the baseball field and off. Every pitch is to His glory. As I serve my teammates, it is to His glory. The example I set is to His glory.
I'm not perfect, but God is. And He loves me and gives me His strength. My first year in the majors I had a scripture verse under my hat "I can do all things in Christ who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)
And I know I have not arrived. I still need others around me to help me in my spiritual walk. I love being in fellowship with other Christians. It helps me grow. I have a different Scripture verse under my hat now. It reflects my understanding of my need to continue to grow "Not that I have already obtained it, or have already been made perfect, but I press on toward the prize for which Jesus Christ took hold of me." (Philippians 3:12)
You see, I am not alone. I have my wife. I have my family. I have my teammates. I have my friends.
And Jesus has me.
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