Faith through Adversity

For Justin Forsett, starting running back for the Baltimore Ravens, the 2015-2016 NFL season was cut short. During week 11’s game against the St. Louis Rams, Justin was taken off the field with a fractured right arm after a rough tackle. With his playing season over, Justin views his time on the Injured Reserve list as an opportunity to invest in his teammates and family.

 

“Of course I want to be on the field,” says Justin, “But I know that I have a role on the team no matter what. I try to be positive and make the most out of this experience, whether that’s simply being at the facility encouraging my teammates or being the best family man that I can be at home.”

 

Spending more time in the training room and weight room, Justin has been able to interact more with some of the other players on IR with whom he doesn’t usually have the chance to come into contact.

 

“It’s hard being on IR,” Justin adds, “you’re out of sight, out of mind. I want to be able to encourage those guys too.”

 

Although the injury was a setback in his professional life, Justin has been able to spend more time at home this season with his wife, Angie, and their two young children.

 

“It’s bittersweet,” Justin reflects, “I don’t want to be injured but it’s great to have more time with my family.”

 

Angie Forsett, a former pro volleyball player and member of the US Volleyball team, is no longer competing on the volleyball court but now competes in CrossFit competitions when not at home with their kids.

 

“It’s a good outlet for me,” Angie says. “It feels good to compete again.”

 

Justin attends Angie’s competitions and currently has more availability to support her in her new career as a CrossFit competitor and coach.

 

Angie attends the Ravens wives’ weekly Bible study where she has found a good community with the other women within the NFL.

 

“It’s good to be with other women who are going through the same things,” she says. “As one of the older wives there, I have the chance to give advice to the younger girls as we study the Word of God.”

 

Justin, likewise, attends the players’ weekly chapels and Bible studies.

 

“It’s really encouraging to study how to live a purposeful life for Christ,” says Justin, “especially during this time while we are struggling as a team. It puts things in perspective for us.”

 

This is not Justin’s first time experiencing adversity and injury in the NFL. During the 2013 season, Justin was placed on the IR after a foot injury while playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

“I remember lying in the middle of the field in Houston. I wasn’t sure if I would ever play the game again and I started to worry, thinking, ‘Man, did I make the most of the platform that God gave me in the NFL?’”

 

This time, as he left the field with the arm fracture, his outlook was very different.

 

“I was thanking God for whatever He had in store for me after this bit of adversity,” Justin remembers.

 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

 

“I have grown a lot spiritually within the last few years,” says Justin. “I’ve been through a lot in my career and I’ve learned from those experiences. We, as athletes, tend to put this career on a pedestal above God and find our identity in the game. But football is not who I am; it’s just what I do. I always aim to have an impact for Christ, no matter what happens to me. If this door [my football career] closes, God will open another one and I’ll have an impact and be able to shine in that area of life. I’m at peace with His plan.”

 

Recovering from his injury, Justin is naturally optimistic about his return for the Ravens next season.

 

“I’m now focusing on becoming bigger, faster, and stronger for next season,” Justin emphasizes. “My aim is to impact the team in the best way that I can so that I can lead our team to the Super Bowl next year.”