This is a time in my life when I have felt the most outside stress, more than ever before. I’ve been very happy-go-lucky for a long time, without a lot of worries or stressers. In college, I was so focused on hanging out with friends and having fun, and then the first few years in the NFL, I got married to the girl of my dreams and everything’s been awesome!
But now, life is happening. I’m 28 years old with two kids, and I’m not particularly performing as well as I can on the field. It’s these outside factors that test if you are not only willing to talk the talk, but to walk the walk, even in the hardest of times. I realize I need God in my life now more than ever. I recognize now, more than ever, the significance of what Jesus Christ has done for my life and how much I can lean on and trust in Him.
I’m a guy who wants to make all the plans and take care of everyone around me. As a husband and father, I have a desire to look out for everyone. But all God is asking me to do is to go 100 miles per hour for Him, not anyone else. As long as I keep my eyes on Him and follow His lead, I can trust Him with the rest.
My teammates have asked me before why it is that I’m able to stay so joyful in the midst of hard situations. Some of my newer teammates have even thought that I’m a 12-15-year veteran instead of being only five years into the league, based on the fact that I tend to handle the pressure of the game pretty well. The fact is, my relationship with Christ has changed my attitude.
There are so many things in life we cannot control, but then there are a lot of things we can: our attitudes and how we treat other people when things are going sour. We have the opportunity to choose what we say and what we do. So when my teammates ask me about the joy and peace I have, I’m able to have open conversations with them about how my faith in Jesus Christ has changed me from the inside out.
Growing up, my mom modeled this kind of peace and joy so well. Then when I got married, I saw the same joy in my wife. Even when she’s only had a few hours of sleep and is caring for our two babies, she carries an incredible joy within her. I’m so blessed that the two most important gals in my life display this kind of attitude, with the ability to smile and be joyful no matter what kind of day they’re experiencing. I know this kind of joy only comes from the Lord.
Lately, I’ve been going through a YouVersion Bible study plan called “Man Up.” It’s about being gentle and making an effort to show love to your coworkers, spouse and children, even when you don’t want to. You see, even when you’re frustrated or tired, you still have control over how you respond to others.
I know from personal experience that when I pray for the Lord to give me patience and joy, He doesn’t just award these characteristics; instead He gives me opportunities to develop them in the midst of hard circumstances. So when I have games where I didn’t perform well on the field, I can still come home and see the goodness and grace of God. I can be home when I get home and present with my wife and kids.
This season, I’m learning to really lean on and trust in God for these things. And I’m so thankful that God is meeting me more than halfway.
— Tress Way, Washington Redskins punter
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