Unwavering Confidence - Jordan Matthews

Watching my wife compete on the Jamaican national team in the Women’s World Cup in France this summer was really cool. Above all the hype and excitement of the event itself, I loved watching how Cheyna reacted to each situation presented to her. 

It’s not easy playing professional women’s soccer in the U.S. Cheyna and her teammates put in just as many hours and just as much effort into their sport as we do in the NFL, but receive far less compensation for it. Still, when I watch Cheyna throw herself into the rigors of competing, I’m amazed by the fire she has. She has an endless drive to go out and accomplish something, and this time, it was on a stage she had not been on before. And Cheyna has the same spirit with everything she does. 

When we returned from France, I told Cheyna that the one thing I saw during the World Cup that inspired me the most was watching her undying commitment to the sport and faith in herself. Even if she made a mistake, she would come back and make the next play. I have gained unwavering confidence in her and her ability on the field. When I’m watching her, even if she makes a wrong step, I know for certain that she will be back on her feet and carrying the team on her back in an instant. She continues to fight for the win. 

But why is it that I don’t always have the same faith in myself when it comes to football? My confidence in Cheyna does not waver, but confidence in myself does. Why is it easier to have faith in someone else’s ability over our own? Cheyna has the same confidence in me that I have for her. Why is it that I act out of fear or become afraid if I make a mistake? When I watch Cheyna play, I realize I don’t have to fear these things for myself. If I can have this much faith in her, I better have the same level of confidence in myself. 

This is going to be a different year for us. As I step into training mode with the team in San Francisco, Cheyna and our son, Josiah, will be back in D.C. training and preparing for the Olympic soccer qualifiers. Last year, while Cheyna was pregnant with Josiah, we were able to spend the entirety of my season together. This year, they won’t be able to join me until November or December. 

While this will be really difficult for all of us, I’m taking this season to prioritize my time with the Lord, as well as take the opportunity to dive into my craft without distractions — something I haven’t really been able to do since college. By giving my all and focusing on the strength of the Lord, I know my confidence in God’s hand over my life will only increase.

I’m trusting God to lead me and our family in this next season, and I’m stepping into it with a new confidence to play like I’ve never played before. 

— Jordan Matthews, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver 

Jordan Matthews is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.

Check out Jordan’s Increase profile: https://theincrease.com/author/jordan-matthews/ 

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