Even after a grueling, emotional game, Hercules Satele was kind enough to pause and take a photo that will be cherished by our family! Kyle (with tongue out), RJ (#7), Chase (back right), Matt (#1), and their buddies Jared and Zachary Infante. The boys also got to go into the locker room, which was a surprise blessing and profound treat thanks to Jeff Reinebold. Of course, I was limited to second hand reports of that part of the evening, but was told that not only can they really play football, but that the Warriors are a talented bunch of singers!
As you know if you’ve read Abbie’s site more than twice, the Warriors have meant quite a bit to us during this journey. I wanted them to win so badly for them…I wanted this group of young men who have been so bold in sharing their failures and second chances, their faith and their love to experience success together. None of us, no matter how long and loud we scream from the stands, will ever have an inkling of what this year has meant to them. But I do know what it has meant to us.
Why such a long tangent about football? Well, for me it has always been about much more than football, and I recently found out why I feel such a strong bond with this team. For them, it, too, is about much more than football.
Quoting from the last page of the recently-released book “Warrior Football: A Story of Faith, Hope, and Redemption:” [in response to Jeff Reinebold sharing heart-rending personal challenges] “It’s in God’s hands,” June [Jones, head coach] says. He doesn’t move right or left, he just stares out the window. “Why did I live through my accident? This isn’t about football…I feel God didn’t take me because of so many kids who have come to know the Lord through football.”
“God is in complete control, and nothing else matters to me anymore,” says [George] Lumpkin, in a whisper. “I keep telling people that God has a plan for this football team…God is healing so many people, touching so many lives…each day I’m here, I’m amazed at how much bigger it gets.”
As Ellie Reinebold and I stood in the end zone watching the long-anticipated celebration at mid-field I grabbed her and said, “You tell Jeff to tell them ‘Thank You’ from all of us that are living on a second chance and a prayer. I feel like they won one for all of us!”
Doesn’t matter if ESPN commentators state you will lose before each of the last three games. Doesn’t matter if doctors say there is no hope. Doesn’t matter if the pollsters discount your accomplishments. Doesn’t matter if “realists” say she’ll never walk.
Our God is a God of second chances, and those whom He calls to these chances He equips to walk them all the way out. He’s a God who creates winners in the middle of the Pacific and walkers out of broken bodies….and the thing is, once you’ve seen Him in the dark and heard His voice whisper over your tears, nothing else seems as imminently possible as that to which He has called you.