Sometimes you get the thing you thought you wanted – the thing you thought would fix you, and make you feel better and stronger – but it doesn’t give you what you need. What do you do then? Maybe you find something else to pursue, and something else after that, and even then, you still want more. The irony is that eventually, all of these successes – the attempts to feel strong enough and worthy enough – start to feel like failure. NFL Long snapper Clint Gresham learned that lesson the hard way. He played six seasons in the NFL and won Super Bowl XLVIII with the Seattle Seahawks, but still found himself with the same growing sense of need.
“[My teammates and I] were just talking about winning the Super Bowl, like ‘Man, I keep waiting for it to sink in’…and I realized that what we all meant by that was: ‘I keep waiting for this thing to make me happy the way I thought it would and it hasn’t, and now I’m actually kind of scared about that, because I have made this my life pursuit and I got it, and I’m still wanting more.’”
Immersed in an environment that equates acknowledging difficult emotions with weakness, Clint struggled with a natural sensitivity that manifested itself in anxiety and depression and ADHD
“The thing about trauma and anxiety and depression is that if they go unmanaged…it’s slowly going to creep back in. I found myself just kind of continually in this darker and darker and darker place of performance…these lies come in and tell us that we’re not enough, that [we] don’t matter…The truth is that [God’s] strength is made perfect in our weakness, and letting him into that moment is scary and beautiful at the same time.
In trust and vulnerability, Clint found the courage to redefine his understanding of strength by finding his worth in a God who sees us and knows us in our brokenness and our pain, and who loves us without qualification and without limits.