After graduating from Dartmouth College, my childhood dream to be a professional athlete came true. I played as a soccer goalkeeper overseas until a tragic illness suddenly ended my career. In Africa, I took a prescribed medication to prevent malaria which built up toxic levels in my system. Fighting for my life for a year, it took ten years to fully recover. Life was going one way, then with a jolt and out of my control, it would never go that way again. It was brutal and tested me to the core. The symptoms were physical and psychological, and I was scrambling to figure out my identity with so much loss and grieving.
I believe God does His greatest work in the darkest times. The pain in my life fueled and forged a new passion and purpose. I was in survival mode and needed more effective coping strategies. I learned to cultivate hope habits. I discovered a vibrant hope that is greater than my challenges.
Hope is available to everyone. Hope is relational and habitual. I found a secure identity. I began to drop my walls and let people into the pain and receive comfort. Pouring out my heart in prayer and giving God my burdens was new.
A gritty gratitude, giving thanks intentionally even when I didn't feel like it, became a daily choice. A shift into a career I never anticipated was an unplanned blessing. Stepping out of performance traps and landing in God's grace transformed me. It was humbling, after several years, to regain the ability to drive a car again.
My battle with negative thoughts was fierce. I began to replace the destructive first thoughts and intentionally replace them with inspiring and true thoughts. Charting my progress and celebrating being able to walk a few more minutes over the course of the year was necessary. Abiding with Jesus became my greatest joy. I have experienced a gradual and deep healing journey on many levels. That is what I want to share with you and add value to your life.
At the lowest point of my life, I discovered a vibrant and indestructible hope. My pain fueled a new purpose and passion. Hope is available to everyone.
My calling is to encourage and empower people with hope, and I have reached over a billion people, all glory to God. The God of hope never runs out of hope. My official roles include pastor (Grace Community Church in Seattle), speaker, evangelist, and author. I create content that meets people where they are. I collaborate and enjoy many partnerships because we are better together (World Vision-together bringing clean water to every child in Africa). I appear on a wide range of television networks, shows, and media platforms because I care about a wide range of people, with different political and spiritual beliefs, and truly love all nations. I train people to bring hope where they live, work, learn, and play.