Seahawks’ Weaver testimony
I grew up in a rough area of Florida with drugs, gangs and the occasional gun shot at night. But my mother did a great thing by moving me from that area in junior high into an environment where I could grow. We went to church, and I became very good at the religious act. At the time, I didn’t know there was a difference between religion and relationship.
At the end of high school, I was recruited by Coach Mike Davis to play at Carson-Newman College. The opportunity to go to college at C-N was a definite change for the better in my life. It was because of Head Coach Ken Sparks’ influence that I came to know Christ. He preached the Gospel heavily, especially the part about being saved. Coaching is his ministry, and he knew that God had put him in that position to bring young guys onto his team and show them the love of God.
In February 2003, Coach Sparks took our team to see the movie The Passion of the Christ, and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. That was when I truly came to know God. I was no longer trying to have my parents’ or friends’ salvation. Once I truly believed what the Word of God said, began to study it, and listen to and understand what He was telling me, my perspective changed. I used to tell people I was a Christian, and I acted like I was holy and religious, but my lifestyle showed something totally different. I was the opposite of what God calls us to be.
On the day I accepted Christ I made a vow to God that He was going to be my measuring stick. I said, “This is the day that my life is going to change—the way I talk, the way I act, it’s all going to be for You.” As Christians, we’re taught not to look at the world; we’re taught to walk spiritually, by faith. Before Christ, I used other things to lean on instead of actually relying on God. But God began to change me. He showed me that He is always going to be with me, through thick or thin.
When I came to the Seahawks I began to grow spiritually even more because of teammates like Mack Strong and Shaun Alexander. When I first got here, Mack showed me the type of man he was spiritually. He took me under his wing, and when he got injured and I was next in line for his position, he said to me, “Look, man, you can do it. God has done everything He needs to do. He set everything up. This is your turn; just put your faith in Him.” Those words coming from him meant a lot. I don’t know how many other players would have helped a younger player. I knew that I was going out there to play for Christ first, but I also knew I had a buddy behind my back.
Spiritual encouragement—like what I had from Mack and Shaun—on teams is so important because it lifts people up. They may not realize it, but everybody has a source of motivation. Some are motivated by other people; some feed off of things that happen; some use their faith. A lot of guys on the Seahawks, whether they know it or not, feed off of the believers on the team. They know there is something different, but they can’t quite put their finger on it. That dynamic has opened doors on our team to share the Gospel, and teammates have accepted Christ into their lives. God has been doing miraculous things here in Seattle.