Heading into his fifth year at Ball State University in 1992, the culmination of Tim Christian’s lifelong dream and goal of becoming a professional football player was occurring around him. Engulfed by the excitement at what was permeating throughout his life, Tim was witnessing the adage that the NFL will find you if you are worthy of becoming a professional football player. All of this, after spending half of his life chasing the dream and entering college as a football walk-on.
Earlier in 1992, the NFL began contacting Tim’s college and high school coaches, learning about his character, work ethic, and aspirations. On the field performance had vaulted the 6′-3″ 300+ pound 22 year old man into the esteemed elite list of professional football prospects. Additionally, some top agents of the day were swooning Tim too through his parents and coaches with the hopes of signing him prior to the 1993 NFL draft. However, unbeknownst to Tim, none of this was meant to happen. Tim’s dreams and ambitions were going to be dashed and the immense joy would soon turn to sorrow, desperation, and hopelessness.
At the precipice of attaining his goal, life would spiral out of control. His girlfriend left him; his agent was back peddling; his pet would die and his bubble would burst. Everything changed. Grades dropping and cutting class, at 22 Tim went from the top of the mountain to the deepest valley. Stress, depression, despair, fear and physical pain would lead him to his darkest hour.
Psalm 34:18-19 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
At the height of his despair in 1993, Tim did not know Jesus. He had no spiritual life.
“The fact is when we are going through times of sadness and depression and when we feel completely crushed is just when God is nearest to us. The times that we think God is silent is often when He is actually closest.” (Jack Wellman, Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane, Kansas.)
From a lost soul laser focused on his one goal, one plan, to scaling the depths of all out despair, Tim was about to begin the process of life-altering change. His mother became his angel. Seeing the despair and pain, and recognizing it for what it was (since she had lost two brothers at young ages and a relative had committed suicide), she led Tim to his knees where he could finally hear God say… “I am here.”
Tim was led to tell his story in Behaviors of Change, where he shares how God changed him and his life, and what he learned to ensure his recalibrated life change was permanent. Today, Tim and his wife Sara have two beautiful daughters: Hanna and Ellie. He’s an executive at one of America’s leading, mission-driven non-for-profit companies and he serves God with his loving and humble heart.