Jay’s Reflections from UTC 2014

Here are some thoughts from Jay’s time at the Ultimate Training Camp:10464024_10203938490442907_139883656919627470_n

Life Before UTC…my relationship with God was rocky, especially when it came to football. I would describe myself, as some would say, a hypocrite. I would talk the talk about how God loves you, will help you through the different trials in your life and go to AIA, but I never felt that way myself…From the athletic stand point I could not seem to get the coaches approval that I was seeking…

I kept telling myself that I was good at football and asking questions like “why am I not starting or getting the playing time I want/deserve?”…When I went out into the practice field, my main thought was to not make a mistake, but the mindset ended up having me make even more mistakes, thus, causing bad practices and frustration. I would then take that frustration into my academics…

Based on the results I had during football would determine how I handled my schoolwork…I started to attack my intelligence, thinking I was dumb and did not belong at Brown…I would question God, A LOT. I wanted to know why He was letting me go through this and why I was feeling worthless, why I felt so alone. I found myself only turning to God when feeling down. When good things happened in my life I rarely thanked Him. And as I look back I had put myself as the center focus…

During winter break of my junior year, I decided a change had to be made–but I was still reluctant to actually change what was needed until God moved his hand and put a change in my stubborn heart. As I began this “new life” with Christ, I wanted to really develop my relationship with him.

Arriving to UTC…By the time that UTC came around, my main focus for going was to make some new Christian friends, not really thinking about how my life will truly be impacted. My initial plan was to go so that I can improve my skills with football by tricking myself into thinking that switching my mindset on Christ would help better my play.

…the funds for going were not being met, so I was then thinking that maybe I shouldn’t go. But, God works in mysterious ways. I ended up going on scholarship (thanks to your alumni gifts). Once I got the funds, I began to think maybe I should go, because what are the odds that I got financial help to go to this camp…?

10352737_10203938494363005_4079892587824632532_nBefore heading up to Twin Cities, I knew that UTC was going to use Bible references like we do in AIA at Brown and apply them to some physical activity, not really thinking much about it. But once we got into camp, my thoughts and experience all changed!

UTC…My overall experience at UTC was so amazing and humbling! The people that God brought into my life really broke me down and reformed me…The overall atmosphere was something that I longed for and want everyone to experience. Just seeing people around my age trying to better their lives and have this personal relationship with Christ was truly wonderful.

I would say it was physically, mentally and spiritually exhausting! I don’t think in all my years of competition have I pushed my body so far. During the exercises, I would get frustrated and result into my bashing ways. I came into the camp with low self-esteem and self-worth, and it was trying to creep its way into camp.

But having heard the 5 principles, the interns reminding us who we play for and applying them to the physical activity, I came out of camp with this knowledge: I am indeed worthy to be here on this earth. If I put Christ at the forefront of anything I do, it can be achieved in one way or another…Everything I have done, everything that has happened to me, was done in order to shape me into a man of God.

God truly pursued me…I am a child of God and I can do all things through him.10448573_10152477158189661_7413864138305486131_o

From what I have experienced, I am walking away from UTC with this new confidence within myself. Not thinking I can do things all on my own, but with Christ by my side…

After UTC…Going into my senior year of college, I plan to walk the walk and talk the talk. I will apply to be a leader in my AIA group so that I may be a reflection and mirror of God’s amazing glory. I will start to develop my talents that God has blessed me with so that they will not go to waste. Nothing is achieved without hard work. I will continue to pray for strength and a positive mindset that will help me through my academics. And I will just live a life of spiritual confidence, seeking God’s heart and that personal relationship. The journey at UTC was a great one, but it does not end at UTC.”

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