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THE INCREASE: Tyler Clutts - Not My Plan But His

My journey to the NFL was not an easy one. While I wanted to enter the NFL right after college, that’s not the path God had for me. I played in the Canadian Football League, the Arena league, and then semi-pro before being called up to play in the NFL. At the time, I was asking God, “Why haven’t I made it yet? You’ve put it on my heart to play in the NFL, why can’t I be there now?” But God had a different plan for me, a perfect plan, and it was through the journey that I learned to place my trust in Him. God used the platform of football to get my attention, so I want to use the platform He’s given me in football to bring others’ attention to Him.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” — Jeremiah 29:11

It’s been incredible to have a career in the NFL. My wife and I have experienced many ups and downs; it’s been both a blessing and a challenge to be in five different towns with five different teams within the past four years. There have been times we’ve had to move while my wife is halfway through a pregnancy. Though it takes a lot of flexibility from both of us, moving to multiple cities has allowed us to meet so many incredible people and have many opportunities for my career and our ministry that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

One thing that I’ve learned throughout my career in football is that if you place your identity in football itself, when you come out of it, you’ll be lost with no direction for your life. But if your identity is in Christ, when you’re done with your football career, you’ll be able to see the doors that are opening for you because of football.

God is showing me that I am more than a game, I am more than a football player, but for so long, that’s all I was both in my own eyes and in the eyes of society. I often remind myself that football is a game; the only reason I’m playing this game is because God has gifted to me use this as a platform to bring Him glory.

I think that there are different phases God prepares you for in life. It’s proof that He knows the plans and times for each one of us. When I began my NFL career, I don’t think I was prepared to think about life post-football, though sometimes I wish I could have prepared more for it. But I know God has me right where He wants me to be right now. Whether I play football for another four years or whether I transition out now, I know that God’s plan is perfect and I’m choosing to trust in Him. I know that what I do is not who I am. I am a Christ-follower and my aim to is follow His lead for my life. Whether I am acting as dad, husband or teammate, I want God’s grace and power to show through my life.

“‘Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.” — Jeremiah 29:12-14

— Tyler Clutts, former NFL fullback

The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.