Today, the legs that carried him to gridiron glory now rest on the metal base of a wheelchair.
His lungs, which at one time were used to inhale oxygen deeply after a long run, are controlled by a ventilator, and his voice, which gave speeches, encouraged teammates and coached players, is silenced.
He uses his index finger to push the wheelchair’s trigger to move his machine.
He and Lou Gerhrig share an athlete’s heart and a disease’s death sentence – ALS.
A Family Is For Facing Life Together
After graduation from Memphis, Jeremy married Jennifer, his high school crush and their first years of marriage saw Jeremy coaching football in small town Georgia. He poured his life into student athletes and trained them for more than just gridiron success.
The Williams family expanded with a firstborn daughter, Josie. A few years later, 2008, their second child was conceived. Doctors soon detected abnormalities in the growing baby. Jacob was born with spina bifida. Within a few months of Jacob’s birth, Jeremy began to experience a weakening in his hand. Eventually he would receive a devastating diagnosis -ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“Tenacious” is Jeremy and Jennifer’s story of courage, romance, family, overcoming setbacks and football.
(After publishing their book Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer. It seems like some families have way more than their fair share of suffering.)
10 Lessons About Tenacity
1. Faith in God doesn’t create fairy tale lives. The Williams’ share an authentic faith in Jesus that was pushed to the limit multiple times. They bent but never broke.
2. A good life is not how long you live but how well you live.
3. All important changes require tenacity after the change to stay with the change.
4. The safest place to live is in God’s grip. Surrender your life to God to win the war.
5. Turn it over to Jesus. Put it on His shoulders and He’ll give you the courage.
6. Don’t just play for rings or fame. Play for something eternal.
7. I am a warrior for Christ and I will not go quietly.
8. Spiritual battles must be fought with a spiritual arsenal. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty.”
9. Struggling? Welcome to the front lines. Frontliners are the prime targets of enemy hostility.
10. Life is like football. Play every down. Play all four quarters. Play all 60 minutes. Play through the whistle.
The final chapter is still to be written. The influence of their story will live on long after you finish reading their book.
An update on Jeremy’s life: “Loving When Its Hard”
APPLICATION: Which of the 10 lessons from the Williams speaks to you? Please leave a comment below.
I was provided a free copy of this book by Booksneeze.
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