Terry Warren: Amazing Love
By Audra Smith Haney
The 700 Club
CBN.com -As an All-American linebacker for the Florida State football team under Coach Bobby Bowden, Terry Warren’s athletic ability was a force to be reckoned with.
No one would have guessed that as a young child, doctors predicted that Terry might not even live. “In 4th and 5th grade I got a kidney disease. The doctors were suggesting that it was terminal and that it could eventually kill me. I wasn’t able to go out and participate in physical activity. I couldn’t go to P.E. I couldn’t be running. I couldn’t do anything during this time. It was very difficult for me.”
But Terry grew up in a Christian home. His parents and church prayed relentlessly for his healing. When Terry was 11 years old, those prayers were answered. Overnight, all of Terry’s symptoms disappeared and he was perfectly healthy. “I learned to trust God and I felt the power of God. I felt the true presence of God in my life as a very young man, and that’s when I truly accepted Him in my heart.”
Terry held tight to his faith all the way through college. He wasted no time catching up with his peers and became a star athlete. After college, Terry was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. But before his first season started, a stunning blow brought his football career to an abrupt end. “I was at the highest point in my life. My rookie season I was warming up for practice before our first regular season game and broke my back just in warm-ups… hitting the ground on my hip. It was a complete freak accident. They told me if I even try to risk playing again even through therapy and all the surgery, that I could risk being paralyzed with the type of back injury that I had.”
“My whole life came to a halt at that time. It was pretty devastating. Honestly, I kind of tucked it all away. I really didn’t deal with it.”
Instead, Terry replaced football with his other talents; singing and acting. A year earlier he sang the National Anthem at Florida State’s homecoming game in front of 80,000 fans. “A guy named Burt Reynolds was there and heard me singing. He called me and said that he was blown away by my singing and if I ever wanted an opportunity or was interested in getting into entertainment, that he would love to help me.”
After Terry recovered from his injury, he called Burt for help and moved to Hollywood. He did background music for Reynolds’ popular Emmy Award winning sitcom, Evening Shade. Reaching my goals and becoming successful did become like a god to me. I had opportunities to work with Neil Patrick Harris way before he became Doogie Houser M.D. and Eric LaSalle was on E.R. for a long time.”
“I was getting caught up in me. You know, ‘It’s all about me.’ I wasn’t really making a concerted effort in my life to make sure that people saw Jesus through me during that time of my life.”
In the mid-90s, Terry moved to Nashville to continue his music. He married and started a family. But while Terry’s career was thriving, his home life was turbulent. After eight years his marriage ended in a bitter divorce. “It was devastating, even worse than going through the injury with Dallas. I wanted my family unit together. We’d had two children. When I got divorced my daughter was only six months old. It was a real struggle.”
Terry was forced to deal with his dark emotions. “I started dealing, for the first time in my life, with depression. I didn’t know how to handle it. It really took me down into this pit and kept me there for several years.”
“I was angry at God. There was a six years period when I was dealing with that depression. Every day I wanted to die, every day looking for different ways. I didn’t have the courage to do it myself, but I would tell people I was looking for a bullet.”
Then, in 2007, one of Terry’s best friends committed suicide. Terry was asked to sing at his funeral. “His two little boys were sitting on the front row and I saw the faces of my children there. I realized at that point I had to make a change in my life. I either had to go through with pulling the trigger, quite honestly, or I needed to change. And I rededicated my life in August of 2008 and committed my life to Christ. It’s when I truly chose to start living my life each day and living my life to serve the Lord.”
After his rededication, Terry was delivered from his depression. In 2010, he founded his own ministry called Crossing The Goaline and released an album entitled, Amazing Love.
“I really told my story - the intimate details of it. And I was able to be transparent for the first time in my life, and guess what happens? God truly finally used me. Because through that transparency I was able to touch people I’d never been able to before and communicate and relate to people I’d never been able to relate to before.”
“The main message for me is truly pursuing a relationship with Jesus Christ being the number one priority in your life. It’s not chasing dreams, not chasing success, not chasing things that the flesh or the world tells you is success. Pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ. Make that the number one priority in your life no matter what’s going on, and He will start blessing you with the desires of your heart.”
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