NFL free agent Jason Avant was once a drug-dealing gang member, but he says his grandmother’s love — and her Christian faith — guided him to leave that lifestyle behind and discover his true calling.
Avant, a wide receiver who played eight seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles, said in a recent interview with CBN News that his grandmother had a monumental impact on his life, positively affecting him even when he was breaking the law and living dangerously.
“I was the worst gang member/drug dealer ever, because my grandmother gave me too much truth for me to be comfortable in that environment,” he told the outlet. “And I couldn’t ignore it.”
Avant, who said that he was already dealing drugs in the sixth grade, would sometimes come home with $1,000 on hand as a result of his illegal activities.
Despite the negative decisions he made, the NFL player said his grandmother always held out hope that he would one day change.
“I was young and I was her second chance on life,” Avant said. “Her children didn’t turn out the way she wanted them to, so her prayers for me were, ‘Lord, let him be different.’”
He described struggling as a young person to understand why some people were blessed with money, while others lived in poverty. In many ways, his upbringing and view on inequality led him to be “bitter and callous toward God.”
But then Avant discovered his football talents and headed to the University of Michigan. While he hadn’t yet become a Christian, it was there that he roomed with a pastor’s son — yet another person of faith who emerged in his life.
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