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  January 2018  
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Trey Johnston

Throughout my life I have been faced with adversities. Some big, some small, but I believe that all have been apart in bringing my life and relationship with Jesus Christ closer. The adversities have always kept me humble, but none more than what I had to face in the 2004 season.  In high school I stayed morally strong. I stayed away from the things that were considered cool. I didnt party, drink alcohol, do drugs, have sex; I just didnt care for those things. I felt that if I was going to make it in my dream that I would have to stay away from these things. I was right. My senior year of high school I had a great season and got drafted. Turns out that I was about to face temptations and decisions that I had never thought of, or was ready to handle. I was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 2003 draft. Being from Chicago I had grown up loving the Cubs. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to be playing for them. All was going great in my life, so I thought. 


After receiving my first signing bonus check, all went down hill from there. I started to allow money define who I was. As it says in (1st Timothy 6:9, and 6:10) People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Man was this ever true. I had wandered so far away from God that he became out of sight and out of mind. I got caught up in all the temptations that I had stayed away from to get to this point, and I was standing alone. I isolated myself from everyone friends, family, and most important of all Jesus Christ. 
He sure did show me he cared. He took away my number one asset, my arm. My first season I was out with tendonitis for a month and a half. I came back for the end of that season and couldnt even buy a hit. I just believed that I was worn out from my high school season. All along God still seeing everything I was doing. 


I went home for that off-season and continued with my wicked ways. I became real conceited and angry. Any little thing would make my pot boil over. You could just look at me wrong and I would be in your ear telling you what I thought and not even care how much I was hurting your feelings. Most of the times it wasnt strangers it was mostly the people that would always be there for me, my family. I was so caught up in myself and what I thought would make me happy. Materials became more important than people. I valued money more than my dream. All the while God still watching and listening. 
I went to spring training in 2004. The first week that I was there my arm blows out. I was out for another two weeks. I, being so self-centered, only thought why me and so the anger increased. I began to take my negativity out on everyone. I was getting into arguments left and right. After two weeks my arm started to come back and I began to believe that no one could stop me now. All along God still watching and listening. 


The humbling is about to begin. During extended spring training of 2004 my girlfriend of three years breaks up with me. This, being a crushing blow, caused me to steer my focus away from baseball and life. I had consumed myself with this day in and day out. All I could think was who could do this to me the professional baseball player. A couple of weeks had gone by and baseball was going terrible I began to search all over for help and answers, and one happened to be prayer. I hadnt done this in a long time, because I believed that I was in control of my life and no one else. The prayer that I said that night I will never forget. I asked Lord, Lord please direct my path, I am thinking that I need you now. Little did I know that this prayer would change my life. The day after I had said this prayer I went to the park early and ran into the coach who had known of my heartache and how bad I was doing in baseball. He happened to be the one that knew everyone stats. He calls me in to his office and sits me down and begins by saying, Trey, we know of your situation and we think that we have an answer for your problem. At that time I was thinking, Okay they have someone that I can talk to. The next thing that he says is, We are going to give you your release. Tears quickly filled my eyes and here I was at the age of eighteen thinking I had the world in my hands and then my dream, my life, all that I had ever wanted since I was a kid had been taken away from me. Nothing was working anymore I had spent most of my money, lost the girl I loved, and had my dream taken away from me. God had literally brought me down to the lowest of lows, face flat on the ground with nothing but him and my family. 


I went home after that morning and began to pack my things and get ready to head home. As I am putting the last items in my truck I get a phone call. It happened to be someone from the San Diego Padres. He had heard about me through word of mouth from someone in baseball, and thought he would give me a chance. He asked me if I wouldnt mind coming to tryout for him. At this time I had nothing to lose so I couldnt say no. I went there with nothing to lose. Two days later after having a great tryout I was resigned. How awesome was this, I got a second chance. A new beginning. I took every advantage of it too. I had fulfilled it to the best of my ability. Going into the last two weeks of the season I had been one of the hottest hitters. I was hitting .333 and very proud of it. Temptations came back into my life I got back with my girlfriend and she came out to Arizona. I went back to my old ways. All along God still watching. My last two weeks after being knowingly tempted and still going with it I went 0-30 and my batting average plummeted. This is what really woke me up. 


I started to realize that I had no control of my career or life, and it was Gods work all along. This is where I began to realize that I was a sinner, knowing this, and growing up as a Christian I knew that my sins could be washed away and I could have a new beginning. I have let go of all my control of my life and gave it to Christ. He is now in total control of my life and he is working his awesome power. My body no longer aches, I never feel alone, and I am filled with an indescribable joy. He has surrounded me with people who I can trust and love being around and he gives me the strength to ignore the temptations that I face day in and day out. I am not saying that I am perfect but my priorities are. I now know that Christ comes first and everything else second. 

 

Trey Johnston