Tim Tebow Continues to Inspire With His Latest Book, Shaken

“I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” -Psalm 16:8

Robyn Clarke, Editor

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Note: Teachers have often told me not to refer to an author by his first name. I have been blessed, however, to meet and get to know Tim, which is why this book is very special to me, so forgive me for breaking a cardinal rule of formal writing: the author of Shaken is known as Tim to me.

In his latest book, Shaken: Discovering Your Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms, 2007 Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow brings readers alongside him as he shares how faith has carried him through both the highs and the lows of his life.

Written with AJ Gregory, Shaken gives readers a glance inside Tim’s life. In the first chapter, entitled “Cut,” he describes the pain that came with being released from the New England Patriots in 2013: “I felt disappointed. I felt I had let myself down…. I felt cornered by regret, and its companion, shame,” he writes. How did he deal with such raw, intense emotion? Faith. He brought to mind Bible verses like Jeremiah 29:11 and Psalm 56:3, reminding himself that God had a plan; there was purpose to what was happening in his life. As much as he wanted to be angry, he “knew [he] had to go back to a place of trusting God.”

Trusting God is how he dealt  with not only being cut from the NFL, but also with everything in life, both the highs and the lows. “I’ve been praised by presidents and had congressional medals passed in my honor, and I’ve also been shredded mercilessly in the media… And while I may get hurt, disappointed, or frustrated by the negative side of these equations… I can hold on to God’s truth. I know He’s got a plan for me, even when I don’t know what it is or when it seems to look totally different than what I imagined,” he says in chapter two of Shaken. Tim’s strong relationship with Christ carries him through it all. He hopes that after readers finish the book, they will not only be encouraged to weather whatever storm they may be going through, but to strengthen their relationship with Jesus Christ as well. To accomplish this, Tim tells not only his own stories, but stories of others who have inspired him to persevere.

Like Tim’s friend Mark Stuart, lead singer of Audio Adrenaline, who, after a disease robbed him of his voice, began a nonprofit organization in Haiti. Like Chelsie, a girl whose W15H was granted in 2014 when she got to spend the weekend with him. Her faith was strong, steady, and unshaken as she battled cancer. He says she “radiated love [and] an unbending devotion to God”, and describes her as “a warrior” (Chapter Three).  Like Sherwin, a boy he met while on a mission trip in the Philippines. Sherwin, who, despite being told he wasn’t impressive because his feet were on backwards, accepted Jesus that day. Meeting Sherwin made Tim realize he “wanted to impact lives. [He] wanted to bring faith, hope, and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hours of need” (Chapter Five). In 2010, that realization took shape in the Tim Tebow Foundation, which made his dream of sharing faith, hope, and love a reality, as the foundation does just that with kids all over the world.

Tim’s purpose with Shaken was to encourage his readers, and I believe he accomplished his goal. Not only did the book inspire me to spend more time in prayer and come closer to God, but it also encouraged me to continue working to become more independent and overcome my cerebral palsy. Tim reminded me that with faith, hard work, and love, no dream is impossible, and no mountain is too high to climb. One story I was particularly impacted and inspired by was Ansley’s, one of his W15H girls who has overcome leukemia twice. He wrote that even in the midst of treatment, she would take time to encourage other kids who were also battling cancer. Her strength, kindness, and heart for helping others particularly inspired me, which was why I was so blessed to meet her a few months after finishing the book. She has a heart of gold, and I’m honored to call her a friend.

Shaken, which was recently named the 2017 Christian Book of the Year, will stay with you long after you finish it. The honest way Tim tells his stories and the stories of others is both touching and impactful. He writes in such a way that not only do readers finish the book feeling encouraged and inspired to grow in their faith, but they close the cover believing that they, too, can make a difference in others’ lives.

 

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