Yesterday, SEC Nation star and former athlete, Tim Tebow, spoke at two services at the Orchard church in Oxford, Mississippi. Upon joining his colleagues from SEC Nation in the Grove for the Ole Miss and Arkansas game, Tebow stayed in Oxford an extra day to speak to a crowd at the Orchard.
The 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services were full of people from many different churches and surrounding cities. The crowds were so large that the church doors were open so people standing outside could hear Tebow speak. He spoke about the love that Jesus Christ has for everyone, but before he started his message, he did grace the Oxford crowd with a cheerful, yet reluctant, “Hotty Toddy!”
“Hugh Freeze is a great coach and you should be proud,” said Tebow.
The former Heisman trophy winner told the crowd about how hard was his decision on which college he wanted to play for after he got out of high school.
“When choosing which school to go through, it wasn’t about being a fan, but finding a fit,” said Tebow.
Tebow had multiple offers from college across the nation, but ultimately he narrowed down his decision between the University of Florida and the University of Alabama. Tebow said he sought direction and guidance on his decision from his family, friends and high school coaches, but he did not make up his mind completely until the day came to tell the entire country of his decision. After talking to his family and praying, he made the emotional decision to play for the Florida Gators because he felt that was the school he fit in.
“When calling the Alabama coach to tell him I was not playing for him, I was getting emotional and crying,” said Tebow. “And as Ole Miss fans, you’ve seen me cry before.”
After he made the decision to play for the Florida Gators, Tebow said he still did not feel good, but he kept walking by faith in God.
“I was praying and trying to walk by faith,” Tebow said. “Being led doesn’t mean you’re going to see where you are being led. God has a plan for you, even though you can’t see it. Continue to walk by faith. Months down the road you’ll be able to look back and see what God was doing.”
Before finishing his message, Tebow explained to the crowd that even though he has had a lot of highs and lows in his life, he does not let them define who he is.
“I’ve had a lot of highs and lows,” Tebow said. “The world wants to give you an identity, but that doesn’t define you. You were created to be extraordinary. He’s given you an identity.”
After inviting the crowds to pray with him and accept Jesus Christ into their hearts, Tebow stepped down and joined with the crowd in singing an inspirational gospel hymn before he left for the airport.
Emily Newton is a staff reporter for Hottytoddy.com and editor of Experience Oxford magazine. She is a recent graduate of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media of Ole Miss. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.