NFL Former Player Heath Evans
A Champion For His Wife, His Teammates, And Children All Over The World
When Heath Evans was growing up, his ex-Marine father was open and honest with his son about choices in life he regretted, hoping to pass on the lessons he had learned. Heath took his father’s advice to heart.
He faced his own struggles as well. School was challenging because he suffered from ADHD and dyslexia. His parents did everything they could to help him, hiring tutors and encouraging his progress even when he struggled to get a passing grade.
By the time he got to college, Heath had developed strong study skills and did well. However, it was difficult to be away from home. With his father’s warnings embedded in his head, he resisted many of the usual temptations, such as drugs and alcohol. But he had a harder time when it came to women.
He met a pretty girl on the first day of college. He tried to meet his own high moral standards, but soon went further with her sexually than he wanted. Feeling guilty, he turned to God and asked for forgiveness. He found tremendous comfort in his faith.
Heath was determined to do better next time. But he couldn’t imagine that the next woman he fell in love with would change his life forever, opening his heart and mind to a mission of helping suffering children.
When Heath met Beth Ann, he knew she was special. On their first date, he told her “I’m going to marry you.” They quickly grew close. But sometimes Beth Ann seemed sad and withdrawn. One day she finally opened up and shared some painful memories. When she was in third grade, she had been repeatedly sexually abused by an older classmate. When Heath heard her story, he was filled with compassion.
Soon, Heath and Beth Ann married, and together they started The Heath Evans Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering hope and healing in the lives of children and families affected by sexual abuse. Every time Heath hears the stories of the children who are helped by this foundation, he is motivated even more to publicize this difficult issue.
Heath is determined to raise the awareness of sexual abuse even though he knows some people prefer not to talk about it. He wants parents to prepare their kids by teaching them values, and by saying “no,” on a regular basis.
Heath believes there are elements in American culture, including the pornography industry, which contributes to the problem. He encourages people to turn away from such vices, because they are more dangerous than they may seem.
Heath knows that he is not perfect – that he struggles with weakness and temptation as much as the next person. He finds that it helps to have a trusted friend with whom he can share honestly.
“When we keep these little secrets in our life, we want to bury the stuff… [but] it’s going to affect your marriage. It’s going to affect your parenthood. It’s going to affect everything about you.”
Heath has fears and insecurities just like everybody else. Sometimes he fears being inadequate for his family. Sometimes he fears the linebackers he goes up against. But Heath knows that he has been able to overcome fears and insecurities in the past, and that with support from those close to him he can overcome almost anything.
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton recognizes Heath’s leadership skills. Even after Heath suffered a season-ending injury, Coach Payton asked him to stay involved to support his teammates.
Sometimes Heath worries about how his injury might affect his long-term career. But he turns to his Christian faith for guidance, and it helps him keep everything in perspective.
“You know, God’s got a plan and I trust that plan… I believe that he uses things to strengthen us… so that we can comfort others.
Every morning when Heath gets up he tells himself that this day is not about him. He’ll ask himself if there is someone he can encourage, or if he can help Beth Ann around the house. He aims to be a good Christian person not only when circumstances are blessed and prosperous, but also when things are tough and hard.
Instant replay of Heath’s guiding principles
Listen to the lessons that others have to teach.
Don’t be afraid to speak out.
Don’t keep secrets.
Trust that God has a plan for you.
Live your values even when times are tough.
Love your family through tough times.
Create and follow through on a plan to reach your goals.
Surround yourself with people that will help you reach your goals.
Find a confidant to share it all.
Ask yourself every day if you are honoring your priorities.
The Insightful Player® series is brought to you by Coach Chrissy Carew, Hall of Fame Master Certified Personal and Business Coach and Author of her newly released book, INSIGHTFUL PLAYER: Football Pros Lead A Bold Movement of Hope. Chrissy has been deeply inspired by her father, the late Coach Walter Carew, Sr. Her father is in several Halls of Fame as a high school football coach and baseball coach (as well as high school and college athlete). He used sports to help kids build strong character and teach them valuable life skills. The Insightful Player® initiative was created to help make our world a much better place by inspiring youth. To contact Chrissy Carew visit http://www.insightfulplayer.com or call 603-897-0610.
©2010 Insightful Player, LLC
Heath Evans is a valued member of the Insightful Player® team. To be named to this team, one must be a person of integrity, such as a current or former NFL player, who shares their personal message of hope for the sole purpose of lifting the spirits of all, especially children.