Brian Dawkins wants to be known for more than his 16-season football career with the Philadelphia Eagles. In his new book, Blessed by the Best, Dawkins gives readers an inside look at his football career and the journey he believes God has allowed him to experience.
“Soon after winning the Super Bowl, my heart began to change,” he said in a recent interview. And now it’s that heart change the Hall of Famer wants to talk about.
“I’ve always been known as a Hall of Famer, and that’s far from the case,” he said. “I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit brought about a book to be able to explain and show people my journey and my testimony.”
Dawkins is thankful for his football career, but fans may not be able to see his true self in that alone, he believes.
“I’ve been through trials, but those trials were placed there to build perseverance. Some of the things I’ve gone through in my life at the time were extremely painful, but I can look back now in retrospect and see how that has strengthened me, how I’m stronger because of those things.”
Through these trials, especially growing up in inner-city Jacksonville, Fla., he wants to testify that God placed the right people around him at the right time. He believes everyone needs such a community that helps each other.
Although Dawkins never will know most of his fans personally, he wants them feel through his writing and speaking that he is right there next to them, cheering them on, wanting them to know that God can change any life. Relationships are essential to Dawkins, so he stresses to his fans and to anyone who will listen that to go to the next level, they may need to look at those around them to see if they are allowing others to hold them back.
“There are specific people that are in my life who have been in my life for a long, long time,” he said. “There are other individuals who were there for a season of my life. Not saying that I can’t reach out to them and check on them to make sure they’re good, but they just weren’t. They weren’t going with me to the next level of what God has for me right now.”
Dawkins believes if a person places God first in life and surrounds themselves with the right community, they will be able to fight on their knees through prayer and then get up and fight for what God has called them to do.
“My mom is a fighter and one of the reasons I attack things the way that I attack them,” he explained. “My mom said that growing up in the neighborhood I grew up in, you’re going to have to fight at some point, and you’re going to need to show up in life.”
Through his writing, Dawkins wants his fans to know he is in the battle with them. But survival will take more than having a good community and a fighting spirit, he added. It requires a personal relationship with the Lord that will see them through.
“God in those moments in my life was moving, and looking back, I can now see the strength he gave me to get to the next endeavor, and I hope others will see my life as an example for them to get to the next endeavor in their life.”
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