“We are not born winners or losers, we’re born choosers.”
That is the message that former NFL player now motivational speaker Shawn Harper wants to convay to those out there that are hurting, and those that feel like the path of their life has already been choosen for them. Harper, now 41, was a tackle in the NFL and also played in NFL Eurpoe. He played for the Rams, Colts, and also the Frankfort Galaxy in NFL Europe.
Nowadays he runs Shawn Harper Ministries, and has a powerful message for those out there in need in a time in our country where positive messages seem few and far between. Harper’s life wasn’t all a bed of roses. He left high school with a GPA of 1.62, the lowest of his senior class, and had a stuttering problem that took him years to overcome.
Harper went to junior college n Mason City, Iowa, and his first year there was also a struggle. He barley played, and thought long and hard about walking away, but in the end, decided to give it another try. Harper rebounded, took the negative things he heard time after time, and starting to use them in a positive way. It was a change that needed to be made for Harper to succeed, and he did.
In his second year of junior college, Harper started to shine. He began to assert himself in his training, and used the negative words of those that said he couldn’t make it to reach further than many thought he would. He found himself at Indiana, then was drafted by the Rams in the fourth round of the 1992 draft. It took an injury to finally break Harper though, and one that would change his life.
That injury took place in second-year with the Rams, and Harper calls it a “God saving injury.” He realized during that time of being away from the game that everything he felt he was doing, God was actually doing for him. “I realized that God’s hand was on me and not only that was on me, but that He was orchestrating my entire life. I had to sit back for once and allow Him to do the driving,” Harper explained.
The presence of the Lord in his life was nothing new to Harper. He had grown up going to church, but felt that he had gotten away with the glamour life of playing in the NFL. That injury humbled him, and he knew from there that he had a higher calling than playing the sport that he loved.
Harper began to start thinking about life after football, while at the same time he began talking to teammates and fellow players around the league about giving their lives to Christ and overcoming challenges. “I felt like I was blessed with the ability to play in the NFL and talk to others,” Harper said. “I believe that is what the Lord wanted me to do.”
His NFL career ended, but Harper knew that the Lord had a much higher calling for him, which is when he came up with the idea of starting a career as speaker and a life coach. Now, Harper can be seen doing faith based speaking at high schools and for businesses around the country. It’s a job that he relishes, and something that he has never taken for granted.
He gives an emotional message that motivates, encourages, and gives those that are willing to listen hope. Harper feels that he overcame the odds in his life – from four learning disabilities, poverty, and speech challenges to today telling those that it’s not how you start the race – it’s how you finish.
You can visit Shawn Harper’s Website HERE
Editor’s note: For more information on Shawn Harper or to arrange a personal appearance please contact:
William Bruce Agency