Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and now Superbowl MVP Nick Foles is full of surprises.
When many doubted the back up QB in his abilities to lead the Eagles to victory, he proved them all wrong with the performance of his life Sunday. But there are other passions in Foles’ life, including his desire to become a high school pastor. Just prior to his miraculous Superbowl victory, Nick revealed that he has been studying at seminary and wants to enter the ministry following his retirement from football.
“I want to be a pastor in a high school,” Foles said Thursday, as reported by Fox Sports. “It’s on my heart. I took a leap of faith last year and signed up to take classes at seminary. I wanted to continue to learn and challenge my faith. It’s a challenge because you are writing papers that are biblically correct. You want to impact people’s hearts.”
“When I speak to (students), that’s such a time of young men and young women’s lives that there’s a lot of things that are thrown at them. So much temptation in this world, so much going on with social media and the internet that you want to talk to them and address it and share all the weaknesses I have because I’ve fallen many times,” Foles said.
The star of the moment also has a healthy awareness of the fact his football career will not go on forever. He believes that Christian ministry is the way he wants to live out the rest of his days; he just wants to reach people for Jesus.
“It’s something I want to do,” he said. “I can’t play football forever. I’ve been blessed with an amazing platform and it’s just a door God has opened, but I still have a lot of school left and a long journey.”
Nick hasn’t always had it easy. After being shipped through various teams, he even contemplated retirement having been released by the Rams in July 2016. His wife’s ill health also contributed to his contemplation to hang up the cleats.
Tori has detailed her health struggles in a blog post for The Increase Women.
“My life was altered in 2013 when I was diagnosed with an unexpected illness. A year after working at Nike Inc. and living an active lifestyle in Portland, OR, everything changed. I suddenly became ill and had no idea why. I was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS),” Tori wrote. “Eventually, this would lead to an underlying diagnosis of Lyme Disease.”
“For me, this illness has been a journey of faith, hope, and trust in the process that God has set out for me,” she added. It was around the time of her illness that Nick and Tori decided to get married.
“We never had a wedding ceremony. We never had a honeymoon,” Nick said, as reported by the Gwinnett Daily Post. “Just the journey we’ve gone on and gone through this and just to see her strength and to see her determination and to see her health continue to improve. And she still deals with it. It’s amazing. It gives me strength because I know she deals with it every single day.”
How adorable is this?!
Nick Foles of the @Philadelphia@ Eagles celebrates defeating the New England @Patriots 41-33 with his wife Tori Moore and their child. https://t.co/dtLQWBJOt5 pic.twitter.com/qqzIo51xUf
— #NBC7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) February 5, 2018
So what is Postural Orthostatis Tachycardia Syndrome? Well, according to Dysautonomia International, it is:
“a malfunction of the patient’s autonomic nervous system” that affects patients differently. “Some patients have fairly mild symptoms and can continue with normal work, school, social and recreational activities. For others, symptoms may be so severe that normal life activities, such as bathing, housework, eating, sitting upright, walking or standing can be significantly limited.”
And Lyme Disease? Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
“Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans.”
“I think as people, we deal with struggles,” Foles said Sunday night. “And that was a moment in my life where I thought about it, and I prayed about it. I’m grateful that I made the decision to come back and play.”
“It took a lot more faith to come back and play than it would’ve to go in the other direction,” Foles said. “Either way would’ve been fine. Either way, I would’ve trusted in God. I would’ve done something else and glorified God in that instance.
“The reason I decided to come back is I’ve loved the game of football since I was a kid, I loved playing sports, I loved being part of a team, and I knew as a person that the more growth I’ve had and the more opportunity I would have to glorify God and trust in him would be to go back and play football.”
“I wouldn’t be out here without God, without Jesus in my life.”