New Jersey native and two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women's World Cup gold medalist Tobin Heath comes from a family heavily involved in Christian faith and athletic groups, such as Champions for Christ. She subscribes to the premise to "always believe." In a matchup of two of the top three ranked women's teams in the world, Heath and the U.S. women's team came away with a 1-0 victory over France on Saturday, Aug. 6, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Both the U.S. and France teams will plays their final group stage match on Tuesday evening. The U.S. faces off against Colombia while France plays New Zealand.
"I was fortunate enough to grow up in a Christian home and an awesome family. Our family was just really passionate about Jesus. I had a great experience growing up," Heath told Beliefnet.
While Heath, 28, always relied on her Christianity, she said like many kids, she wanted to do my own thing, so it wasn't until around the end of high school and start of college that she started to develop her own faith.
"I stopped piggy-backing off of my family's (faith) and wanted to figure out what it was all about. I got super interested in things and obviously from there, it's just grown," said the soccer star.
"Like anyone who has a relationship (with Jesus) knows, the coolest thing about it is that it's infinite how much you can learn and begin to understand. It's something that grabbed me."
Heath said she can't even imagine going through life without her relationship with Jesus. "So much of it is me relying on Him and me needing Him, not just in those crazy circumstances but in the day-to-day activities.
"During that time at the World Cup, it was a rollercoaster ride, but it was neat to just see His hand on that. It's more than just winning or losing. There are so many relationships that go deeper than that. He has a plan in it all. You have to trust that. Even though it's not the ideal outcome-I mean, everybody wants to be winners-you have to trust that God has a greater plan for this even when you can't see it."
Heath calls God incredible. "The depth of who He is and His character is unfathomable and the fact that we can know Him just a little bit is so cool. He knows us inside and out. It's remarkable in many ways. When I try to think about Him, I'm just in awe. That humbles me in any situation. When I need strength in hard times, I know I have a God that can move mountains. Or if I'm going through a time of success, I can just rejoice in the Lord and give glory to Him knowing that He's given me the gifts to be able to accomplish what I have. Everything comes back to Him."