In a revealing interview with The Christian Post, NFL Hall of Fame member LaDainian Tomlinson speaks candidly about his faith and how it grew because of the influence of his pastor mother.
"I was deeply influenced by my mom's faith," the former San Diego Charger told CP. "I grew up in church, and over time, my own faith grew. Nobody's road is straight, and in those difficult times, that's when we need God. We seek Him, we yearn for Him. We need that foundation, we need His guidance and presence in our lives. I thank God because I've been through so much; my faith has been tested. But thanks to Him, I'm still standing."
Tomlinson draws on the experience of his mother's tutelage as he portrays a character named Pastor Williams in the new faith-based motion picture "God Bless the Broken Road."
Williams leads a small church in Kentucky where his choir director Amber's husband is killed during the war in Afghanistan. Two years later, she finds herself in a struggle to save her home while providing for her 9-year-old daughter, Bree. When up-and-coming race car driver Cody Jackson rolls into town, Amber and Bree become wrapped up in his pedal to the metal way of life. With her faith hanging in the balance, Amber is forced to decide between the broken road she knows so well or trusting in a new path that God has provided.
"This kind of story happens to a lot of people across the country," Tomlinson said. "So many of us have experienced heartbreak, hopelessness, and loss. There are so many single parents and people who have lost a spouse, whether it's through divorce or death. I hope through this film, people are inspired to realize that nothing is impossible with God."
Harold Cronk, the director of the movies "God's Not Dead" and "God's Not Dead 2," directs "God Bless the Broken Road." The film stresses the message from Psalm 34:18.
"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Tomlinson told the CP that this verse has had a special meaning throughout his life.
"It's okay to have your faith shifted by circumstances, but don't lose your faith, don't lose that foundation," he noted. "God will take you places you never imagined were possible. When we're in our most hopeless moments, the Lord is closest to us."
After leaving football, Tomlinson began a career in broadcasting as an analyst on the NFL Network. It's a job he enjoys.
But was he bit by the acting bug with this role?
"It was a great experience," adding he'll "never say never" when asked if he'll take on any more acting roles.
The NFL veteran told the Christian website that his goal is to encourage the younger generation to seek out their God-given purpose.
"Believe in yourself, believe in God and obey His Word, knowing it's the right thing to do, and know that you're going to be faced with all kinds of obstacles," he said. "In order to get through those disappointments and obstacles, you've got to lean on your foundation and know there's a higher God and higher purpose for your life."
"As long as you believe that, there's nothing you can't overcome and nothing that will stop you from fulfilling your purpose," he continued.
"God Bless the Broken Road" opened in theaters across the country on Sept. 7. The film is rated PG. Other cast members include Lindsay Pulsipher, Kim Delaney, Andrew W. Walker, Robin Givens, Jordin Sparks, and Madeline Carroll.
Watch the movie's trailer