To: Perry Noble

I knew very little about him at first. I knew that he loved Clemson football, that almost everyone who met him said “dang you’re tall,” and also there was this one time in high school when he asked out a girl and she turned around then ran down the hall. Haha!  That’s funny and all, but there was more. It was something deeper, a hidden pain of untold stories behind a closed door.

Before I get into all that, here’s a little about how we met. I was looking anywhere and everywhere and all out of search, but it was him who led me back inside the doors of a church.

People loved hearing him speak about God on stage. It’s amazing how he can translate the bible into relatable examples of our day and age.

One day something really sad happened and the media loved to blow it up and talk about it. Personally, I thought the way it was handled was quite frankly- bull***. People turned his pain into a museum and exhibit, it’s crazy how you find out who your real friends are in just a quick minute.

It tore him up inside and in his darkness he planned a silent suicide. It breaks my heart to know that he felt like he had to hide.

He even picked the spot and the weapon of choice. Today I just thank God he silenced the negative voices of many and chose instead to listen to God’s voice.

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Now countrywide, he is labeled an alcoholic, a failure, a liar and more than unqualified, but I believe that because he is still breathing out carbon dioxide, the calling and purpose over his life is even more magnified. 

To God, let this be glorified- that a life nearly taken, when hope was shaken, was lost but now found, a man named Perry was never alone, but the entire time had Jesus Christ by his side. This was the only reason why he survived and why a new steadfast spirit can now be testified.

Humbly letting God change him from the inside out, today Perry preaches the message of hope and is one of greats we talk about.

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Now thousands of people watch him online from a screen, but the other side of the camera can be a lonely place where voices in his mind scream.

The enemy condemns and lies, trying to get him to kiss his future goodbye.

In case you actually care to know, Perry stays strong in his faith, because he makes a difference by using his God- given gift and talent. I don’t care what he’s done, it doesn’t define him and he not only led millions to get baptized, but also led me to Christ in my lowest and darkest season of discontentment.

Let me explain… as a 3rd year NFL cheerleader, my time striving for perfection, seeking worldly validation and losing my true identity was well spent. One very special day, God used Perry’s sermon to pierce through my exhausted heart and on April 10th 2016, I got baptized and gave my life to Christ. A year later, after a life changing event, God led me to turn in my uniform and leave the National Football League. It wasn’t the way I had planned nor dreamt, but I’m now in the National Faith League cheering for Jesus Christ. It’s no argument that there are a million stories just like mine, and for that, Perry is heaven sent. 

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In this world we are quick to judge. If only hate wasn’t so hard to budge. 

I know I’m young and you may think I’m an amateur, but what I’ve learned is that facing our darkness, laying down our past, giving our life to Christ and letting love shine through is really the cure.

What I admire about Perry is that he has spoken honestly about his past, even the part about how he fell down on the devil’s playground. It’s hard enough to confess our sins to one, yet when he did it he was ridiculed from town to town. Before we go any further, I want to just take a moment to share scripture from the bible which goes something like this, “the first will be last and the last get a crown.”

I know some nights we all can get weighed down with the past and we feel the heaviness of the pain within our heart.

During this time, let’s lend a genuine hand and remind each other this, “God’s hand never left, God sees you, God hears you, and He’s been holding your heart from the start.”

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Perry trusts in the God most high and he tries his best to silence the noise and ignore all the rumors and lies.

Words and false accusations hurt, you know, but I guess this world has forgotten that we’ll reap what we sow.

However, in these times Jesus says we’re blessed, so remember the voice of truth and let the fruit of the holy spirit manifest.

This kind of treatment and depression happened to Jesus too, so as long as we give our life to him, we have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

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We point fingers and highlight other peoples sins and falls, but I guess some people missed the part when God changed Saul’s name to Paul.

We are all the same in this fallen world and we all have demons to face inside of us. So instead of spending your Sundays leaving negative comments and investigating Perry’s Instagram and live videos just to see if he cussed…I hope one day you’ll open your bible and pray for your judgmental spirit to be crushed.

Also, before we get ready to throw a rock, let’s reflect and look inside our heart to see if its love that’s being blocked.

We all sin and have scars. It just so happens that while some sins are easily hidden like pride and lust others are publicly seen drinking in bars.

But no matter how we sin, it’s all the same in the eyes of God. There is nothing we can or can’t do that can make Him love us more or less. He is thy rock, thy shield, thy deliverer, and thy rod.

No matter the color of our skin or the weight of our sin, never forget Jesus sees us and loves us even when our faith runs thin.

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So here’s the truth… Perry hit rock bottom- but thats all over. He owned up to his mistake, went to rehab and now he’s completely sober! 

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You haven’t walked in his shoes to know what led him to drink, so before you knock him down remember the measure of how you judge others, is exactly how you will be judged one day as well. No one is perfect, so it’s forgiveness on which we should think.

Wear his exact pain and see if you wouldn’t have done the same. And honestly, after all he’s been through, I say he’s pretty tame. 

Sure, having a tough life on top of being sexually molested isn’t an excuse, but dang, no one deserves that kind of abuse. In fact, while we’re talking about such tragedies, why don’t you go ahead and pour me a glass or two. 

Anyway, we all have handled pain differently and Perry’s story goes to show that we are never too far gone. His story also reminds us of God’s forgiveness and grace and it’s the anchor of hope that keeps us hanging on.

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The expectations of this world can leave a pretty harsh sting, but Perry is a warrior for the one and only true thing, Jesus Christ the living King. So maybe it’s “thou shall love your neighbor” onto which you should cling and spend more time with God worshipping.

While some of us are pretending to be perfect and righteous thinking that good deeds are going to get us to the top of God’s list, just remember we as sinners were once Judas’s kiss.

God searches our heart, that’s why the bible is full of misfit heroes, not perfect people who have their mistake scoresheet at zero.

Without failures and making mistakes, we’d never learn empathy, compassion nor how to be great.

We all have areas of weakness, I just wish our words towards other people were more uplifting instead of being so careless.

In this life … hearts ache, our hope shakes and we are all broken just searching for the emergency brake. I pray we use more words of love for Jesus’s sake because our life isn’t movie, we don’t get to choose our outtakes.

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This one is for you Perry Noble.

There was a time when the enemy kept you hidden in darkness and sin. You even thought you’d never see the day where you would be able to preach again. On February 4, 2017, Pastor Steven Furtick proudly invited you to Elevation church with open arms, because he still believed in God’s calling over your life and is a good friend. Through such a hard process, you chose to trust in the Lord while he turned your pain into progress. It’s not easy, but you just keep reminding yourself that you are NOT who they say you are, you are who God says you are. God is not finished with you yet and for that … I say AMEN!

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Perry Noble you’ve been through hell and back and the enemy is trying his best to keep you silent, but you are courageously fighting this spiritual war and I can’t wait for Second Chance Church to be global! 

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Second Chance Church is a place where people can come in without feeling like they must pretend. It’s a safe place for anyone and everyone to attend…except for the perfect and righteous, sorry not sorry, but only those who have sinned are welcome in.

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Much love for you Pastor P! This is not the end, but actually where God’s work begins… THE BEST IS YET TO COME!

 

With prayer, faith and hope,

Kristan Ann

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