Thompson shares faith journey at Liberty in his ‘God Story’
Former Liberty University ACHA Division I men’s hockey forward and captain Brock Thompson is featured in this “My God Story” video interview and testimony of his faith journey throughout his career (See video below).
Thompson, who emerged as a leader and team captain for the Flames as a senior last season, talks about his passion for the sport, and how it once took precedence over his Christian walk.
After growing up in a family of believers and going to Christian schools in Minnesota, Thompson made decisions that directed him away from his spiritual upbringing upon launching his junior hockey career in Milwaukee.
“I chose the hockey culture, for sure,” Thompson said. “There was no looking back for me. It was a decision I made pretty much instantly … to get into drinking and drugs. I didn’t really feel any conviction towards it and that was because I didn’t own a faith in Christ and never had one.”
Despite his foundation in the faith, Thompson didn’t know if he even believed in God anymore.
“As that year went on, I knew that things were slowly getting worse and worse, and that just enhanced the drinking and the partying and just being a dumb teenager,” he said, noting he became addicted to prescription medication after a shoulder injury sidelined him from the game for four months. “I wasn’t able to play hockey and when you feel like your one thing, your identity is taken away, if you don’t have that foundation, you don’t know where to go. When you’re hooked on something and when you’re trying to find answers in something that isn’t Christ, you’re going to end up searching for a long time.”
Thankfully, Liberty Associate Head Coach Jeff Boettger and Head Coach Kirk Handy offered him a tryout and he eventually committed to join the Flames at a Prospect Camp in April 2016.
“I didn’t really have any options at the time … so my mom and I traveled out to Liberty and I couldn’t believe the university, the facilities and everything like that,” Thompson said. “I remember going back to Minnesota and just being like ‘I want to make this team. I really do.’ And again, it was just all hockey-related. Hockey was such a priority in my mind I thought that if I could play here in front of all of these fans, all my problems would go away if I could just get back on the ice. So I trained really hard, I came back, and thankfully I made the team and decided to come to Liberty.”
It wasn’t until his junior season, while serving with his teammates on a hockey trip to Finland, that Thompson rededicated his life to Christ in a way that redirected his spiritual path for eternity.
“The Finland trip was life-changing for me and my experience as a whole has been life-changing,” Thompson said. “We were listening to a Finnish speedskater talk about his journey as an Olympic athlete and where he found his identity as a speedskater. He kept using the term, ‘All in.’ He was all into his sport.”
Thompson felt the Holy Spirit tugging on his heart, and he approached Club Sports Director of Spiritual Development Brian Davidson before breaking down as he turned his identity from hockey to Christ.
“I just started crying and felt that anxiety completely fall off just like a weight, like 1,000 pounds lifted off your shoulders,” Thompson said. “Brian’s so great because in that moment … he had known me for four years and he could tell … this was what God was calling me to do.”
They prayed that Thompson would be “all in” for Christ as his Lord and Savior for the first time and he owned his faith for the first time — who he wanted to be as a man, as a hockey player, as a teammate, and now as a husband, leading his family with Christian values.
“It was just something that I’d been running from, and I don’t know why,” Thompson said. “I think it was just a desire to constantly please myself and to do things that I wanted to do because it made me feel good. When I finally gave in and told the Lord that I was done, it was an amazing feeling and since then, my life has drastically changed.”
“For athletes, or anyone that struggles with being lukewarm and not being all in, it’s just a decision that is going to bring endless joy, endless happiness to you, because it’s joy that only Christ can give.”
Video by Hayden Robertson/Club Sports Video & Media Assistant