In 2018, Jaye Chapman went through two storms. One ended his baseball career, the other devastated his hometown.
A former pitcher for the Chicago Cubs in the 2012 season, Chapman was playing with the Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock in 2017 when he experienced a devastating arm injury. During surgery a 7-inch titanium screw was inserted into his forearm, but Chapman’s baseball career ended in January 2018.
“I was at a crossroads,” Chapman said. “I had been in constant prayer about whether it was time to move on, time to for me to get home to my roots. Baseball is a very transient life. You are on the road away from home. I wanted to get back closer and start a family of my own. Then my arm snapped. That is about as clear as it gets to not play anymore. I felt like it was an answered prayer in a way.”
Then in October, the Panama City, Florida, native saw his hometown devastated by Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm which reached peak winds of 160 mph.
The powerful storm tore the roof off the home of Chapman’s parents, Joel and Jan, damaged his brother’s home and left only the foundation of the home Chapman himself was building.
Hope after destruction
“This storm ruined people’s lives. They had to move, get new jobs. Trees were in the highway. You couldn’t drive anywhere. It was stunning, the amount of destruction,” Chapman said.
But in the midst of destruction, people helped each other too.
“It was nice to see some good perspective out of the storm,” Chapman said. “That’s an indication of faith, people helping do anything they could.”
Faith has been part of Chapman’s life since he was baptized at the age of 14. Now at 31 he says the times he has felt closest to Christ have been when he has been able to glorify God even in difficult times. One of his favorite verses is John 16:33.
“That verse puts life in perspective,” Chapman said. “My main goals in life are to be truly at peace with who I am, always be true to who I am and be at peace with the Lord and myself.”
How to Pray:
- Pray those still recovering from Hurricane Michael’s devastation will experience the peace and grace of God.
- Pray for those still waiting to finalize insurance settlements, who need housing and who don’t have jobs because of Hurricane Michael