Luke Keller can point to the exact moment that changed the course of his life. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, because he was in a heavily depressed and suicidal state.
At the time, he lived in Lucasville, Ohio, and was widely considered a standout football player at Valley High School. But despite his success on the football field, he suffered from severe depression and separation anxiety disorder, due at least in part to a myriad of family issues: His dad abandoned the family when Luke was still a child, his grandmother had recently passed away, and his grandfather was in prison.
The condition became so severe that he almost gave up football entirely.
“At the end of my junior year, I remember walking down the hallway, looking outside and thinking ‘What am I even living for?’” he said. “I was thinking I was going to go home and take my life.”
But when he arrived home, he found a list of chores his mom had left out for him, one of which was mowing the lawn. And though thoughts of suicide continued circling through his head as he worked, at one point he decided to take a different tack: He started to pray.
At this time I was not a believer, but (I said) ‘God, if you are real, say something to me, let me know something.
And I felt like He said, ‘I want you to follow me.
Stunned, he asked a second time, and got the same answer.
You can ask my neighbors, I dropped down to my knees, and in the middle of my yard I was bawling my eyes out, and from that day on, I’ve been a Christian, and my life’s completely changed.
Buoyed by his new faith, the 6’2, 220-lb. athlete abandoned his plans to drop football, and did so well his senior year that The Ohio High School Athletic Association named him “Division V Offensive Player of the Year”. He went on to enroll at Morehead State, where he joined the football team as tight end.
Still, his troubles were far from over. A series of injuries he suffered on the field in his sophomore year left him sidelined for almost the entire season. After breaking both his wrist and ankle, he underwent three surgeries for each.
But doctors accidentally performed surgery on both ankles instead of just the one that was fractured, leading to a host of infections, medications, and months of recovery. It got so bad it left him with sepsis, a life-threatening condition in which a bacterial infection reaches the blood, creating a Pandora’s Box of complications in itself.
In fact, his doctors pegged his chances of survival at less than 50 percent and said he’d almost certainly have to sit out his senior year on the field.
Through it all, however, Luke maintained his newfound faith and relied heavily on prayer to help him cope… and guess what happened?
Listen as he describes the rest of this incredible journey in the video below, and remember to share with anyone you know who’s currently navigating a rocky road in life.