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“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

-Jeremiah 29:11

With the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft, the St. Louis Blues selected Tage Thompson, the son of a hockey coach. For as long as he can remember, Thompson loved the game of hockey. His gifts were evident from the beginning, making his hockey talent nearly impossible to miss. He became one of the most coveted young players, and after playing collegiate and AHL hockey, Thompson made his debut, guided by faith.

For Tage Thompson, faith has always been an important part of his life. Born in Glendale, Arizona, his parents emphasized making faith a priority. Kim Thompson, Tage’s mother, says she always wants her kids to know the importance of making time for God. She says, “We text them daily, call them weekly, sometimes facetime them as well. We send reminders to them all of the time…Reminders to pray! Reminders to watch church online if they can’t make it to church. And just send them scripture from time to time. We also try to remind them in all of the seasons of our life that God has a plan bigger than we can even fathom. When they are going through a tough time, Just reminding them to give it to God, to trust Him always! Reminding them to give praise, thanks and glory to Him always!” That faith soon took hold of Tage, who has emphasized glorifying God throughout his time on the ice.

Tage Thompson says he has relied on his faith to guide him through all things. After beginning his career in St. Louis, he was traded to the Buffalo Sabers in a deal that brought star Ryan O’Reilly to the Blues. “I think faith influences my hockey career in a positive light. Because now that it’s a job and there’s a business side to it and lots of added stress of unknowns. It’s nice to have a firm faith that reassures you that God has a plan for you and that if you just trust in him you have nothing to worry or be anxious about because he has a plan better than any of us can imagine. And I think that hockey influences my faith because I’m able to use the platform I’ve been given to try and be a light to others to show what it means to be a follower of Christ. And hopefully lead others to come to know him.” Thompson has been that light throughout his time in Buffalo as he has continued to grow into a leader for his team.

Although COVID-19 put the season on hold earlier in the year, Thompson says he took the new free time on his hands to grow. “The big takeaway I think for me is that there’s always something positive that comes from a negative situation. The negative situation being the virus and postponement of the NHL season and me being injured during this time. When it first happens our initial reaction is to get mad, upset, and ask God why. But He has a plan and his timing is perfect. And because of all the things that have happened I’ve been able to train hard and work on my strength and I’ve gained 15 pounds of muscle and feel in the best shape of my life. And I believe that for me that is the positive that has come out of this situation.” With the Sabers not making it as one of the teams to play in the bubble to end the season, Thompson waits for the beginning of next hockey season and the opportunity to come back stronger and become a force for his team.

Thompson says that throughout his young career, he has made trusting God and his timing a priority. His favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.’” Thompson says this verse reminds him to stay focused and trust that God is in control. “For me it all goes back to trusting God’s plan and timing. And just being patient. We live in a busy world where we want things to happen for us immediately, and when things go array we panic, stress, and worry and that’s when you need to give it all to God and it’s a weight off your shoulders and you can just be happy and enjoy everything Gods given you. That’s why I love this verse.”

As the NHL readies for the upcoming season, Thompson is reminded that although things may not go according to plan, God is in control. He is anxiously waiting for the opportunity to take every chance he gets to shine on the ice, and to glorify God and inspire others off the ice.

Ethan Kruse

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