Meet Tamela Gill-Davis
By: Mallory Brown
April 26, 2016
Hi guys, I’m Tamela Gill-Davis! My husband, Demario Davis, and I are both from Mississippi but met
while in college at Arkansas State. We will be celebrating four years of marriage this July and welcoming our 3rd child in September. Yes, we believe in being fruitful:)! I am a stay at home mom who enjoys serving our family, domestic work, reading, surfing the net, and spa days.
We were blessed to play four years with the New York Jets, and recently signed with the Cleveland Browns during free agency. We pretty much packed up and moved in less than a week. Although it was hard saying goodbye to New York and our amazing friends, I am excited to see what God has in store for us here in Cleveland. Our work there was complete, and now God has sent us elsewhere to fulfill another mission that will bring glory to Him!
WHEN DID YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN?
I was raised in the Baptist church. When the doors were open, I was there. However, I was religious and didn’t have a personal relationship with God. I knew many of my actions were wrong, however, I also did a lot of good deeds. Besides, compared to most people I knew I was a saint. I often used the terms, “We all sin” or “God knows my heart.” I’d often sin and ask for forgiveness immediately after. I always had an idea of how I wanted my relationship with Christ to look, but I didn’t have any leading examples. I was never surrounded by those who practiced what they preached, nor did I have anyone pouring into me on a regular basis.
In my community, image is important. Therefore, as long as I was able to conceal most of my sins and not bring much shame to my family, I believed I was doing good and would certainly enter into the gates of heaven. I knew premarital sex and cohabiting were wrong, but most “church-going adults” around me said, “just don’t get a baby” or “it’s okay for them to sleep over, but not live in full-time,” which can be very confusing. It always seemed as if the sin was the baby – however what about people knowing that you were cohabiting – was this or was this not a sin?
I knew using vulgar language, smoking, drinking, partying, etc were not the best examples of living a Christian life, but hey…I showed up at church on Sunday with my Bible while most of my friends slept in. I was a Christian, right? I was a Christian sweetheart on the outside, but all the fruits of my life said otherwise. I was certainly a slave to sin and living far from righteousness.
Fast forward. I was chasing empty promises, others’ dreams, and searching for myself when I decided to quit my job and attend graduate school full time at Arkansas State. There I met my husband and we became friends. He introduced me to an organization called Campus Outreach. I started attending some of the events they had on campus and met other young adults who were pursuing Christ. I remember attending an event they had in February of 2011 called Spring Retreat where all the campuses came together. It was a 3 day retreat titled “Flip the Script.” Focal points were: the misconceptions of being a Christian, what many believed living for Jesus was, and lastly they provided countless examples of what living for Christ really looked like. That Friday night it all clicked…it all made sense. I was a sinner on my way to hell. I’d been living a life that God did not approve of and my heart was in the wrong place. I’d been going to church my whole life and judging others while I was on the highway to hell with a nice dress on, holding my Bible, and singing good ole church songs.
God didn’t care about any of my religious acts, he didn’t care that I did a ton of good deeds, none of it mattered. The only thing He was concerned about was if my life was a reflection of who He is and whether or not I truly believed in Him — He was concerned about my heart. After that weekend I gave my life to Christ. At that moment I vowed to follow him wholeheartedly from that day forward. I understood that the Bible was His standard and I couldn’t pick and choose which parts I wanted to obey. It was all or nothing… He wanted it all, and I wanted to give it all to Him.
Three months later my husband I decided to start dating. We got engaged that same year and married the following July. I’M FOREVER grateful that the broken road I was on led me to my Father, who then granted me my groom. It’s been such a joy to live for God and see him use my family to make an impact for His Kingdom.
SHARE A TIME IN YOUR LIFE WHEN GOD WAS THE BACKBONE FOR YOUR TRIAL.
After I came to Christ, I still struggled with carrying around a ton of baggage from my previous life. I was filled with guilt, hurt, anger, fear, pride, etc. I often would ask God why He would love, bless, and patiently wait on someone like me? It was hard because I felt so unworthy of His grace. I would rejoice some days but beat myself up on others. At that time my friend (now husband) sat me down and explained to me that I’d been redeemed, that my sins were forgiven by the most important One, and now I needed to forgive myself. He showed me different Scriptures that helped me cope with my past and gave me hope about my future. I knew then that the work God had started in me would be carried out to completion. I now know that what God knows about me is far greater than what people think of me. I have a judge, and it’s no longer a man but my Father in heaven. Knowing this is helping me live freely in Gods’ promises – it also allows me to use my story for His glory!
WHAT IS YOUR GO TO SCRIPTURE VERSE AND WHY?
John 15: 5-8 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
I always go back to this passage to remind myself that it is essential for me to remain connected to Christ. I am all about doing my Father’s business, but the only way to see fruit from my labor is to remain in Him and allow Him to remain in me. Living this Christian life is not easy, but I wouldn’t want to live any other way. I’ve lived for the world and made many worldly disciples. But now I am sold out for Jesus and being his disciple has brought me more joy than anything this world has to offer!!
*This article was originally posted on The NFL Wife Handbook Blog