Some of the bloggers around here waste their time blogging about baseball, Cathy fritters it away visiting NASCAR venues and Terry plays solitaire boccie ball in his back yard we hear tell. So I guess it is all right for me to post some news on football, especially if it is football, faith and Favre (pronounced "Farve" if you don't know who he is). Say Georgette, is that the way that name is pronounced in Cajun Country?
For Deanna Favre, wife of the three-time MVP Green Bay Packers, Brett Favre, prayer is her best defensive play. Deana had many opportunities to give up on life and God, but through all her misfortune, tragedies and illnesses, she survived through the power of prayer. Milwaukee Catholic Herald featured the following story this past week.
Deanna’s approach to prayer and faith goes far beyond the gridiron. Her Catholic faith and the power of prayer are what sustained her through her bout with breast cancer three years ago, as well as through the many tragedies which have befallen her family, including the untimely deaths of her father-in-law, Irvin Favre, her brother, Casey Tynes, and two months ago, the death of her stepfather, Rocky Byrd.
“I think your faith does really deepen when things happen,” she said in a telephone interview with your Catholic Herald. “It taught me a lesson, because it seems I was calling on God a whole lot more than when I used to, but we need to be thankful for all the things in life, and need to say thank you to God, rather than waiting until something bad happens to call on him. We have so much to be thankful for; we are financially set, our children are healthy.”
Deanna described her upbringing in Kiln, Miss., as faith-centered. “My mom (Ann Byrd) was very, very Catholic, taking us to church every Sunday, teaching catechism classes,” she said. In fact, she said some of her earliest memories of Brett date back to catechism class. Both Deanna and Brett went to a public school, but every Wednesday a bus took the public elementary school students to catechism classes at Annunciation Catholic Church after school.
“I love being Catholic,” said Deanna. “Some people think it’s too traditional because we repeat the same things at every Mass, but I love the fact that we re-enact the Last Supper every week, because it reminds us of what God did for us.”
In her book, “Don’t Bet Against Me: Beating the Odds Against Breast Cancer and in Life,” Deanna wrote, “But hearing Dr. Henry’s voice brought the truth home with stunning force. I had a loving husband, two daughters, a wonderful life. And breast cancer. Unavoidable. True. Deadly.”She goes on to describe how she told Brett the news. He had been calling her regularly the morning she went for the biopsy. Each time, she told him she had no news. Call back after 12:30.“Brett didn’t wait until 12:30. I had barely disconnected the doctor’s call when my phone rang again. Without even saying hello, Brett asked, “Did you hear anything?” When I didn’t — couldn’t — answer, he exhaled a jagged breath, “Oh, God.”
His spontaneous prayer would have to suffice; I was too numb to pray. Prayer part of recovery. Once the initial shock of the diagnosis wore off, however, Deanna said prayer was a big part of her recovery. One of her reasons in writing the book, she said, was to help others realize the power of prayer. “The faith aspect of it, too. I don’t think people always realize the power of prayer and how faith plays a role in recovery or getting over the loss of somebody,” she said. “I don’t want people to think I’m perfect in my faith, and I’m not saying I am holier than thou, but it’s helped me get out of different things in life.”
Prior to breast cancer, Deanna said she had occasionally wondered about her life’s purpose. “I remember always thinking, ‘OK, God, if you have a plan or purpose for me, you need to spell it out.’ Now it’s so funny; I prayed that for so long,” she said, adding that she believes things happen for a reason. “God has an ultimate plan and this has all been part of his plan. Now I can really see how he planned things out for me.
Their Catholic faith was a key factor in Brett and Deanna’s decision not to have an abortion when she became pregnant following her second year of college.“We were always totally against (abortion),” she said, adding that putting their baby up for adoption was also not a consideration. “My mother always said, ‘You make your bed, you sleep in it.’ I knew premarital sex was wrong, but for whatever reason (I) did. I had made my bed and I knew I would keep the baby,” she said.
“All the stuff we’ve been through over the years has molded us into two different people. For herself, Deanna said she’s convinced the power of prayer has helped her family. “Brett is a completely different person and I can see the power of prayer in just that. It’s changed our lives, our family. I still pray for him for a lot of different reasons and I pray for his protection (on the football field) each week,” she said. “I find myself praying a lot, when I get up in the morning, when I’m driving. I did not always allow God to be in every decision I made in the past, and I realize the ones he wasn’t a part of, were probably not good decisions.”