(Photo courtesy of Colorado Athletics)
When shots began to be fired inside that movie theater, I remember the question burning in my soul – what did I do with my life? Did I live it for God? Did I live it for others?
And in that moment, I cried out to God in a prayer.
If you get me out of this theater, I said, all of my life is going to you.
At that point in my life, I wasn't quite all in yet. I was still living a life of partying and consumed with my own life and my own priorities. I was missing out on an opportunity to love others and to bring glory to God. My priorities at that point were consumed with making it to the NFL and soaking in the attention it would bring me.
In one moment that all changed.
I'm going to lose Jordan Murphy, I prayed, and put you at the forefront.
I just didn't realize at the time what that would take, because life doesn't get easy once you commit your life to Christ. In fact, for many of the disciples, that's when the trials on Earth really began.
Minutes after that prayer, I'm now racing in a car to get to my friend's house, desperate to tell everyone that we're okay. We got to the house and woke up his parents to tell them what had just happened. Then we turned on the news to try and understand what was going on.
At that point, we didn't even know if the shooting was still happening. As I found out later on, the police arrived at the theater shortly after we left, because of the bravery of my friend. He was the first one to call 911 when the shooting began, while we were still in the theater. He just dialed the numbers, then left the phone in the theater as we sprinted toward the exit.
He's in the military now, which is no coincidence with the bravery he showed that night.
It was already midnight when the movie began, so by the time we got to the house it was in the early hours of the morning. I maybe slept an hour, but when I woke up nothing had changed. This wasn't a nightmare, and things weren't just going to go back to normal.
I don't know that I've ever had a normal day since then.
Any time I'm in public, I look at everybody. Everybody. I am hyper alert, and I definitely have some minor PTSD as a result of that night. At this point it's just habitual, and I don't even know I'm doing it unless someone asks about it or brings up the memories of that night.
But in the aftermath of the shooting, it wasn't my own survival that began haunting me. It was how I survived that shooting that kept me up at night. And there's not a darker time to be in your own thoughts than when you are living in a homeless situation.