Preuett: A reminder around my neck

I’ve had a few fishermen ask me about my necklace since I got it last month. So I thought we’d take a break from talk about how to catch a bass and share the story of this reminder I now wear around my neck.

My girlfriend Sarah and I recently got baptized together. So July 19, 2015, will forever be one of the greatest days of my life. Soon after, as Sarah shopped at Flair Jewelry in West Monroe, she shared the story of my faith and fishing career with the store’s owner, “Mr. Steve.”

She loved the fishing hook-shaped necklace, with Genesis 1:26 on it, and intended to buy it for me. But when “Mr. Steve” heard the story of how faith changed my life, he gave it to her for free.

I don’t think sharing my story should get me anything for free – but I’m certainly not embarrassed that Sarah shared my story with “Mr. Steve.”

Until early 2014, I had always been the partying type. I had won a college bass fishing national championship, but I also knew that my college days were about to end, and I had a lot of anxiety about that. Not to mention, I was cash strapped, and having mechanical issues with my boat.

I started thinking about what strong Christians like my Grandma and Aunt B had told me. They always believed I had a gift to inspire people, but I knew deep down that I had no right to inspire anybody if I didn’t change the way I was living. 

I was delivering a vehicle for the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Department, where I work when I’m not fishing tournaments, with my co-worker John Hurd. I knew John was a strong Christian, and I just started sharing my struggles with him. 

I broke down and prayed right there in the front seat of that cop car – and asked God to change my life. And He has.

I got saved – and a whole lot in my life got better – including my relationship with Sarah, my fishing success, the support of sponsors. Everything.

I’m not saying I won’t drink a beer with you, but I’ll tell you this without a shadow of a doubt – I’m a calmer person. I don’t melt down on the water anymore. In fact, one day last month during the Bass Pro Shops Northern Open on Lake Oneida, I didn’t have a single keeper fish in the boat at 10 a.m. I was feeling pretty stressed to say the least, and I swear to you, that’s when I reached up and grabbed the necklace – and a sense of calm came over me, as I was reminded of all my blessings.

I know there’s a reason for all the good and bad that’s happened in my life – including the loss of sight in my right eye that ended my major college baseball dreams the day after high school graduation in a freak accident of backyard Wiffle ball.

And while I can’t tell you He wants me to be a pro fisherman, I can tell you I’ll follow His lead. I’m not on Brett’s path anymore – I’m on His. All I have to do is look at – or feel – this fish hook necklace to be reminded of that.