Following the U.S. women’s World Cup victory Sunday over the Netherlands, players celebrated in different ways.
Tobin Heath expressed her gratitude to God.
The 31-year-old forward posted a photo on Instagram of her and her teammates storming the field after the victory. Heath is seen looking upward.
“All glory to God,” the caption reads.
That isn’t the first time Heath has shared her Christian faith.
She opened up about it in an interview with Beliefnet in 2011.
“I was fortunate enough to grow up in a Christian home and an awesome family,” Heath said. “Our family was just really passionate about Jesus. I had a great experience growing up.
“Like many kids, I wanted to do my own thing so it wasn’t until around the end of high school and start of college that I started to develop my own faith. I stopped piggybacking off of my family’s [faith] and wanted to figure out what it was all about. I got super interested in things, and obviously from there it’s just grown.”
“Like anyone who has a relationship [with Jesus] knows, the coolest thing about it is that it’s infinite how much you can learn and begin to understand. It’s something that grabbed me.”
Heath’s Twitter bio refers to Ephesians 2:8-9, which says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
This year marked the third time Heath played in the World Cup and the second time she helped the U.S. women win it.
In 2011, the team fell to Japan in the final, but four years later, the women avenged that loss with a victory over Japan in the final.
Heath also has competed in the Olympics thrice, helping the Americans win gold in both 2008 and 2012.
She is one of the more experienced players on the national team and now serves as one of its leaders, according to The Oregonian.
“When opportunities have arisen for leadership moments, I think Tobin has embraced them,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis told the outlet.
Professionally, Heath is a member of the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League.
She said she is fortunate to be able to use her platform to spread the importance of her faith and to offer praise for God.
“It’s about Him being known and not in a way that forces it upon other people but in a way that lets people know how He’s transformed my life and how He’s given me purpose and meaning and love and satisfaction,” Heath told Beliefnet. “That’s the message of Jesus.
“It’s not a platform to impose on people. It’s a platform to love people. Our God’s going to be victorious. He’s the Creator of the universe. I’m just a vessel trying to do my part with what I’ve been given.”
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