NFL Legend Emmitt Smith's Wife, Pat, Encourages Women to Forget Their Fears in New Book

The inspirational speaker discusses forgiveness and overcoming struggles.

ByABC News
May 19, 2016, 10:28 AM

— -- Pat Smith may already be an inspirational speaker, philanthropist, mother of five and wife to NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith, but now she’s adding author to her resume with a new book, “Second Chances.”

The book, which is available now, features personal stories about her own life’s ups and downs, such as her divorce from comedian Martin Lawrence, as well as many others’ inspirational stories that were included to “connect with women who are stuck, who are fearful and not sure of where they’re going to go,” Smith said on “Good Morning America” today.

“I just knew in that moment it was no longer healthy for any of us,” she recalled of her divorce from Lawrence. “I packed one suitcase. It’s the first time I really heard God’s voice. And I didn’t know I was leaving to actually divorce. I just thought this is the best thing for the moment. To me marriage was forever.

“Until my mother passed away, my parents were married for 30 years. My grandparents were married 60 years. So when I left that night, it was terrible. I felt ashamed about it. I was hurt, I was scared. My family was 3,000 miles away.”

Smith said she was certainly not looking for her relationship with Emmitt, after her therapist had warned her not to rush into a new relationship and, instead, to “take it easy.” But the football star gave her every phone number possible to keep in touch, and the rest is history.

Emmitt Smith sent a special, surprise message for his wife on “Good Morning America,” congratulating her on the book’s release.

“I just wanted to say congratulations to my beautiful wife on the release of her new book ‘Second Chances,’” he began in the video. “There's folks in this book that have experienced heartache and hardships just like you and I have. In this book you can find those stories. Go out, pick it up, read it, share it with others. And congratulations to my beautiful wife."

Pat Smith hopes her book will encourage readers to let go of the past and be brave moving forward in life.

“You’ve got to forgive yourself and you have to forgive whatever that is that’s holding you back,” she explained. “Whether it’s a person, a decision, something that happened to you, there is so much power when you allow something to hold you in that place but when you can let that go, it actually gives you the power to move forward. Because God has amazing things just waiting for us out there and we miss it because we’re looking back.”