It is now our 12th season together – (his 20-something) in this ministry, and every year, I think this will be the year. The year with no drama, no high schoolers making mistakes to determine the fate of the season, and the year I choose to stay out of the parent politics. And yet, it is week two of gameplay, and I can say with affirmation season 12 is not going to be that year!
I can write the words and tell the stories of how parents have tried to get my husband fired over the years based on playing time.
Or how players have made poor choices, off the field, out of school, but with their peers – and it put the team in jeopardy and, as a result, called the entire program and its values into question.
Or I can tell you about how we now have our own spot on the field because my kids are old enough to comprehend what parents and armchair quarterbacks are saying about their daddy.
But I won't.
Instead, I will tell you how it is in these moments: My husband and I rely on God, the foundation of our relationship, to find the strength and pull through together.
You see, it would be easy to say, I support my husband through these kerfuffles; they pass, and we all move on. But in reality, I have equally difficult times within my own profession, and he supports me, too. In fact, he supports me so well I try to model that same energy in return.
God assures us we are never alone. Even when things are messy, complicated, or no matter how hopeless we feel, God is there to help us through our struggles, and
He says, "As we pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you," Isaiah 43:2.
Now, oftentimes, this is easier said than done. But when you are walking through those all too familiar peaks and valleys of a high school football season, sometimes you just have to put on the armor of God and embrace the chaos.
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up" Galatians 6:9.
So many times throughout the seasons, I have thought, if only they won this game, the stress would be less.
If only this player got this much more time, that parent would be happier. Maybe if I didn't engage in the parent conversations – do I just stand there and say nothing? Do I smile, nod, and just keep things superficial? How does one do this? It's a fine art!
But it doesn't matter because there I am, seasons in and seasons out, supporting my husband and his decisions, showing up to every game and event because that is what I signed up for.
This is my job on this battlefield, where I was called to be a witness. I learned at the start of this lifestyle, my husband is the father figure some men have never known. And our relationship is a healthy representation of love, respect, support, and Jesus.
And finally, I show up because this is where I want to be and what I love doing. No matter how hard the season, the return on investment, watching those boys grow to be young, responsible members of society, is worth every ounce of energy poured into them.
So, while this season has already (hopefully) reached its peak of unprecedented stress and drama, I remind my husband and myself that the bible says, "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12
His Grace is sufficient.