We spent the middle part of our coaching journey (11 years) within a 45-mile radius centered around the same major city.
We were newlyweds there, figuring out married life in general, but throw in the added chaos from this lifestyle.
We became parents there, figuring out life without sleep and being responsible for one, then two, then three other people's wellbeing, but also throw in the added chaos from this lifestyle.
It was a blessing in an industry where most families have to move every two or three years (if they're lucky, even sooner if they're not.)
However, I spent the majority of those 11 years (around six or seven of them) wishing and praying that we could just get to our forever home. I hate to admit it, but I even wasted three or four of them by refusing to get too involved in that community. I was so focused on our final destination, that I couldn't see a point in embracing our temporary location.
But it was also a curse because once I fully accepted the middle stage, I became so attached to that place I almost chose it over my coach when the time finally came to leave.
A few months after our move away, we were sitting in the airport that was once our travel home base during those middle years. And it clicked.
We had just flown from where we got our start (my hometown and our alma mater) to our new home, where coach was now the head guy. Our layover in this place was physical at that moment but also symbolic in our journey.
When we first started, I couldn't wait to get to the part where coach was in charge.
But it was in the layover that we both learned everything we needed to know to make the most of our final destination.
It was in the layover that we both became the best versions of ourselves, individually and together. Without each situation, town, and person we encountered, we would have never been pushed to our limits and have to figure out exactly what we were capable of.
It was in the layover that we met some of the most fantastic people who held us up when we couldn't do it on our own, who cheered for our victories like they were their own, and ultimately who became family. Without some of those people helping us, we would not have had enough strength to reach our final descent.
It was in the layover that we created some of my absolute favorite memories and traditions. Without those places, the hard times of this life would have far outweighed the fun and joyful ones.
It was in the layover that our faith became unshakably strong. Because of the constant uncertainty and unpredictability, we had no choice but to lean on God. Without all the "what ifs" and having to hand it all over to God, we wouldn't be able to see His hand in all the details and how the setbacks were actually blessings in disguise.
Was it excruciating to then have to leave the layover for our next stop? Without question, it was one of the most painful things I've ever done.
But was it all worth it? Absolutely.
If you are in the layover portion of your journey, enjoy it. I know it's easier said than done, but do not worry about your connecting flight. You will never know when or where to it will be.
Don't let the when or where stop you from exploring your layover.
Don't waste your time there daydreaming about your desired destination.
Don’t miss out on opportunities now that could teach you how to thrive later.
Just because it's only temporary doesn't mean it won't be worthwhile.
In fact, I can guarantee that it'll help you make the most of your final stop.