Most people don't understand how temperamental this lifestyle can be. You never truly know when you'll have to move or what the reason will be.
For our first 15 years, we lived on yearly contracts. That meant that at the end of every season, we usually weren't sure if we'd be staying or going.
When my husband got his first head coaching job, it came with a five-year contract. So, I could relax a little for the first time in a decade and a half. I could let down my guard and not worry if the end of the season meant the end of our time at that school.
That is, until year five rolled around and no contract extension was in sight.
And there it was again, that feeling in the pit of my stomach, that ever-present, gnawing sense of dread. We were given verbal confirmation, but it's not real in this industry unless it's a signed deal.
Would this be our last year here? I used to spend every day focused on needing a resolution.
And who in their right mind wouldn't want clarity? It's completely understandable. As coaches' wives, we have to agree to life-altering decisions when we don't want to, when they are unexpected, when we don't have many details, and when they are least welcomed/favorable.
Our first move came as a complete shock. Yes, we knew there was an opening at the head coach's alma mater and dream school. But due to circumstances surrounding his life, we thought we knew without a doubt that he'd never leave. Well, we were wrong.
But, I also had a pretty good feeling (based on many circumstances leading up to those seasons) at our last two schools that our end was imminent. And let me tell you, that didn't make it any easier to handle when it became a reality.
I used to think that if I only had more clarity around our situation, I could be a good coach's wife.
- Why can't I know how long we will be here?
- Why did he get fired?
- Why did they hire him?
- Why can't I know where the next step will take us?
- Why can't I know what it would be like once we get there?
- Why did they leave?
- Why are we being treated this way?
- Why did it have to end?
WHY is it impossible to know these things?
But, clarity did not make much of a difference in the moment and even after the fact. It was still incredibly difficult to relocate. It is still an unbelievably fresh wound when I think of the people and the places we've had to leave.
What did help, though, was trust. Knowing that I could never understand or predict why it would be our time to leave eased that heavy weight of dread just enough to be able to function in the present. It loosened that knot in my stomach just enough to be able to go out and make a life in our new place.
But, the definition of trust requires that you relinquish that word-why. Now, instead of asking questions, I remember all that God has done for me, for my coach, and for our family.
"I will not pray clarity for you. Clarity is the crutch of the Christian. But I will pray trust for you, that your trust will increase."
— Mother Teresa
Now, I repeat Mother Teresa's words to myself when I feel like I just need to know the answer to whatever question this lifestyle has me constantly asking.
Between the time of writing this and it getting published, you better believe that I am praying for that signed document to ensure that our time here isn't ending.
But if it's still not a done deal, I can promise you that I won't ask why. I will move forward with the trust in the One orchestrating our path because He was faithful then and will be faithful now.
And you may not know me well enough to trust that my 20 years of experience could benefit you. I only ask that you give it a try. Don't let clarity be the crutch of the coach's wife.
Review the journey that God has brought you on and all the things He has done for you. And then pray for trust instead of clarity when you feel like a why question is coming on.