When You Face the Darkest Days, Rise Up

When You Face the Darkest Days, Rise Up

It wasn’t a terrible season. We won some and we lost some. We improved so much from last year. We had a better record and made the playoffs. There were no major injuries. All in all, I’d say everything went ok. 

When the season ended I was relieved (as always) to have Coach home. This season and the last really took a toll on him, but these are the sacrifices we were willing to make. We are a football family. 

He woke up and found a clip from this day, two years ago, when the team hoisted the Championship trophy. That was such a great day. 

There was no championship this year. We’ve been rebuilding. Maybe next year will be “The Year.”

I had seen a lot of posts on Facebook about coaches being forced to resign. I felt sad for these people. At the same moment, I felt intense gratitude to be in a place where people supported us. No cursing in the stands. No threats from the parents. No fear of tomorrow. 

Then the text came, and meeting, and then the words, “We want you to step down.” 

See there had been talk … and you know the rest of the story. 

We were completely blindsided. 

For a Football Coach, this is his greatest fear. And today it came true on the anniversary of the biggest win of our lives. Today I join those who are hurting, confused, and lost. 

I join you in asking myself—Don’t they care about our family?  Don’t they know how many hours we have poured into this program?  Don’t they see what we have sacrificed? 

I begin to battle angry emotions as I ask myself—Do we have to move?  Do we look for new jobs?  We just came here three years ago.  Do we make our family start all over again? 

This was a dark and difficult day for our family.

Those are the questions I asked last night when the pain was still fresh.

But today I awake with hope. I still carry the sadness of our current situation, but I have many reasons to believe that the future will be bright. I have precious children. I still have my husband. We have a home and food and many things in this life to enjoy. I have hope. 

Lamentations 3:21-23 says, “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: Great is thy faithfulness.”

As the sun rises each morning, I remember that I will always be thankful for something. When the sun rises, I have a great reminder that darkness is dispelled with each new day. When the sun rises, my great God is able to give me the courage to rise as well.   

Coach did not sleep last night. To be honest, I did not sleep much either. My job as a Coach’s wife is to help him navigate the highs and lows of each season. Whatever pain I feel, he feels exponentially. This morning I had to make a choice to rise up for my husband. Together we recalled the great story of Joseph from the book of Genesis. 

Joseph was treated unfairly by family, friends, co-workers and strangers.   They lied about him, degraded him and set him aside. He did not retaliate.  Instead he rose from the position of prisoner and slave to become one of the most powerful men in the greatest country of his time.

In the end, he told those who had brought him pain, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20).  

He was able to navigate the highs and lows (mostly lows) by trusting a God with a great plan. Even in his darkest days, his life and influence was not over.

Neither is yours. So rise up.

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