marriage coaching football change growth spouse wife

Dear Lord, Are You Sure This Guy is My Coach/Husband?

Dear Lord,

Thank you for my sweet man.

Thank you for choosing him for me, for the challenge to love him and finish raising him, as he just threatens to leave behind his overgrown eighth grade mentality with great promise.

You have allowed me to fall in love with this man of mine for over three decades.

I can remember leaning into him in the foyer of Sunnybrook Christian Church just moments after Tom Moll pronounced us “husband and wife” and being so relieved the wedding was over and he was only mine as he whispered, “Can we skip the reception and just…?”

Too, I remember the night I called him from the St. Edward’s maternity ward in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Just shy of hysterical, I whimpered to him that his newborn son was ill, not breathing well with a raging infection.

The strength and certainty with which he conveyed that God would always take care of us just as he always had silenced me, but so did the sleeping pills he promptly called the nurses station to order for me.

I remember loving him …

… as a young man, in Levi’s, white t-shirt, and red baseball cap as he stood all muscled up, broad-shouldered and ornery on the front porch of my college rent house …

… as he danced across the floor at Tumbleweed making me blush when he sang and—well, hmmm (my mother reads these posts) …

… as a college football player whose teammates showered him with endearing nicknames and poker games causing him to be two hours late to our first date …

… as a daddy when his little girl won her national championship, and she sought his burly arms to jump into first…

… as a hard-nosed, demanding professional who works diligently to provide for his family but can overlook a sink full of dishes, laundry to be put away, or hedges that need to be trimmed …

… as the man whose former players find him in Target, call out “Coach!” and then meet him with a firm grip that pulls each man toward the other for the tender yet masculine shoulder bump …

… at the close of the championship game as the joy and camaraderie filled the grid-iron and in the waning moments of the state baseball tournament when it was clear we had run out of pitching …

… as a man, thirty years later with graying goatee and lines around his still wickedly enticing brown eyes whose warm hand ever reaches for me …

I have loved him through the perfect, undefeated, state championship seasons, the heartbreak of great competitive losses, and the fickleness of high school athletics.

But I don’t think all of these moments prepared me for this holiday break, when once again, my coach stopped me rock hard cold in my tracks.

After years of learning how to accept that he’s perfectly alright with doing NOTHING for literally H O U R S at a time except watching game after game, he began more than one morning of this holiday break with something like,

“Babe, which of your projects would you like me to help you with today?”

Only seconds passed as I disguised my shock and disbelief like a seasoned champ, checking to make sure those were:

his same ornery brown eyes,

his strong hands that grab my backside repeatedly as he brags in raspy caveman grunts, “Man, what a rumproast” …

his strategically gifted brain that can offensively script an entire quarter but can’t plan days in advance to put up the Christmas tree (“Let’s make that a game time decision”—insert exaggerated eye-rolling emoji here) …

And not some well-versed imposter.

Could it really be the same over-grown-eighth-grader whose one true love has first, last, and always been ball? 

Planning to clean closets?

Sort and file financial papers?

Complete the fun-sucking lists for which he and his off-spring have proverbially ridiculed me for decades?

If so, then Lord, man—I so appreciate it.

If it is just a heads up that Jesus is on his way, well then, I appreciate that, too and will accept my coach’s behavior as a one-time, spirit-filled, miraculous event.

Your Humble Coach’s Wife,

#golighttheworld