I Found My Faith at a Baseball Field. Twice.
There are a lot of words I can think of to describe most coaches’ wives: strong, independent, resilient, and flexible are just a few off the top of my head. Due to the nature of the job, you really have no choice.
But I would have never used any of those to describe myself in the beginning of my relationship with coach. I was (and still am just a teeny tiny bit) an aggressive planner. You would think that after a last-minute move during off-season training not even 2 months after getting married, I would have realized that I could not control our situation. I did not. We moved, despite my passive aggressive resistance.
Fast-forward two years, and I was actually happy in the different city. Okay, I can deal with one difference in my grand plan. Everything else was going to remain. We’d just be living in a different city. I finally felt that maybe I could be a little flexible.
Then, on a Saturday in October, which started like any other day, I drove about an hour away with my mom to watch a couple of coach’s scrimmages. Because of the set up of the scrimmage, we were allowed to watch from the sidelines. And that’s where I finally learned the lesson that I was not in control. No matter how hard I tried, or how much I planned, nothing was a given.
I had a miscarriage right there. At the game.
Let’s fast forward again a few months. After wallowing for a bit, I decided to truly let God into my life. I had been a believer for many years but was no longer active in pursuit of a relationship with Him. What happened since then has been nothing short of a blessing. Coach and I watched as God’s plan started to unfold. A door was closed on his career right around that due date, and we wouldn’t have been able to go through the window that opened had things gone according to my plan. That window was a move to a new school, just a little north of where we were.
And over the next six-and-a-half years I committed to bettering myself and my relationship with God. There were some setbacks and slow periods (I had three kids during that time). But like any big lessons, there’s usually a test to make sure you truly learned it.
Two seasons ago, my coach’s team was on a roll. They had made it to the NCAA tournament. They advanced all the way to the Elite Eight, the only problem was the game was at *that* field. If they won this game, they’d go on to play in the Final Four, something coach had dreamt about since the 5th grade.
With a knot in my stomach and all three kids by my side, I went. We cheered our hearts out, and the team did it. They won the game and advanced to the Final Four.
TWO days later, I was back there to participate in part of an interview for coach to be the next head coach at that school. This time, I had to drive alone because he had already been there for hours. And even though I had mentally prepared myself to put my big girl pants on and look that field in the eyes on a regular basis, he didn’t get that job.
From our previous experiences, we knew that there was a reason that one didn’t go our way. I honestly think that demonstrating my faith – in my coach and in God’s plan – was all that was required (and I’m kind of not-so-secretly glad). And we are happily enjoying things until He opens the next window.
I don’t tell you all this to show off how strong or resilient I am. I definitely don’t share all this because I think it proves that I am finally the true definition of a Coach’s Wife. I still don’t even consider myself any of those characteristics really.
But I have seen God work and understand that I don’t have to be in control. I just have to trust in him, and that trust gives me the strength, flexibility, resilience, and independence to get through any situation life throws at me. So take heart, if you don’t feel like a “true coach’s wife.” You don’t need to be.
You can learn from all I’ve shared and just have some faith that when you need any one of those characteristics, God will be there to provide it.
Jess Gilardi is a lacrosse coach’s wife in the Baltimore area and has three kids, ages 6, 4, and 1. She was a mental health therapist in the school system before becoming the full time chaos coordinator for the family (a.k.a. stay at home mom). She does manage to fit in a little work here and there. Outside of lacrosse and family, she loves Jesus, the Tracy Anderson Method, and empowering others. You can follow her crazy adventures on social media: Instagram @jessgilardi and Facebook as Jessica Gilardi.