And, while sports are certainly minor in comparison to keeping the world safe, the pain we may encounter still matters. It matters very much.
I looked up from my phone as the car made one last slow turn to find myself at Fredericksburg High School’s football stadium. It’s the third stadium we have seen on this trip having turned off the highway twice to “check out the facilities.” Romance, ladies, with a capital R.
It is easy to become frustrated with you when you haven’t been home for the 400th meltdown and for the 50th fight requiring a referee. It’s easy to not care about what you’ve been doing while I have been handling the home front, but I do truly care.
We were given this season to love and support a group of young men that have shown us their true character. Character that is revealed through adversity, and these athletes demonstrated tremendous character in the way they prepared and competed every week.
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.
Heading east on I-40, somewhere between Shawnee and Checotah, the man to whom I had given my heart and my word—“where you go, I will go”— reached across the front seat of our blue 1991 Pontiac Sunbird, placed his hand on my thigh, and uttered these words, “Thanks, Babe. People get divorced over stuff like this. I should have talked to you first. I love you.”
You, my husband, are what the world needs more of. A person who longs for the success of winning, but knows that life’s best and most important lessons are learned through the process.
Then in another ten years from now, one or two of them will send us a wedding invite or a social media request, and we will know that the old adage is true—children really do spell love with the letters.....T I M E.
I share this story in hopes of being an encouragement. We all come from different backgrounds, have different interests and personalities. We know for a fact that being a coach's wife is tough much of the time, and that some of us adapt to it better than others.
They look to us, they rely on us to set the tone. We are their guide through this busy season and how we steer them will determine whether they grow up respecting or resenting their fathers.
The days are long. The time together is short. The frustration is hard. It becomes easy to wonder where you fit in anymore, but I promise, you do. Your support allows him to follow his calling. He wishes he could be home more too, but to give these boys 100% it requires more of your coach than anyone imagines.
He gets to learn more about his craft. You get time to yourself to do whatever fills your soul. You get time together. And, if your school/booster picks up the bill, it’s free!
#4."Love rules. The purpose of discipline isn't to punish but to correct."
As someone who has seen it first hand in my home, thank you for being a positive role model for my children. We appreciate you and we love watching you become the athlete that you worked so hard to be.
There will be times that you may not fully understand my struggles. There will be times when the crazy feels too overwhelming. There will be times when you may not show us your love as well as I’d hoped, and vice versa. There will be times when you may feel like you aren’t giving your all. But the beauty of this is that good teammates don’t ever give up on each other.
Create a prayer calendar with pictures of your husband's players.
On each day, put a picture of one of his players and make it part of your bedtime routine to pray over that player. Your kids will take ownership of praying over them, get to know them by name, and feel like they are a part of daddy's job.
What I do know is there will be many more days filled with tears as we drive away from the field. There will be many more missed moments and milestones that have to be sent to our coach via video. And there will be more days where 40 minutes is all we can get.
But there will be many more highs too.
I get excited when the last quarter rolls around and that clock starts winding down. Mommy reminds me that football minutes are a little longer than REAL minutes. But even if my eyes are getting heavy, the excitement around me keeps my energy up.
So when the final buzzer sounds and I make my way onto the field to give my husband a kiss and a hug, no matter the outcome I whisper in his ear, “Win or Lose, We Are Still Us,” and he hugs me a little tighter each time, his way of thanking me for keeping us grounded in this all important truth.
He knew many wouldn't understand the importance of his world, that this life was so much more than blowing whistles and running sprints and charting plays, so much more than a game. He knew he would need someone who got it, who understood that this was a mission field, plain and simple.
So God made a coach's wife.