It was there, with my metaphorical house stripped to bare studs, that I realized I had built it with all the wrong things.
I started over with the basics, faith became the groundwork on which everything was rebuilt. Finding a church community and reading God’s Word was the first step.
From there, I began to realize how grace (grace for coach, this lifestyle, and most importantly myself) was necessary as the support beams. It allowed me to have the patience I needed to get through the day, the season, the storm.
So if my peace is dependent upon my own performance, my own success, my own character, my own children, my own circumstances, then I will NEVER FIND IT. Because none of those things will ever be up to par. None of those things will ever feel ENOUGH.
I’m not minimizing the stressors of the coaching life. They are real and they can be unique and overwhelming. What I am saying is that pointing at coaching as the blanket scapegoat for everything challenging that happens during the season can put our hearts in a dangerous spot.
Yes, football and being a football family requires physical demands and emotional commitments from everyone involved. There are so many lonely dinners and difficult bath times. There are so many rushed labor-day cookouts and daddy-less trick-or-treats. There are so many tears from kids who miss their daddies -- and occasionally from mamas missing them too. Because there may not be crying in baseball, but believe me, there is crying in football. A lot of crying.
Look, we’re all in this business together, and though we need support, we have to realize that everyone has different versions of it. Some people need to relate to others in the game; some find solace with friends who are far removed. I would rather spend my extra time with my family in one room, laughing and watching our kids wrestling each other, than plan a party that coaches and their families feel obligated to attend.
My husband left this morning at 5 am, and I don’t expect him back until 9:30 tonight.
It’s here. The season of long hours and long weeks, visits to practices and field houses, losing tupperware and losing utensils and losing my patience.
Football season is upon us, wives, but I have something to tell you.
You are more than just a coach’s wife.
It’s easy to feel like your very life is revolving around that one role of coach’s wife. Since, in his absence, you maintain the world he is leaving behind: the kids, the laundry, the bills, the house.
And in his presence, you participate in the world he’s bringing home: watching film, feeding players, supporting from the stands on what feels like every night of the week.
But you are more than just a coach’s wife.
That is not the title that defines you. Your identity is not found in it and your life is not completed by it.
You will read lots of articles in the coming weeks about the difficulty of being a coach’s wife. And you’ll be tempted to join into pity parties with other coach’s wives about never seeing your husband.
And it IS hard. And we ARE working overtime. And we ARE exhausted.
But we are not just coaches’ wives.
We are mothers, teachers, doctors, speech therapists, counselors, ministers, nurses.
And we are daughters of a Most High King.
A God who tells us we are working for Him and not for man. We are racing after a Heavenly reward, not an earthly one. We are cooking, cleaning, baking, supporting, bolstering, and sharing our lives with 100 teenage boys because we believe our lives are part of a greater calling, one that is not defined by wins or losses or even effort.
But by a loving, gracious God who gives us what we need in every season. Even football season.
He sees you and calls you by name. And he doesn’t call you Coach’s Wife.