One of the biggest lessons I have learned am learning as a coach’s spouse is how to keep moving forward. I have to keep myself moving forward and keep my husband moving forward.
It’s easy to get discouraged. Whether it’s experiencing a frustrating game day, hearing the unsupportive words of an athletic director, missing an old home, not getting a desired promotion, or getting the brunt of the blame from players or parents, there is truly no shortage of problems to solve and obstacles to overcome. Often, these challenges seem either out of our control or too big for us to tackle alone, but we must keep moving forward anyway.
Here are some things I try to keep in mind when we face those trying times:
We aren’t big enough to handle everything, but God is. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). When the challenges are too great or overwhelming, we do not need to worry about them on our own. We need to entrust them to God.
We cannot change the past, only learn from it. It’s easy to spend time worrying about what we would have or could have done differently, but that approach is only more discouraging. It’s better to commit to what we will do differently in the future. Focusing too much on what’s already done only opens opportunities for future disadvantages.
Getting stuck is a choice. Feeling stuck, whether it’s in a place or on a problem, is only a feeling, and feelings can change. The sooner we realize this, the easier it is to move forward.
My husband and I often need to remind each other to move forward at the end of a trying day. And sometimes we aren’t great at reminding each other to move forward. In those times we get stuck together. But eventually one of us will realize it’s time to turn to God so we can move on.
The problem is that we might not always want to move forward. This becomes especially true right after the end of a season. Moving forward means saying goodbye to graduating athletes. Moving forward means starting over with building new relationships and setting expectations all over again. Some years are easier than others, but that’s the thing with moving forward: you don’t get to choose when to move forward and when not to. But God does, and we have to trust in His bigger plan.