Coach’s Wife Worries

via Daily Prompt: Doubt

Lately I’ve been learning so much about trusting in the Lord. I’ve said it before, and I still think it’s true:

If you pray for God to increase your trust in Him, He’ll leave you with no other choice.

But I wasn’t praying for trust. I was praying He would inspire me to draw closer to Him, to seek Him, but not necessarily to trust Him. Well, I guess maybe it’s the same thing. I guess He knows what I need even when I know better than am too afraid to ask for it. The more we worry, the more we stress, the more He asks us to trust.

Somehow I take a small comfort in knowing that many of my worries are common coach’s wife worries. We are not alone in this journey. Here’s a short list of some of the things we worry about.

  1. We worry about our athletes. At least at the college level, we feel a little bit responsible for them. Many of them are away from home for the first time. We worry that they might not be eating right, that they may not manage their money well, that they may not pass their classes to stay eligible, that they might get injured, that they will struggle athletically, that they will experience depression, that they won’t take care of themselves, that they will make poor choices, that they will get into trouble, that they won’t reach their goals of moving on to the next level, and the list goes on. We worry about them after they leave us–did we set them up for success? Will they look back and see us as people who helped them achieve their dreams or people who ruined it all? So we worry about setting a good example and making sure they know we are here for anything they may need. We worry about making them feel loved and welcome.
  2. We worry about winning. We worry that our husbands and their athletes will focus too much on winning. We worry that if they focus too much on winning yet fail to win enough, it will tear the team apart and create divisions among players. We worry that this will lead several players to leaving at the end of the year. We worry about how the win-loss record will look on our husband’s résumé, and we worry about how it will impact their current job security.
  3. We worry about job security. Turnover in coaching is inevitable. None of us are exempt. A new athletic director may come in and “clean house.” A losing season or two could lead to superiors deciding you’re “not getting the job done.” So, with every change, and at the end of every year, we worry that the rug will be ripped out from under us.
  4. We worry about career advancement. Most coaches have to climb a ladder to get to their desired career and in their family’s desired location. We worry about when the right opportunity will come along. We worry about if the right opportunity will come along. We worry that we might miss it. We worry that we might not be ready for it. We worry that we might not like where it takes us. We worry that, if multiple doors are open, we will choose the wrong one. We worry that we will have to wait longer than we want to.
  5. We worry about finances. Coaching might sound like a prestigious career, but for most of us, it does not afford a glamorous lifestyle. That’s okay because we aren’t trying to live a glamorous lifestyle, but sometimes we worry that it may not pay our basic bills. For us, coaching pays more during some seasons than others, and it’s never consistent, so the year is an interesting balancing act of being wise in times of surplus in order to survive in times of want.
  6. We worry about our own kids. Will they thrive in this chaotic lifestyle? Will they have good role models around them? We certainly have a village to help us raise our kids, but we worry that it might not be the right village. We worry that the turmoil of frequent moves will have a negative impact on them and their abilities to establish roots and build relationships. We worry that they will miss their dad too much when he is in season. We hope they will learn to be flexible, to serve others, and to chase their own dreams no matter what. But we also worry that it won’t all work out the way we want it to.
  7. We worry about supporting our husbands the right way. A coach’s wife can be a great asset, but she can also be a liability. What if the wrong person hears us say the wrong thing or takes it out of context? What if the wrong person misinterprets the look on my face? That can ruin a coach’s reputation, and a soiled reputation can harm both job security and career advancement. We worry about showing our husbands just how much we appreciate what they do. We worry that our help and support might not be enough in this trying, exhausting, rewarding career. We worry that our presence might be too much, that we might be too involved; after all, few other careers truly involve the spouse like coaching does.

Last week, I heard this on the radio:

Worrying is like trying to take a road trip in a rocking chair.

It doesn’t get us anywhere. We don’t solve anything by worrying about it.

Worry is a form of doubt. We can get so much further in this life by trusting in the Lord than we ever could by carrying our own burdens.

“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

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