It’s the season when job transitions are starting. It’s different every year, and more and more it seems that coaches’ months of stability are now reduced to weeks. Soon, somewhere in the country will start those dreaded conversations are going to start. It doesn’t matter that the team was plagued with injuries or that the star player refused to go to class, failed his classes, and was ineligible for the latter half of the season. It doesn’t matter that a team is underfunded in scholarships or understaffed for the conference.
When a team doesn’t tally up enough wins year after year, many programs change things around, starting with the coaching staff. Rarely does the timing feel fair to coaches’ wives. We know how hard our husbands work and where the weakest links truly exist. We understand the politics behind many of the decisions made behind closed doors. We aren’t dense, and it’s clear that when the AD’s buddy replaces our husbands that something was in the works for more reasons than “timing.”
You know that player who regularly skips weight lifting because his alarm didn’t go off again and then complains that he isn’t getting enough playing time? We know the truth because there is one on every team. It’s not fair that he gets to spout off on social media while the coaching staff stays silent. It’s politics and it stinks.
When it’s Time to Move on You Need to Have Faith Anyway
This is the hardest when you know that the next coach is going to have an amazing season because of the awesome recruiting the current staff accomplished. It’s saddest when the bonds you helped strengthen with the upperclassman who will lead the team well next season are left to flounder under a new coaching philosophy that doesn’t value leadership.
Regardless you need to remember that at every level where coaches are paid athletics is a business. Coaches are employees and there is an expectation of work production. It’s not fair, but it is what it is. Rather than wallow, cling to the knowledge that God knew your time was ending even if you aren’t ready to accept things.
Have faith he is moving with you to your next opportunity and that there is a reason for the timing of everything. Embrace your new community. Don’t be afraid to bloom where God is planting you. Don’t dwell in the what if’s.
When Staying is Hard You Need to Have Faith Anyway
Maybe your situation isn’t about moving. Perhaps you are the ones left behind. Whether it’s because your husband receives a promotion or he interviewed for a different job and it went to someone else. You have to come to terms with living another year away from family or in a town you didn’t choose to live in for any other reason than his job.
There are plenty of reasons coaches’ wives eagerly anticipate moving. Are you having a hard time finding your footing in your community? Is work scarce? Is your living situation more expensive than you anticipated? Is there someone on staff that grates on your nerves? Have you convinced yourself a new location will make you happy when the truth is you need to learn to be content in all circumstances? (Philippians 4:11)
You’re disappointed and feeling like life isn’t fair because you see other families moving and you’re stuck in your community for another year. I get it, I’ve been there. Have faith anyway. You never know, there may be someone pretty amazing you need to connect with this year. Look up. Reach out. Don’t miss out!
You aren’t Promised a Fair Life – You Need to Have Faith Anyway
For some reason, many Americans believe that a successful life includes fairness. The definition of fairness is fluid in that each person believes life is fair when they receive what they want or believe they deserve. Of course, for Christians, this completely contradicts everything in Scripture.
God never promises us life on earth will be easy. In fact, we read quite the opposite in the book of James.
James 1:5-8 and 12 says,
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. …Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.James 1:5-8 & 12 NASB
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial. But what about those verses about faith? When we ask for wisdom in faith God will give us what we ask for, and James writes this with confidence because it is something that is a part of Jewish history and a part of his family’s story.
James is the brother of Jesus. He would have known his Jewish history growing up attending temple, and certainly knew his brother’s story well. Hebrews 11 summarizes stories of those who gained God’s approval through faith. (v. 39)
Hebrews 11:1-3 says,
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith, we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.Hebrews 11:1-3 NASB
What is the Foundation of Faith?
- Faith is the assurance of things hoped for
- Faith is the conviction of things not seen
- By faith we understand
Hebrews 11:7 Noah was warned by God about the flood and told to build an ark which wiped out all of humanity other than Noah’s direct line. By faith Noah trusted God would sustain them and in Genesis 9 God creates a covenant with Noah.
Hebrews 11:8 Abraham by faith trusted God’s promise that he would have as many descendants that number the stars in the sky even before Ishmael and Isaac were born. v 11 By faith Sarah, past the childbirth years, became pregnant.
Hebrews 11:23 Moses by faith was hidden by his parents rather than killed at birth by Pharoah’s command and given to the Egyptian Princess. By faith, Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt.
Hebrews 30 Joshua by faith led the Israelites around the walls of Jericho for 7 days until they fell down as they began their battle to take the Promised Land.
John 19:30 Jesus by faith said “It is finished” while hanging on a cross sacrificing his life for our sins. Trusting God’s plan was best even though it hurt at that moment more than anything we could begin to imagine.
Faith Takes Courage
Choosing faith rather than clinging to the desire for a fair life takes courage. When we exchange the false narrative that we can have control for the conviction of things not seen there is a steadiness that grows.
We exchange anger and frustration for peace, anxiousness for calmness, fear for trust, and sadness for joy. This doesn’t mean that we won’t have moments of mourning. It doesn’t mean we won’t ever feel disappointed. However, we will understand that God is present with us as we mourn and there will be an underlying understanding of a bigger picture.
When You’re Tempted to Cling to Fairness
So here’s the thing Coaches’ Wives. When you may find yourself tempted to yell “It’s not fair!”, I want you to know I understand.
But, I also want you to know that I think you are stronger than you give yourself credit for, and so I’m going to encourage you to dig deep starting today. Start reading over some of these stories from Hebrews 11. Read the Gospel of Luke or John. What does it look like to have faith that’s so courageous God inspires people to document it for all believers to study for generations?
Find your people. Tell them you may need them to remind you to have faith during a difficult season. Ask them to hold you accountable. If you aren’t praying together regularly as a couple, now is the time to start.
You will get through whatever your job transition season holds. And if you need some extra support you know where your Friday Night Wives are hanging out. Come find us. Hear our stories. We’ve been there.
Make your next move the smoothest one yet with my two books designed specifically for people who move frequently. (Print and Kindle Versions available)
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 5, 2019, and has been updated in April 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and completeness.