2017 has been the most relaxing year for our family in close to two decades. That might sound confusing considering we spent almost three months in limbo not knowing where we would live nor when we would move. Regardless, it’s the truth. A large part of why our year started out so relaxing was that our circumstances allowed us the jump out of the circus tent of coaching.
We spent four years serving a campus with all of our strength and ability. Ten years on the campus before that, two years the campus before that, and two on the campus before that with no break. To finally stop after non-stop bending over backward to serve a campus and all the late nights, early mornings, missing our own children’s school events with travel or college student’s needs, conflict, and so much more, a chapter was closed.
The great thing about the chance to stop and regroup is that you get to weigh the pros and cons. You get to take the time to ask yourself all the questions that need to be asked before diving back into the circus.
- Where should we consider living
- What things should we look to prioritize in our next community? Next job?
- What is best for the whole family?
- Is it worth it to continue knowing the insanity will start again?
- Is it worth the sacrifice of our family?
Now, these questions can all be asked, but the context of these questions for our family begins with the most important question of all. We ask for God to make a clear path, and to give us united hearts in the decisions to come. And then I usually add in a “hey if we could be in a city again that would be great.” 😉
The best coaches are the ones who are willing to walk away from the sport they love for the family they love more. The coaches that you want to allow to lead your sons are the ones that prioritize God’s direction in their lives over their hunger for personal power and fame. Even if you don’t believe in living a surrendered life, you want this in your coach, because a coach who has his priorities straight will lead your child to do the same.
I feel pretty confident that I can speak for coaching families all over the country in every sport coached who also take the time to ask for God to direct their path first. The answers to these questions will have similar answers to ours:
Where should we consider living?
- God, it would be great to live near friends or family, to live in a place where life is convenient and the cost of living is reasonable, but more than that, we want to go where you are calling us. So will you clear the path? When you do, we will go.
What things should we look to prioritize in our next community? Next job?
- We’d love to move to a diverse place where football fans aren’t fairweather fans. We’d love to be in a place where our kids can thrive. We want to prioritize a certain type of church or club or opportunity. We want to have a certain salary as a non-negotiable. But more than that, God, we want to serve the people you put in our path, wherever they live. Help us prioritize your desires. Help our heartbeat for the things that make your heartbeat. Help us weep for the things you weep for.
What is best for the whole family?
- God, we aren’t sure if staying in coaching/coaching at this level is best for our kids. Is my ego driving this or are you? We know you love them even more than we do. Can you help us be where our kids will thrive, even if it’s the job with the lower salary or the job in the less desirable town?
Is it worth it to continue?
- Hey God, you know we are tired. You know the commitment that comes with this career. The sacrifice our whole family makes. The long hours, all the things we have to say no to because there is a game or practice. So if we aren’t making an impact will you release us? Move us onward, because if it’s just about a game….it’s not worth it. God our strength and joy are found in you. Thank you for going before us and giving us everything we need to be successful for you.
The great thing about asking these questions is that wherever you land for your next job, you know you are exactly where you need to be. This makes giving your whole heart over yet again so much easier. It makes the risk easier, and the sacrifice worth it. And when confidence is present that God is orchestrating things then comfort is present in the larger story yet to be fully understood.
These things make the transition a blessing and the energy for a new job comes quickly upon arrival. So go ahead and embrace the space you’ve been given (or try to create some if it’s not quite time to transition). Ask the hard questions, but ask the right ones too. You won’t regret it and your family will be better off too.