He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.-Isaiah 40:29
In this football life, the only thing that is constant is Christ and His sustaining grace and love. Teams, coaches, positions, homes, cities, friends all may change. If you make Christ the center of your life, then this football life will start to make sense.
As my husband and I approach his 8th year in the league (where to many standards we are considered veterans), I still recognize how this time of year can be tough for many spouses of NFL athletes and coaches.
The beginning of a new football season marks the end of time together, from nightly family dinners or sometimes even living in the same household with your spouse. This is a time that can be very trying for families and marriages. From the start of training camp at the end of July to the beginning of the regular season on September 1st and all the way into the first of the year in January/February; this is a time that can be very trying for families and marriages. It is long hard days and nights. There are weeks where your spouse mentally and physically disappears into the world of football and sometimes does not return until five months later depending on how far the team progresses into the postseason.
Despite the misconception of glamour and endless checks designed to buy your happiness, this is a time that can be lonely and very isolating especially if you and your spouse are transitioning into a new city. For many women of this league, there are moments where you feel isolated. Depending on the number of times that you and your spouse change cities can impact your ability or lack thereof to create friendships. And as most will admit, this seems to become even more difficult as adults.
This time last year, I was 38 weeks pregnant and my husband and I moved to a new city during the offseason. When he reported to training camp for his first year in Pittsburgh, I was too pregnant to go with him. Being super pregnant with our first child and alone in a new place made me resent football and it made me frustrated that I was losing time with someone who at that moment in my life— I needed the most. The constant thought of Coty missing the birth of our first child gave me continuous anxiety. I recreated scenarios in my mind of how I would handle missing my better half by my side and how/when I went into labor -alone, I told myself that I would do everything I could to keep it together. No amount of money could change or remedy these feelings. He was hundreds of miles away making tremendous sacrifices for our family and I was pregnant and alone.
God is amazing. During my time of worry, he already knew that our son would come two weeks early. At 38 weeks, the week I gave birth, my husband’s team was playing in the city where we live during the offseason. Not only was he able to be by my side during labor and delivery but, after Marri’s birth, Coty drove from the hospital to the stadium. That is the divine planning that only Christ is capable of orchestrating and I am forever grateful to my God for always moving in perfect timing,
It took my son’s unique birth to give me a sustaining love for this game and this life. Football has given us opportunities to travel the world, financial fortitude and generational wealth, friends and family across the country. Football has given us unforgettable memories and a global platform for us to share our passion for serving those in the community domestically and abroad.
Football strengthened the bond between my spouse and I and taught us that we could stick together through anything. Football gave us an opportunity to provide an amazing life to our son.
So although during this time of the year, our family is physically divided and we spend many hours and sometimes days/weeks away from each other— we are forever grateful because this life has forged an unbreakable bond that will carry us through every stage of life’s glory.
As we approach year eight in this business, we are extremely grateful for this football life.
Edited by Joy Davis