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 change but Christ is constant and if you make Christ the center of it all then this football life can make sense.
As my husband and I approach his 7th year in the league, (and) to many standards we are considered veterans, I still realize how this time of year can be tough for many spouses of NFL athletes, coaches and front office staff.
The beginning of a new football season marks the end of spending time together, having nightly family dinners or sometimes even living in the same household with your spouse. From the start of training camp at the end of July to the beginning of the regular season on September 1, and all the way into the first of the year into January/February, this time frame can be very trying for families and marriages. It is long hard days and nights. Sometimes weeks, where your spouse disappears into the world of football and sometimes mentally and physically, does not return until five months later depending on how far the team progresses into the postseason.
Despite the misconception of glamor 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 the women of this league, there are moments where from the time you wake up until the time you sleep and every meal and moment in between is spent alone or with your child. Depending on the frequency that you and your spouse move to a new city, “making friends” and reprogramming your life, can be difficult.
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 the absence of 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. I will always remember how during this crucial moment of our lives, he was hundreds of miles away making tremendous sacrifices for our family and I was pregnant and alone.
This will forever be my testimony. God is amazing! During my time of worry, he already knew that our son would come two weeks early and at 38 weeks, the week I gave birth, my husband's team was playing in the city where we lived 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 gave us opportunities to travel the world, financial fortitude and generational wealth, friends and family across the country. Football gave 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 has been 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 seven in this business, the year of completion, we are grateful for this football life.
God Bless and Go Steelers!
Edited by Joy Davis