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In the shadow of the stadium lights, there sits a woman. She is waiting, making small talk with the other women who also wait. They watch their children play, make their grocery lists, or contemplate the day’s events. While she is not alone, she often feels lonely for the choices she has made have landed her here, away from her home and the things and people that she’s always known.
She is beautiful, strong, funny, smart and accomplished in her own right, yet has chosen to make his dream her focus. She waits. Her peripheral vision is on the door. Every time a figure enters the doorway, her heart leaps a little. “Is it him?”, her mind quickly hopes. If not now, she knows it will eventually be him in that doorway and a smile will come across both of their faces at that moment. They both are relieved at seeing each other, they are attached at the heart, and she is a safe place for him to return to after a long day of battle. That battle at any given time is of the heart, the mind, or of the body or of all. She provides him rest, support, comfort and a safe place to land. That is her role, and that role is as vital as the job he does.
Much of her world is spent in the shadow of him. Not because he is an ogre or a dictator, but because the lights shine so brightly on him and his world, and the majority of eyes focus so closely on what he does or doesn’t do, that her life is out of the center. She accepts that role, even enjoys it because his dream is her dream too. Together they live it out, dream of the possibilities and weather the ups and downs together.
But what of her dreams? Will there be a time for her to walk out her destiny? Will she have a time to find and live out her purpose? Does it have to come at the expense of their collective dream or can both dreams coexist?
The truth is, as a sports wife, our husband’s time of playing is much shorter than we ever expect it will be, even though in the day-to-day, it may seem like it will last forever (especially if it’s been a difficult season). I remember when our team had made it to the World Series and thinking (mistakenly), that this was what it was going to be like from that time on…I could not have been more wrong. It never was the same again. But life seldom is.
Do you ever find yourself torn between being supportive and being bored or unfulfilled? Do you ever wish that you could do your “thing” with no tie whatsoever to your husband’s field? Has it been difficult for your relationship to step outside a little bit just to discover who you are and what you have been put here to do?
Like many sports wives, you may crave something, but you are not sure what that something is, so you end up working with what is around you to find it. Working out, shopping, doing tourist-y things, hanging out with other wives, seeing movies, traveling with the team, and participating in the team’s local fundraising programs, all keep us wives occupied. It staves off some of the boredom and loneliness, but may not exactly fill that void in our soul to live our specific purpose.
Don’t get me wrong, there is much excitement and satisfaction from living that life. But as we well know, there are many uncertainties, things beyond our control that take away from that excitement and satisfaction. At any given time, the sports couple/family can be uprooted by injury, trades, releases, retirements, etc. There is very little control of our lives…and we wives are even more so challenged to remain flexible and adaptable because of that.
So what of this pursuit of purpose? Is it even realistic or doable or attainable?
We are different, and we are the same, as every other person who seeks to find their true purpose in life. We are different by our circumstance, but we are the same because it is a human condition to leave a legacy and a mark on the world when we are gone. So the path for discovering your passionate purpose is the same as it is for those living outside our little bubble. The steps to follow remain constant. I believe with my whole heart that this road will get you to see things more clearly about what you have been designed to do, be, and have with your life, regardless of what happens in your husband’s sports career.
In the next article, I help you to understand how you figure out your purpose. Click here!