‘Anything’ but a back up Quarterback

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I didn’t grow up dreaming about being a college football coaches wife. I did however grow up dreaming of my calling, who I would be, what my purpose would be. Long story short, I’ve realized that my purpose is made up of tiny little moments, kind of like pixels in a picture. I won’t know what my life looked like until it’s over. I won’t understand these tiny moments fully until I take my birds eye view.
Tiny moment number 1: Fall in love with the boy… who loves football, lives football (and Jesus! What a hottie!), and ultimately will coach football.
We got married and the unspoken choice to support his calling, coaching, as a couple was basically a given. This career would be the fourth wheel in this marriage steering us here and there from one job to the next. With this career came the obvious “get a job wherever you can” mentality. I had no career, I had no consistency. I felt like college, my dreams, maybe even God’s purpose for me was forced to take a backseat to football.
Brett was a Grad Assistant and so I spent the first five years feeling like life would be on hold until he found a full time job. To say this was a discouraging way to live was an understatement. Friends moved on with new jobs and adventures, we had chosen to leave our church and just didn’t pick back up somewhere consistently, and I was both miserable, but ok with it because my life (babies, finding a career, etc.) wouldn’t start until Brett got that full time job.
Tiny moment number 2: I was stale, stagnant. I cried out to the Lord. This was year four. Why hadn’t Brett found something? I knew God had called Brett to this profession so why the delay? We were dangerously close to him becoming unemployed. I had stopped at a red light in my car and was just pouring my sadness out to Him. In that moment a still small voice – clearly not one that lived in my head – said, “If you don’t commit fully to the place I have moved you, Amanda, then how can I know you will when I provide that next step? Act like this is where you will be forever, and when the time comes, and I know you are both ready, I’ll move and you will too.”
In that moment I dedicated my life in a way I had never before – all in. I plunged into the deep end, fully involved in church, building more relationships at work, just building a life. And then it happened,
Tiny Moment number 3: We moved! And taking what I learned, I built a life! I had a baby! I had fully immersed myself into the community, I had friends, I was a worship leader, I led Bible study, and we helped start a church that is thriving today. And at the peak of it all, I was feeling a little empty again.
Tiny Moment number 4: We were called by a friend who was starting a program in Atlanta and asked Brett to interview for an assistant job. The money was the same, the cost of living was higher, and I would have to find a job. I was doubtful that choosing to pursue this was a good idea, it didn’t make sense to pursue it based on the way our life was settled. There I met the new offensive coordinator on his first day. In a quick conversation he immediately started to tell me his testimony and that his first priority was to start a coaches Bible study. (You don’t hear that every day from a coach) God made it evident – now was the time to move us to improve Brett’s work environment, our quality of life, and mostly, move our son around godly examples of men. And so, we moved.
Tiny Moment number 5: I was given the understanding that just because man doesn’t get why we are doing something, doesn’t mean it isn’t God ordained. God showed up in so many ways. I got a job, I had my first house, we had a great school and I was helping lead worship in the most amazing, professional environment that I had ever dreamed of! I loved our little home and the hope for a new start.
During this time I began to see that I needed to get off the bench. I was that back up player for my husband. I felt God nudging me. I had been writing and singing for years just in my spare time and loved being around women and teaching them the Bible.
Tiny moment number 6: God gave me a dream. It was weird, I felt embarrassed, almost, because it felt too big. I was on a stage, speaking to women. Lots of women. It took me years to admit this to anyone. And then I read Restless – Because I was made for more (I’m personalizing this title). Mapping out who I am, the events that shaped me, changed me, made me realize I was being prepared for this big dream, even if it was taking little steps bit by bit to get me ready.
Tiny perfect moment number 7: I had prayed about our money situation, things were tight, it was doable but we literally did nothing but work because that’s all we could afford. I just shared my heart with the Lord Praying Ephesians 3:20, asking him to do beyond any plan of mine because I knew His plan was always way better. Two days later, my husband came in telling me that his Alma Mater university was looking to hire a new head coach and he was going to apply. I sat on our stairs, thinking about the house we had purchased 4 months earlier and knew this was God’s doing. Brett told me, “Amanda, there’s no way I’m getting this job, relax.” And that was history. He was named new head coach a week later and we were moving to a teeny tiny town called Livingston, Alabama.
Living in Livingston has shown me that I was being prepared for this. The move wasn’t just for Brett, but it is for me as well. We have no women’s Bible studies in any churches. Most of the women’s get togethers are not to encourage godly fellowship, and it is a segregated community in many ways.
Final moment that launched my Anything: I was asked to join a Bible study with 6 women in Livingston and on our first get together, ended up being the leader of our 6 week study. During this time, I attended a women’s event in Birmingham, Alabama by myself, met amazing women from Tuscaloosa that were fully executing IF events and serving one another in their church, I saw and spoke to Jen Hatmaker, I surrendered my commitment to serve women and came back and jumped in the deep end again.
I held a women’s event 3 weeks later, right at the beginning of summer (when no one is here). I was nervous, panicky, and almost quit several times. My pastor’s wife and a woman in our church met with me and with everything I shared, they were supportive. We said, if 20 show up, we will call it a success. On the day of our table event, we had 26 women attend which is bigger than I’d imagined. I’ve had women in town tell me they heard about our event and missed it but can’t wait for the next one! I’m hosting If:table on a monthly basis and beginning to dream up ways to have a fully established nondenominational women’s ministry by the end of this year.
My anything is really realizing that His plan is what I want. I will do what He has asked because everytime I say ‘YES’ everytime I say ‘ok, anything you say’ not only is it wildly successful, but women have been asking for more. I’m not fully unlocked with my Anything but I want to be and this is only His beginning for me in it all. I’ve realized that I’m not just a supporting character in my husband’s story, I’m the heroine in my own and I can’t wait to see the next ‘Anything’ that God has in store!
It’s just the tiny moments, pixels, that have me hopeful. I’ll be happy to see the end result from my birds eye view.