I Should Have Stood Up For Her

Photo Credit: Vicky Pratt

Photo Credit: Vicky Pratt

(There are purposefully no names in this post)

I am going to share a major hurt with you. I strongly dislike showing my weakness, but this one is necessary because I learned so much from it. Here goes:

Years ago, my fiance (at the time) and I took a job at a junior college. It was his second college coaching job, his first was as a student coach. We made wonderful friends there, almost immediately. You see, in coaching, no matter where you go you will have friends in the coaching staff. You won’t always like them, but you will have a support group none the less. At this particular place, we were actual friends.

There was one coach’s wife in particular who I loved! She was fun and witty. She even had a special part in our wedding day. We walked together and talked together. We made brownies and dinners for the players together. She was my friend, a great one. I mean REALLY great!

I am sure anyone reading this would be surprised to know that we have not spoken in almost 5 years. Well, here is the story…

There were four coaches wives at this school, including myself and my friend. One of them lived in a town about 45 minutes away and we rarely saw her. The other lived across the street from me. One day I will blog about difficult coach’s wives and how to handle them, and she will likely be an example.  She was married to the coach who made all of the staff decisions, we can just leave it at that.

She and I went quite a few places together. There were times she was fun and I enjoyed being in her company. Other times, though, she would tell me things she surely should not have. Many times what she would tell me I would later find out was untrue. One time in particular, upon hearing that my husband was being considered for a D-1AA position in Arkansas, she told me “If it doesn’t work out, you need to stick around because {someone} is getting fired soon.” That someone was supposedly my friend’s husband. I listened silently and in shock. I had no idea what to say. All I could think on that car-ride home was; what the heck am I going to do about this? Why did she tell me this.? Is she testing me? Is God testing me? I, naturally, did absolutely nothing.

Until a few weeks later, when I confessed the secret to my dear friend. I had kept it inside for so long, but finally felt like she needed to know.

A day or two earlier, I had told my husband and our roommate, they both shrugged it off and said there is no way he is getting fired. They were right, I am sure, he was too good of a coach to be fired.

I will never forget how upset she was and how hurt she was.

In my mind, she had to be upset with the other coach’s wife, not me. I had done nothing. I was simply a fly on the wall. I knew he would not be fired.

I have become much wiser over the past few years. I now know that there are so many things I could have done differently. Up until a few weeks ago, if you had asked I would have said the best thing for me to have done is NOT tell her.

Yesterday, I was listening to the Christian music station, and it dawned on me. The DJ was talking about standing up for people when they are unable to, or when they are not around to stick up for themselves–more specifically Leviticus 19:16 “You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.” My duty as her friend and sister in Christ was to stand up for her and her husband. I am bound to do all I can to protect the life of my neighbor, against wicked things. My greatest mistake was not doing anything.   I should have told her that she can’t tell me things about my friends or say untrue things about them to me. It is not right. It is hurtful and can change a strong relationship. It is okay to have courage to stick up for others, even when you are in a position that can effect  your spouse’s job.

I can’t wish to go back and change that interaction. In fact, I don’t want to. It was an experience that I have learned so much from. The only thing I can do is continue asking for forgiveness.



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