February 4, 2017
For 9.5 years I’ve often been introduced as, “This is Emily Smith, her husband is the Rodeo Coach at WOSC.” All of that changed last week. Here’s a little snippet of my reflections. It’s long, please bear with me…
Often, I write down thoughts I want to remember – statements of affirmation that I need to write, hear, see, say. Last week, while driving to town, I found the only piece of paper available and wrote down these two statements that I needed to believe. The first had just been said by Brayden, the second by Tilden. Their mama was crying, and they knew she was in a bad way. The news that Guy had chosen to end his career as the Rodeo Coach at WOSC was less than an hour old.
No one died. Our health is good. This carrying on may seem petty to some, but I know many understand how this job was so much more than a J-O-B. My heart broke for us – for the rodeo kids that were left without their coach; for the future rodeo kids we would never know; for the hole left by this sudden change in our way of living; and for the uncertainty of our future. For the last five days, it has taken just a simple comment to open the flood gates and then I’m gone, again.
Yet, as Guy said in his post Monday evening, “All GOOD things must come to an end, to make way for BETTER things to happen, because the BEST is yet to come”. In fact, “better” things have already happened.
*The young man who came into my office within the first hour of my arrival “the day after” and sat with me while I cried. He didn’t run away. He sat with me until I was OK and told me he would be praying for us.
*The outpouring of kindnesses from so many of our friends expressing their concern for us. They understood the sorrow. They didn’t ask for details, because it didn’t and doesn’t matter. They prayed for us. They gave me words of reassurance when my mind had NONE.
*The messages from past and present rodeo kids to Guy and I both. The friendships we’ve built over the last 9.5 years will last a lifetime!
*The support from the kids who Guy left behind. These kids are faithful, strong, and just pretty darn awesome! They’ve obviously been raised right, and some have already been out to the house to practice. Guy will always be willing to help kids that want to get better.
*The messages of support from the parents of our past and current rodeo kids, who had entrusted Guy with their children for two years. They prayed for us. They expressed their gratitude for the time their kids had and said words so kind and faith-filled it brought more tears to my eyes.
*The friend who I ran into while in Walmart. Who wants to stand around in Walmart longer than they need to? Yet, this friend stood and talked with me. Reassured me. Said he would pray for me and spoke the right words at the right time.
*My husband, who after a few days, said, “Maybe this isn’t about us. Maybe this is happening so that we can help one more kid move forward.” A closed door for one, is an open door for another, and we’d hold the door open wide for this one.
*The friend who cried with me. Your heart is so good, and your visit to my office meant so much to me.
*Finally, the multiple friends who called Guy within the first 24 hours and said “I might have something for you.” We are so fortunate to have so many people that care about us and that fully understood the ramifications of such a decision. As well, we are amazed that an opportunity opened-up within days that put Guy back into the workforce and will allow us to stay in Jackson County! Praise God!
It wasn’t just a job, and while it wasn’t MY job, the nature of it made it a part of my life as much as it was a part of his. As well, a lot has been built both physically, and in our hearts, in the 9.5 years that Guy was coaching. Letting go is always a struggle.
I write all of this to say three things.
1 – THANK YOU to all of you who said all of the right words at the right time.
2 – I truly believe that there was a Greater Hand in all of this. So many people have been praying for us, and I’ve never felt the power of prayer more than I have in the last few days – both in the changes taking place in my heart and the changes taking place in our circumstances. This could have played-out in a variety of ways, but the right pieces have fallen into place in so many different areas, that I’m certain our boys were right when they said, “God has a plan”.
3 – I’m going to need a new introduction.