The Making of a Champion Coach: How Our Greatest Pains Can Bring Our Greatest Gains

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Life has been a lot these last few months. Our family took some heavy hits as we said “see you later” to the two men who influenced my husband the most. His father and grandfather passed away just two days apart. In light of that, we’ve needed some space, time, and room to process, evaluate, and breathe.

LRG_DSC00843Yesterday was mine and Dex’s 11-month anniversary! I can’t believe we’re only one month away from one year! 🙉  Grateful and amazed by that.

This year Dex coached middle school girls basketball and last night, he and the team brought home the championship trophy for their division!

Y’all the game was nuts!! They went into overtime and won by 2-pts! My nerves. I’m still recovering. 😂🙈

Driving home I reflected how challenging this season has been for Dex professionally and personally. I watched him come home some days excited and motivated and other days challenged and discouraged. I’ve watched him fight to make this season bigger than about basketball, wins, and himself, at a time when he was in need and hurting.

I watched him fight to silence the voices, opinions, and thoughts of others so he could listen to that still small voice inside, choosing to follow that voice.

I watched him wrestle with and own his mistakes and choose to do things differently “next time.” I watched him lead in some amazing ways and help cultivate a team that was unified both on and off the court.

I watched him become the fruit of his Dad’s labor and I couldn’t be more honored to hold the title, “Coach’s Wife” for the first time in my life.

I called my Father-in-Law Coach Reese even though he’d long passed his coaching days and was an elementary school principal by the time I met him. I chose to call him Coach Reese because I saw him live more like a coach than a ruling principal.

He led from the field, not the sidelines; and he didn’t just coach at work, but he also coached at home. Even on his sick bed, I watched him sit with Dex and coach him on coaching. Coach Reese is who God used to help prepare Dex for this job.

It’s tempting to question why God didn’t let Coach Reese stay on earth for just 2 more months so he could witness this championship win himself. But I believe this: If Jesus loves us as much as He says He does, I believe with my whole heart Coach Reese got to see this whole journey and I know he is so so proud of his son.

For those who may have experienced a particularly challenging last few months, or perhaps you’re currently walking through one of the toughest seasons of your life, remember and recognize that there are always moments of sweetness mixed in with pain. Don’t feel guilty for smiling. It’s perfectly good and okay to celebrate, even when your life circumstances tell you otherwise. Whether you’re high or low, your Father, God is right there with you. My prayer for us and for you, is this:

May God be glorified in our brightest victories and our darkest valleys.

Thank You Father for choosing to be present in both.

We needed You.

You knew it.

So You came.

And You’ve stayed.


 Psalm 139:7-12 MSG

 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
    to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
    If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
    to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
    you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
    At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

  • That scripture right there!

    It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

    That’s confirmation for me!!

    Thanks for sharing this!

  • Ura Madkin

    Awesome…congrats and continued prayers!

  • Heather

    Simply beautiful! Congratulations on the big win and continued prayers on the loss of 2 greats!

  • Ruth

    Love this Kandis! I can’t imagine going through this season but God is always bringing celebration out of sorrow. It’s encouraging that you can see that and can share with others. Thank you for sharing!