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  • "don't flinch"

    I'm a football coach's wife and I get my husband's assistant coaches wives gifts to kick off the season and give it to them at the first home game. I was in love with your story, saw you wanted to hear our stories, so here is mine. Sorry its a tad long!

    This year is special and I wanted to get them something to be inspirational. I want to get something that says "don't flinch" your bracelets/necklaces look like the perfect fit, a stylish thing that would remind these football wives that no matter what this crazy football life holds for them... believe me it's a constant uncertainty in the area of work/family stability... to know God has them and has good plans for them!

     You see, my daughter, Ella Kate, was born in February with a cleft palate and something called pierre robins sequence. Both we were unaware of so it was quite a shock when we were told she couldn't breathe on her own or eat. We then spent 71 days in the NICU. the struggle ahead of us was unfathomable.

     But the "don't flinch" comes from months earlier. My husband was asked to speak to FCA at a local high school the day he was leaving for an away game on a bus. He reluctantly agreed and decided to just give a speech he had given before. But in the process of preparing for the speech, God just moved him to look at the story of Joshua and the words "don't flinch -God has you" just kept coming to him. Brett shared with the kids that sometimes God gives us promises and in between us and that promised blessing can often be struggles, obstacles, Giants even (ala Joshua and the promised land) But like Joshua, if we don't flinch and we end up reaping the blessings we are promised.

     The day of his game, 10/31/15, I was in the stands, watching everything go wrong in a game and we were getting beat badly. Just as we kicked off after halftime, my mother in law was on the phone and ran out of the stands screaming. What I found out was that her mother's house was on fire and both parents were inside. By the end of the game I had to share this news with my husband. We lost his grandfather to a heart attack and through a long road of recovery, ICU and rehab, his grandmother is living. Through this whole thing we saw my mother in law face the drama and struggle head on never flinching.

     We went through some uncertainty about my husband’s job in the months before I had Ella and he had 3 coaches get hired by bigger schools. My son Rece, a month before delivery, was diagnosed with human growth hormone deficiency and had to start treatments.  so with a staff needing to be filled, a new normal of administering daily meds to our son through a shot, fear for our daughters recovery and many surgeries on the horizon, we faced life in a hospital with many unknowns.

    But through this all my husband and I dealt daily with the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty of everything with God whispering, "Don't Flinch, I have you." I started to "live in the daily" as I call it. I focused on my next 24 hours and prayed and read a psalm a day. Even in this scripture I not only found encouragement but empathy for my despaired feelings that I might be facing. I began posting pictures with scripture, I was encouraged by on my instagram account and found that it not only encouraged and lifted me up, it helped others too.

     After all this is said and done, our daughter is growing, using a feeding tube and the happiest baby ever. My son was admitted to a clinical trial to take his meds 2 times a month rather than 6 days a week. my husband finally received a contract extension that gives us a peace while we work through our children’s' temporary circumstances and treatment, we filled our coaching staff with some stellar replacements. And my husband is joyous and excited about our upcoming football season! We see the promise land, we are closed to settling down in it. We didn't flinch, we clung to Jesus in our time of need, we said, “This is GOOD, God will deliver us”. We were (or made our best effort to be) strong and courageous like we read in Joshua.  

     

    Don't Flinch, God has you.

    Amanda Gilliland

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