Many people have asked me how I landed in life coaching as a profession. I’ve mentioned my journey through a degree in one of the many “helping professions” and our five year journey into missions, but there was one particular event that spurred me on to pursue God’s calling on my life as I’ve never done before. It involved a dear friend and her very real, very personal struggle. I’ve asked her permission to share part of the story and she has agreed, knowing that God has now redeemed her struggle and can use it for His glory. She is so brave.
Here is her story… the events that God used to change her heart and turn my own life upside down.
It was Christmas Day. I had spent most of the previous day baking, cooking, and preparing for Christmas dinner and the guests we were having. Not living near our own family, we had happily settled for the next best thing, sweet friends with whom we could celebrate.
The table was set, I was in the middle of putting my youngest down for her morning nap. My husband came upstairs and said that my friend and neighbor Jill (we’ll call her that) had come to the door and was looking for me. I was annoyed that she wouldn’t think about Christmas Day and the things I was in the middle of doing. I impatiently asked my husband to let her know I’d try to get over to her later.
Several hours went by. I completely forgot about Jill. It was a ½ hour before our company came.
Jill knocked again. I answered.
“Can I talk to you for a minute?”
I could see the strain on her face to not cry. Her 21-week pregnant belly was a cute bump under her dress. I sighed.
This must be important…
I glanced over my shoulder at the carefully laid buffet with covered food waiting for the guests.
“Sure,” I said, “what’s up?”
“Can you come to my house?” Her eyes pleaded with me.
You have GOT to be kidding me.
“No problem. Let me take off my apron.”
We walked together back to her house. She was much quieter than usual and it dawned on me that it was Christmas Day, and I hadn’t seen her husband around.
“Why weren’t they at their family’s home?,” I asked myself.
“So, how was your Christmas Eve work party?” I glanced at her face. It fell.
“It was nice.” Short. Strange.
We finally arrived at her front door, and she let me in ahead of her. I helped myself to her couch and waited. She wouldn’t sit down. Finally, she turned to me and said, “Can you just give me a hug?”
Oh, man. What is going on?!
“Jill, what’s going on? What happened?”
“Dave left.” Her words muffled through my shoulder and sent a shock into my head.
He left?! What does that mean? I pulled back and put my hands on her shoulders.
“Jill, what do you mean?”
And that, was the beginning. Two years earlier, my husband and I had been asked to participate in their wedding as a bridesmaid and groomsman. (I’ll never let her forget how much she owes me for putting on a bridesmaid dress at 34 weeks pregnant.) Recently, Dave had been distant and she had been upset over his lack of attention. On Christmas Eve, after their party with friends, he had told her that he no longer loved her, that he had never loved her, and that he was leaving. Just like that, she was left alone, 21 weeks into her pregnancy. Months away from welcoming their first child.
For the next 2 months, between another friend and I, we visited Jill daily. We made sure she was eating, that she had food in the house, that she went to her obstetric appointments, and that she was thinking ahead to make some decisions. My visits were to listen and pray. Every night. For hours on end.
And every night, I asked the same question, “God, why me?! I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea what to say to her!”
And I continued to hear the same thing, “Trust Me, daughter. I’m going to bring good from this for both of you.”
Looking back, I can see exactly what God was doing through this in my own life. First and foremost, He taught me that I don’t have to have all the answers. Jill’s questions and tearful wonderings were heart wrenching, and I hated it. I’m a “fixer”, part of my God-given wiring. He taught me to rely on and lean into His Word, the absolute truth. We worked through some issues together that showed her her own responsibility in the situation. God’s Word and His Holy Spirit shed light on her sin unlike any words of mine could ever do. Finally, He showed me what it’s like to work as one of a team who meets a need. I wasn’t the only one going over to Jill’s house. We had a mutual friend who had walked through something similar that gave incredible insight and wisdom to Jill that I never could have. A pastor who was close to both Jill and Dave actually tracked Dave down and then became an integral, imperative part of their restoration.
Yes, there WAS restoration. Complete, whole, incredible, miraculous restoration. The day their son was born, Dave next to Jill in the delivery room, I wept, astounded at what God had done.
And that was the beginning for me. God spoke so clearly, so beautifully through this dark time. I got to watch Him take a broken marriage, completely hopelessly destroyed, and bring it back into a redeemed family.
And He did use me. Anything good that I contributed was completely of His Spirit.
THAT is what lead me into Life Coaching. God has taken my journey with Jill and used it as a catalyst to have me be trained and certified to walk alongside others who need someone to listen, someone to pray, someone to help them seek and search for the direction.
I don’t have all the answers, but I know the One who does. I’m humbled and amazed that He would choose me to partner with Him in this way! It is a God-ordained mix of my best strengths and my most difficult weaknesses.
Something only He can make into beauty for His kingdom.
Is there some way that I can use this gift to walk alongside you for a time?