As far back as I can remember, my heart was drawn to helping others. I was often the one to lighten the load, give the extra hug, or try to make someone laugh. Sitting together to help others “figure things out” is my jam.
I remember volunteering in first grade to write for a girl who broke her arm. In fifth grade, showing a new student around was at the top of my list. In high school, it was acting as a sounding board and confidant to others. I spent time volunteering with the Service Over Self club. This club helped me to see more and do more to help in the community.
In my first, “real job” at age 15, I worked for an insurance agent after school and on weekends. Little did I know that this would become a 38+ year career. My many roles across those years allowed me to blend my passion to help people and my business acumen. Becoming an expert was integral to helping others, so, I set my sights on learning and sharing knowledge and trying to affect positive change.
Volunteering with my church was a given. Eleven years ago, our leadership team began exploring changes in participation and engagement. We worked with Gallup® to further study engagement in faith-based communities. Exploring talents and gifts, and each person’s unique calling, was integral in this work. This was my first formal and professional entrée into engagement and coaching. Enrolling in my first individual coaching class, I left each day feeling energized.
In my excitement I told my husband, “I think this is what I’m supposed to be doing.” Knowing my willingness to jump in and help, he asked, “And when are you going to have time for that?” I needed time to figure that out.
After more research, I knew I’d need more education. It was shortly after this discovery that the Lord sent me an angel, a new colleague. Meeting at an event, we discovered the intersection of his need to build and connect his team and my talent and passion in this specific area. At the end of our two days together, we traded – financing the education for a year of coaching his team.
And so, it began.
This clarity of call and purpose was my first obvious nudge from the Lord that I should explore the call.
I jumped in with both feet. I was able to build skill and knowledge during this time. As before, I found that I was able to blend talent, passion, calling, and experience in this new field. With my background in business and the changing corporate landscape, I felt there was a need I could fulfill. It became clear I could make the biggest impact by coaching leaders and their employees.
While intriguing, my business colleagues didn’t understand my call to this space. So, I started connecting with other coaches, Christian coaches. This connection was like a wonderful homecoming, nudge number two. Through God’s wonderful placement of these individuals in my life, I stepped forward with confidence. I started my own business as a professional coach while maintaining my full-time job. Additionally, I set about learning and working to achieve industry coaching certifications.
Although energizing, juggling a full-time demanding job and a side business became a lot. Nudge number three came recently as I parted ways with my long-time employer. After a long and successful career, it was a hard step. I prayed every day and journaled about what my next steps might be. I am one month into solely living my calling as a professional coach and helping others and I haven’t looked back. Any fears I had are history.
The Lord continues to provide me with opportunities, options, and tools to help me make progress and serve others more deeply. I am blessed by God’s grace and am humbled by His unending faithfulness.
Originally published in Christian Coaching Magazine Fall 2022