Originally posted on The Family Greenhouse on July 15, 2017 by Michelle Duke

Tonight my coaching page goes live as we announce to the world that I am now a certified professional life coach.  As is often the case in my life, I sit back and marvel at God’s plans for my life that look nothing like the plans I had made for myself.  Six months ago when my precious friend, Abigail called and told me I needed to pray about taking a 16-week course to become a life coach/relationship coach, I thought she was crazy.

Tools in the Toolbox

For the past 10 years I have been active in ministry, both as a lead pastor’s wife and most recently as an associate pastor’s wife and I am now beginning to recognize that I did many of those years of ministry with very few actual helpful tools in my toolbox.  Not at all to diminish the power of the Holy Spirit and His guidance and direction as I have ministered to others, but I realized that there was much more that I could offer to individuals, apart from my own advice.

What We All Need

As a DC on the DISC personality assessment, I see things very black and white and I seek to fix first and ask questions later.  I learned through my coaching classes, that the greatest gift we can give to our clients is to listen first and ask questions second.  Notice, this is the exact opposite of the approach I had taken for all those years previous.  As I recall my own experience with being coached, I find such tremendous value in this approach and am exceedingly grateful that I now significantly more tools in my toolbox to give individuals exactly what they want and need (whether they realize it or not).

A Breath of Fresh Air

In 2014, I met Scott and Abigail and having participated in counseling and therapy in the past, I had zero desire to return to either one of those; but they painted a completely different picture of what coaching is and I knew that I needed a third party, a neutral party, to help me sort through some personal issues I was going through.  Coaching was indeed a breath of fresh air from the more traditional approaches most are familiar with.  Only one session in, I walked away feeling such a sense of relief, simply feeling as if I had truly been heard.  Over the next few months, with the Doust’s help, I developed some vision, action steps and SMART goals and I identified obstacles that would stand in the way of my progress.  I am a better woman, wife, mother and minister because of my time spent in coaching.

Powerful Questions

I am positively giddy and beside myself with excitement as I embark on a journey of offering this same hope and blessing to others.  During our coaching class, we were given an assignment to coach one-on-one with someone other than a classmate.  I had the honor of coaching a dear friend of mine and after two sessions with her, she brought me to tears when she told me that the questions I had asked her had opened a mental door in her brain that for so long she had kept locked and barricaded.  For the first time in years, she had given herself permission to dream and to cast vision as to what she wants her life to look like in 3 months, 6 months and a year.  I witnessed in her what I had experienced myself, the precious gift of being heard, being asked powerful, thought-provoking questions and having the support and accountability of another who truly desires to see you reach your full God-given potential.  So here I go- trusting the God who knows me best as I coach others!

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