There are certain chapters of the Bible that are so tempting to skip over, especially those that have lists - so many lists! Within these seemingly tedious lists are nuggets of God's goodness and intricate attention to detail. Joshua 21 has more than 40 verses listing the towns and pasturelands granted to the Levites, but if you give up before verse 45, you'll totally miss out.
"Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything He had spoken came true." Joshua 21:45
Today was my last session with Angel*, an amazing woman I've been coaching for 7 months. What a bitter sweet day! I have come to love her so much. Before our meeting today, I planned to glance over my notes from our previous session, but instead I read all 7 months worth which gave me so much perspective.
Angel chose to pursue coaching BC (Before COVID), but our first session was AC (After COVID) on March 23rd. When she initially signed up, she had several areas of change and growth she was pursuing, but, as is true for many people, COVID really complicated things. Even apart from the pandemic, the list of unanticipated and challenging circumstances that arose in the last seven months is one most of us would choose to skip over.
- personally owned small-business income went to almost nothing
- adult-child struggling with severe drug addiction
- miscarriage of grandchildren
- family home foreclosed/had to move-in with another family member
- extended family member died of COVID
- intense conflict in a close relationship
- health issues resulted in a botched surgery, causing health issues to become more significant... just to name a few.
In one of our earliest sessions together, I asked Angel to rate her emotional health and well-being on a scale from 1-10 (1 being worst, 10 being best). Her score was recorded as a 5 that day, but, here we are, exactly 7 months later, several circumstances haven't improved from when we began and others have grown more complicated. That may seem like a coaching fail, but you can't skip over the meticulous details or you will miss the nuggets of God's goodness. Without any reminders of her initial answer, today she responded to the same question with a 7. An increase from 5 to 7 may not seem like much, but - read that list again. The number staying the same or dropping only 1 or 2 points would have been a win, but it went up 2 points!
In March I also asked her, "Do you think a 7 or 8 is possible?" She explained that while a 7-8 may be possible, she couldn't think of a time in her life when she was at that level; therefore, it seemed like a long shot. Today she proved that "long-shots" are possible.
I can't give you a formula for the things she did to maintain and even grow in her emotional health during such a difficult season... maybe one day she will write a guest post for me to share her experience! I also don't want to sugar coat her situation. I'm sure she'd love to be skipping through a field of sunflowers right now; that's not where she's at, but she's growing and learning to not just survive but to thrive. This I do know, Angel began growing a relationship with Jesus, she was intentional, she showed up when I'm sure it would have been easier to stay home, and she was fervently prayed over by her coach. I believe with all my heart that the God who was faithful to the Israelites is faithful to Angel today.
When I asked Angel's permission to share just a piece of her story, she was so humble yet eager to share in hopes it would be an encouragement to you all. Her parting words to me were, "[I am] the person who never feels worthy, but I feel more worthy today than ever..."
What tedious thing in your life do you wish you could just skip over?
In what ways has God been faithful to you in the past that you can apply to your current circumstance?
Do you know that you are also so very valuable and worthy?
*Anonymity and confidentiality are a priority of every coaching session. This story is shared with Angel's permission, and she requested I use her name rather than an alias.