Coaching to a Higher Purpose

08/13/2017 .
Alexandra Applegate  .  Storytelling Volunteer

A picture of a palm tree and an ocean drawn by Jolie’s eight-year-old daughter hung on her fridge and made her long for home. Jolie and Justin had moved 8 times in 19 years but never back to their Southern California roots and where they wanted to be — Orange County.

Before the most recent move to Atlanta, they had tried to get to California but there were no positions available in Justin’s company. Jolie attempted to keep the mindset that they were all troopers and each move was a new adventure but she longed for a stable community for her family and for herself.

Jolie’s career as a professional life coach allowed her a lot of flexibility but Justin’s career in corporate America ultimately decided where the family would reside. Jolie wanted to believe she was in the driver’s seat and she had everything under control, but with each move, she felt control of her life slipping through her fingers.

While they wanted to be in California, Jolie was a planner. Justin needed a job and she needed a definite game plan before they moved. So they waited.

After being compelled to read The Purpose Driven® Life from the church Jolie attended in Atlanta, she felt something soften  in her heart.

“I’m a planner. I like to have things all mapped out. The Purpose Driven Life challenged me to think differently,” Jolie said. “I didn’t have to know everything. I didn’t have to be in control. I didn’t have to know all the answers.”

Jolie knew she needed to allow God to be in the driver’s seat and to steer her life instead of worrying about things she had no control over. “We knew we were being called to California but Justin didn’t have a job. Rather than being paralyzed and stay put and wait and wait, I prayed. I went to church,” Jolie said. “I couldn’t do it on my own. I had to rely on God.”

It was finally clear that the tugging in her heart to move back home possible started when she was handed a card at church that read, “Anything is Possible, People!” On the back of the card was Matthew 19:26: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Instead of waiting for everything to line up, Jolie chose not to be scared of the unknown but chose to trust God to make their seemingly impossible dream happen. Justin and Jolie had to make a decision so they wouldn’t affect their children’s schooling any more than they already had. It was risky but it was now or never. “I felt a sense of calm come over me. I didn’t know how all the pieces would come together but I had the sense that God was going to take care of us,” Jolie said.

Without a game plan, Jolie and her two children packed up their things, drove to the airport, and said goodbye to Justin — not knowing when he would be able to join them out in California. “But I didn’t feel overwhelmed with fear. God’s hand was in it. He filled me up with a sense of calm when it would have been really easy to freak out,” Jolie said. “He gave me the courage to trust and to pray that everything was going to work out when I didn’t know how.”

Three weeks later, Justin had a job offer in California.

Before actually making it out to California, Jolie had heard of Saddleback Church, listened to Pastor Rick’s sermons online, and had been amazed at everything the church was doing in the world. She didn’t hesitate to make Saddleback her home church and immediately got involved in the classes offered. She soon was baptized, rushed through Class 101 and Class 201, and became a member.

In Class 301, Jolie met with a SHAPE guide who prayed with her, talked with her about her passions and interests, and suggested different ministries where Jolie could volunteer. Jolie, who had read about SHAPE guides before moving to California, saw how her career as a life coach aligned with the skills and passion needed to be SHAPE guide. Jolie knew she could serve God as a SHAPE guide so she signed up.

While Jolie thought she just wanted to get back to where she grew up, God had planted that desire to get to Orange County in her years before. God was preparing Jolie to find her community and her home at Saddleback, and a place where she could use her heart to serve his purpose for her as a SHAPE guide. All he needed was Jolie to trust him and let go of the control she thought she had over her own life.

Now, a year since moving to California, Jolie and her family have settled into their permanent home and aren’t planning on moving anytime soon. Jolie still helps people with professional growth as a life coach but now is able to help people grow spiritually as a SHAPE guide, as well. She knows the only way to help church members find their own place in ministry is to trust God at  the steering wheel.

“I don’t have all the answers and that’s not my job,” Jolie said. “I meet with the person and trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us. I’m just there in that space, trusting the process. I know God has a purpose for that person’s life and God is working through me.”

Jolie is done trying to control her own life and circumstances and instead allows God to lead her and her family’s lives, fully trusting his plan and timing. “The doubts I had in my life about God are gone,” Jolie said. “I know I can trust him and he will provide. I know he has a plan for my life and it is good.”

Learn more about CLASS at Saddleback HERE.

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