A slight breeze blows through our open window in the family room when I sit down on the couch next to H, phone between us. He turns off the television and we watch the numbers change on the digital face of the cable box. We have three minutes.
At 1:00pm he picks up the phone, scans for the number, selects speaker phone and we wait. When a familiar voice answers, Terry Walling, Leader Breakthru, H chants a silly stream of nonsense inciting all of us toward laughter.
Terry is a leadership coach who lives in Chico, California but his presence in our lives is as close as our kitchen. Not only has he been our lifeline through this transition, we serve up some boisterous chatter about the LA Dodgers, their grandkids and dream about the next time we’ll see each other, perhaps walking the streets of London. He and his wife Robin have become our dearest friends.
Calls are prescheduled but every one of them is a divine appointment.
Our relationship with Terry began several years ago on the phone during an interview for a feature story I was writing. His outgoing, generous nature is endearing but I knew God had something more in mind when I hung up. A somersault took place in my spirit.
It was the beginning of a partnership for H working with Terry toward leadership development with people around the country. This is a passion that fuels our ministry.
If we want to be effective for the Kingdom, we cannot be lone rangers. Servants of Jesus need mentors and coaches who help them become successful leaders.
While Terry pours himself into leaders, he mostly pulls out the ways in which God is already at work in the lives of people. And when you are living in isolation, on the cusp of moving into the next season, wise coaching isn’t just gold dust, it is bucket of nuggets that save you.
Lest you think we’ve navigated this move by ourselves, let me squash your idealism. We don’t come to clarity alone is Terry’s mantra.
If you feel stuck in the midst of transition, there is hope. Sometimes it comes through those he has called to be a voice crying out in your wilderness.
Your first step is to ask for help. And then trust God with the outcome.
For helpful guidance regarding transitions, read Terry’s groundbreaking book Stuck! — Navigating the Transitions of Life and Leadership.
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