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I Have Called You By Name

Have you ever felt you couldn’t set any goals? Are you not sure where 2023 is going to take you? Are there things in your life you see as failures?

This is how I was showing up on a coaching call with Matt Ingold and a group of other Catholic coaches. I was looking and watching, and through my perception, everyone else was succeeding and I was being left behind. I didn’t have the energy to even want to try. I knew my temperament as a Sanguine/Choleric that by nature, I am happy, positive and like new challenges.

Normally, I love the last week of the year, planning and dreaming of what will come. I love early mornings, beginnings of the week, the new school year, anything that is new and offers the next exciting adventure. But that is not what I was thinking or feeling on this coaching call.

I decided to be vulnerable and trust a master coach. I raised my hand to get coached, and told Matt, “I’m really struggling with setting goals for 2023. I think back to December 2019, and how COVID completely changed 2020. I look back at what happened this year and how my life is not where I thought it would be. I think of all the things I haven’t succeeded in and don’t even want to try.” Tears came to my eyes as I shared this wound.

Matt was gentle and understanding. He asked me what my feeling was when I think about setting goals. I told him, “Disappointment which leads to this thought of why even try?”

As a wonderful guide, he talked to me about where disappointment comes from when we set goals. Knowing that my top Gallup CliftonStrength is Learner, he recommended a book to read. He, then, encouraged me to use the Metanoia Journal and invite the Lord into my goal setting.

When I found Metanoia Catholic April 2022, I knew in my heart I had found gold. I immediately ordered the journal, joined the Academy and requested a coaching session. These people were amazing and so on target! Every time I make an appointment for coaching, or request to be coached on our group coaching, I come away with a feeling of being heard and accepted. I go and do the work which my coach recommends, and I see progress.

I trusted what Matt had to offer. I ordered the book when we got off the call, and set the intention to invite the Lord into my goal setting.

This year, I journaled with the Lord on Christmas Eve morning about my goals for 2023. I have a business, Wisdom Wellness Coaching. I help women understand their unique gifts and talents through their own beautiful cycle. I teach and coach women to use the Billings Ovulation Method to better understand their bodies  and the gift of themselves. While I was journaling, many things about my business came up. My primary though that I captured was: “Can I do it this time?” Fear of failure came up… again. I found all of the evidence of all the times I hadn’t met my goals. I thought of all the times others succeeded and I hadn’t. As I looked at these thoughts, the Lord showed me that these thoughts were coming from vainglory and pride. I was depending upon what others were going to say about me. I was measuring my success by comparing myself to others. I was only looking at “winning” one way.

This is the reason I love the Metanoia Journal so much! While secular coaching, personal development and journaling can help us capture our thoughts and give us the opportunity to shift those thoughts, the Metanoia Journal has Exercise 6: Release and Exercise 7: Metanoia. These exercises are our opportunity to make our journaling a prayer and bring Jesus into these struggles.

Once I was able to identify my own pride, vainglory and self- reliance, I took all that to Jesus, seeking His forgiveness and asking Him to take these things from me in order for me to be who He created me to be. Whenever I do this, I think of Father Gaitely’s comment in his book, Consoling the Heart of Jesus, “It brings Jesus great joy when we allow Him to be our Savior.”

Now the deep and juicy stuff – METANOIA. The change! I took this fear of failure and my thoughts on goal setting to the Lord and asked Him what He had to say. His answer: “I have plans for you that are for good and not evil. I have called you by name.” My name.

I teach in my Catechism class how important our names are to God. He is a personal God who calls us personally. So I looked up my name: Jane Elizabeth. Jane means “God is gracious.” Elizabeth means “God is bountiful.”

Then, the day’s Gospel reading came to me: “You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.” (Luke 2: 76) My name means I am to prepare the way for the Lord, reminding others that God’s grace is bountiful. But it goes even further than this. A dear friend nicknamed me, “Mama Jane”. This is the name I use for my business. This is how any Catholic coach addresses me. This is what my clients call me.

I talked to the Lord about this name. I gave Him thanks for allowing me to be a mother of the 6 in my family. But He showed me all the other children He has given me through my Business and in my life. The young postpartum mother who became my client and journeyed with me as she navigated postpartum, breastfeeding and having a healthy relationship with her husband; the young girl who wept in my arms after I taught her the beauty of her cycle and the gift of womanhood; the young girl who came to me after Church so I could pray for her as she approached her father about her discerning a religious vocation; a fellow entrepreneur encouraged through my comment on her social media; a priest encouraged through my prayers and words as he was suffering in a way he hadn’t anticipated. All of this God showed me as evidence that I was successful. I felt such joy and gratitude that He created me this way. I felt like a gift. And I knew God loves me.

I have begun to dream of what is possible. After I captured and reflected on the thought, “Can I do it this time?” a new thought came to me: “What if 2023 ends better than I could ever imagine?” I knew this was true after I heard the Lord call me by name. I knew that His ways are not my ways and He has a bigger dream and plan for me. I am Mama Jane.  People are waiting to be served. The Lord desires me to be His prophet. I am called to shine His bountiful grace.

If you are struggling with your own unique call, I want to encourage you to begin to use the Metanoia Journal, make an appointment to get some coaching and come join us in the Academy! It is a place where you will know your own gift of self. It is a place where you will be seen and heard because it is a place where you are called by name.