A passage that is very special to me is Psalm 91, and although I love the entire Psalm, I know I don’t have space to quote all of it, so I’ll share Psalm 91: 1-2, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
In the year 2000, during a major health issue, my mother read Psalm 91 to me over and over. I still love the words that remind me of how I had to totally surrender, trust, and depend on God. At the time, I was a Director for a Fortune 100 company and traveled internationally, enjoyed some great perks, salary, had a busy schedule and yet was pretty much at the call of the corporation.
I was being treated for over a year for migraine headaches. I popped Excedrin Migraine as if they were candy. One day as I sat in an executive staff meeting I sneezed and at the same time screamed out in pain. My head felt as if I’d been stabbed with a knife. I excused myself from the meeting to call my doctor who told me there was a stronger medication but my insurance company required a CAT scan before he could write a prescription.
I promptly had the scan. As I prepared to leave the facility, the radiologist asked to speak with me. He explained that normally he would not be the person to reveal the results of the scan, but he could not allow me to leave the lab without knowing what the scan showed. He slowly pulled out an image of my brain with a large white spot on the right side of the image, a brain tumor the size of a fist. I was speechless. He suggested that I take my CAT scan and go directly to check into the local emergency room, however, I felt God was clear to me in that moment and throughout the coming weeks of all the decisions that I had to make. I felt God told me to take my films and to go home.
I wanted to go home, to see my son. At the time, I had been divorced for over 10 years, and Matthew was my only child. We were ultra-close. How would I tell him? What would I say?
Over the next couple of weeks I saw not only my doctor but several neurosurgeons who confirmed the diagnosis. All seemed to think that I was in a state of denial as I continued to believe it was not “my time” to die.
I had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and told it was inoperable because of the size and location. It was the size of an orange, and wrapped around my main artery and optic nerve. I was told to get my affairs in order—that nothing could be done for me and that at best I may have a few months to live. I still believed that God was telling me it was not my time.
With the help of a wonderful support group of family and friends, we found Dr. Robert Martuza, Chief of Neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA, who today remains my son’s hero. I remember the hope in Mat’s face when Dr. Martuza told me he thought he and his team could operate and successfully remove the tumor yet the risks were very high, and he carefully explained the horrors of those risks.
Our God is faithful. After an eleven hour surgery and several hours in recovery, I awakened to the sound of my son’s voice saying “Mom, you’re ok….” Our God is amazing.
Today, God’s blessings continue to flow in so many areas of my life. Last year I married a wonderful man, Dale, and we have four grown children between us. Our faith is the center of our marriage. We are active individually and as a team in our church. In our spare time, we enjoy gardening in our herb and flower gardens, nature, camping, cooking, and traveling. We just celebrated our first anniversary.
An early adapter to coaching, I had participated in both secular and Christian coach training programs that left me “wanting more.” I had a vision of a high quality “best in class” coach training program that included internationally recognized coaching competencies and a Christian model with Jesus Christ at the core and to include emphasis on building a strong sense of community. As Christian Coaches, we are members of the body of Christ and as I tell my students, you can’t be a Lone Ranger and be a Christian Life Coach. We need each other as God calls us to make an impact for His Glory.
I started my business, Christian Coach Institute, LLC, out of obedience to God as I sensed Him calling me to follow my vision. Since I’ve stepped out it has been an incredible journey.
On Being an Entrepreneur
I love being an entrepreneur because without a doubt, in my heart I know that I am doing the work God has called me to do. I answer to Him and not to a corporation. As an entrepreneur, I intentionally watch to ensure I keep a healthy balance in other areas of my life as I have a tendency to be pretty intense with my focus.
What is my big dream for my business? The BIG DREAM is for Christian Coach Institute to be the global benchmark for Christian coach training programs. All our life coach courses and certification programs for Christian Life Coaching, Career Coaching and Faith and Health Coaching will be recognized as “Best in Class.”
What do I need for this dream to succeed? Our staff needs to discern God’s guidance in building out our organization. We are blessed with the people God has sent to us and the vision He has given each of us individually and collectively. Amazing!
It’s wonderful to watch my faith play out in my career. My faith defines who I am both personally and professionally and this is represented by our organization’s Statement of Faith on our website. As part of the course application process we consider the personal faith of each student to ensure that it is in alignment with the core beliefs of the Christian faith. This is done to maintain the integrity of being certified as a “Christian Life Coach.” We open each class in prayer and devotion and follow up with our students to ask how we can pray for them. We seek guidance from the Holy Spirit in important decisions and desire that God will be glorified in all aspects of our programs.
The biggest risk I have taken in my business? My mom tells me that if I am not outside my comfort zone that it probably isn’t from God so I’m not sure I would say it was a risk to launch CCI, but it was stepping out of my comfort zone.
What 3 tips would I share with a friend setting out on her own entrepreneurial adventure?
1. Pray constantly, and ask others to pray for you as you seek Godly wisdom and discernment. Then, be flexible as the vision takes shape as it may shift.
2. Write your vision down and ensure it is aligned with your values and supported with SMART goals.
3. Have a support team around you who are Dream Makers and not Dream
Snatchers. If God has given you a vision, then He will bring others around you to support His vision.
Janice LaVore-Fletcher is Founder and President of Christian Coach Institute, LLC. She is a Coach Trainer, Speaker, and Seminar Leader, who uses her encouragement, passion, communication skills and “heart” to expand people’s thinking and inspire them to be all that God has called them to be. She brings years of corporate experience in leadership, human resources and training and development in adult education. Her early life coach training was at CoachU under the founder of coaching, Thomas Leonard and she is a Charter member of Coachville. Janice continued her coach training in Christian Coaching and completed her Master Coach training. Her formal education is in Behavior Science and she is an Executive Certified Human Behavior Consultant, and a Licensed Certified Human Behavior Trainer, a Certified Biblical Counselor, Tele-Class and Webinar Leader.