For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11
I have always loved this Scripture, but I don’t think it was until just a few years ago that I understood its full meaning in my life.
Hi, I’m Christina Brown. I’m a Certified Catholic Life Coach, speaker, co-host of the Thanks Mom Podcast, mother of 6 amazing kids from 22-4, and married Paul for almost 24 years.
All that being said, I have been a stay-at-home mom for 99% of our marriage. I have a college degree from Michigan State University in Communication where I say that I went to school “to learn how to talk well.” I am an extrovert by nature and thrive off of interacting with people. Yet, I have always had the desire to be married, stay home, and raise our family. So I was ecstatic to marry the love of my life, settle down, and have kids. I’ve had a few jobs of “this and that” throughout my life as a mom, but mainly I have been home raising our children.
In the beginning of my marriage, looking back, I believed that I had fulfilled this Scripture from Jeremiah. God had plans for my future that I had hoped for and had brought them to fruition and I was now living them out.
While this is true, as life journeyed on, different trials and struggles reared their ugly heads. I found myself not very satisfied with my life as a mother. I thought that I would be able to start moving on with some desire to work outside the home when our fourth child became of school age. But we found out we were pregnant with our 5th shortly before that, and a few years later, our 6th child came along as well. I was wondering what God had in store for me. Was this all there was, just raising one baby and then another? There were many times I felt very isolated and alone. I doubted and struggled with feeling like there must be something more, but not knowing what. I felt stuck.
Then as our children continued to grow, we came up against a pretty big hurdle with one of our children dealing with severe anxiety and depression. This took a toll on me, my health, and at times, our marriage. I felt like a stigma was on our family. I didn’t know who to talk to and felt as though we weren’t equipped to deal with issues of this capacity. Where was my God who knew the plans for me and my future now?! How could this bring about good? Where was my future full of hope in those situations?
As I went looking for help, I began of journey of discover with our Lord and through it, I found Catholic Life Coaching. Coaching had such a profound impact on my life. Through coaching, the Lord awoke my heart to this Scripture from Jeremiah once again. But this time, it wasn’t that it had been fulfilled and done. It was something ongoing. The Lord revealed to me how He had a plan for me in my 20’s, in my 30’s, and now here in my 40’s. He also still has a plan for me in my 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and onward, God willing. He knows those plans as well, plans that will give me a future full of hope.
Discovering this was eye opening for me. This discovery was the beginning of my restoration to who God had created me to be. Our Lord had created me with gifts and talents to serve within my vocation. I had started to lose sight of that, and it got murky when I was thinking that the only talents I had were already “tapped out” or used up as a wife and mother. But through this awakening of understanding this verse from Jeremiah, I came to realize that another scripture, one from Esther, rang deep within me:
“…..for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14)
Maybe it wasn’t that I was stuck or blinded, but that the time wasn’t right. God wanted to awaken in me the gifts and talents He had placed within me for the right time. If I was trying to run a Life Coaching business, travel for speaking engagements, grow a podcast in the midst of raising little ones, it would have been too much because the timing wasn’t right. The Lord was restoring me to what He was calling me to in His perfect plan with His perfect timing. He put in place the people I needed to meet, who would encourage me and awaken a desire to use my gifts and talents within His design. I needed to traverse some hard waters to come to realize that my gifts were meant to serve others and to give to them in a way I had received.
Now I am able to listen, talk with, and coach others who are going through similar situations that I have undergone. I can support, journey with and encourage them to slow down, be intentional and hear our Lord in a deep way in order to come to an understanding of what He is calling them to in their own lives. This wouldn’t have happened if I was pushing my own desires or hadn’t undergone hardship. It was all part of His plan, His plan to give me a future full of hope.
Christina Brown, is a certified Catholic Life Coach and Catholic speaker. She also co-hosts the Thanks Mom Podcast with her eldest daughter Grace. She has been a guest on multiple podcasts including the Instagram Live show, Many Hail Mary’s at a Time, Treasures in Heaven, Made for Greatness, Empowered Modern Woman, as well as Say Yes to Holiness. She is a Life Coaching consultant for Made for Greatness and runs her own Life Coaching business. She has been married to Paul for 23 years and they have raised 6 incredible children ranging from 22-4. She is passionate about living out her vocation and in doing so, is invigorated to help lead her family and others closer to Christ. She has gifts in speaking and communication, and enjoys inspiring and connecting with others in building up the Kingdom of God. She would love to connect with you more about how she can support you in living out, with intention, the fullness of life that God desires for you. She can be reached at www.christinambrown.com, @christina__m__brown on Instagram as well as Christina Brown on Facebook.