CASE STUDY: Designing a fulfilled life for retirement

Mel Cook


Mel Cook is 67 years old. He is a hospital pharmacist in a small US hospital, working collaboratively with a team of pharmacists and supervising five pharmacy technicians. He is a member of Jake’s House Church, in Arlington, Washington where he is a licensed pastor and his wife Jody is administrator for Destiny International School of Ministry. Active members of the church, they have a heart for mission which in 2015 will take them to Mexico and Kenya.

Mel Cook relates his story. “I was planning to retire in the next two or three years and had ideas about what I wanted to do. I wanted to be in God’s will, do some kingdom building and enjoy the rest of my life. I knew part of that involved a healing ministry and I was very motivated about sharing God’s goodness. However, I had no structure in which to process these thoughts and wasn’t sure from where I would get the support to make sense of it all.  I know a number of life coaches, but they are all friends of mine. I wanted some objectivity to help me think through my decisions about retirement.  Tina visited our church, and both my wife and I were impressed with her knowledge and insights. Tina has also been to Bethel so I knew she would be focused on the spiritual as well as the practical angles of coaching.”

What was the coaching like for you?

“Tina operates from a position of grace. She’s patient as well as challenging and is very skilled at keeping the coaching positive. The coaching was God-centered. I remember moments when the Holy Spirit was very close to us. We had some coaching which included my wife Jody as well as me, and those were times when we particularly felt the Holy Spirit involved in the conversation. It had to be Him, since some of the insights Tina shared were too brilliant to be human!”

What were some of the powerful insights for you?

“I have learned more about my character and abilities, what I am willing to do, and what I’m not willing to do. I’m acting more strongly out of my identity in Christ, not taking so much notice of thoughts that I recognise as coming from the critical spirit. I’m moving forward out of my strengths and my heart desires. I’ve rediscovered my confidence – I can do business and be successful at it!”

“Questions, which had been eluding me for a long time, and had held me back for some years have been answered. Being clear and confident about whom I am in Christ and who God has made me to be has given me a clear focus for my life calling. It’s taken vague possibilities I was turning over in my head and helped me see clearly what I want to invest my life in and how I am going to do it.”

 How are you turning your insights into action?

“On the business side, I am building on my strengths as an artist. I already have more commissions than I can fulfill. I also have a plan for when I retire from my current job.”

Was the coaching experience all plain sailing?

“No! There were times when I felt I wasn’t getting anywhere and got discouraged. I clearly remember one particular conversation with Tina when I told her this and said I wasn’t getting anything done. When I said this she said: “Let’s talk about what you have got done!” Tina helped me to focus on what I was doing, and what I had achieved. Breakthrough came with making a list of my accomplishments. I now reflect weekly on what I have achieved which has helped me overcome my tendency to be drawn towards looking for failure, and instead see the progress I’m continuing to make in life. This is really important for me. It’s helped me overcome the power of the negative spirit and showed me that I am not a failure.  Doing this doesn’t leave me with any sense of pride, just of peace with myself and a sense of satisfaction with what I’d doing.”

From the nebulous to clear goals!

“Like other people approaching retirement I had some ideas about what I wanted to do, but these ideas were quite nebulous. I’ve now got some very clear goals set for my retirement, and know the steps I want to take to achieve them. I’m clear about when I want to retire next year, and what I then want to do in ministry, financially, and in making sure Jody, my wife is herself fulfilled in ministry and financially secure. I have discovered how to keep myself motivated by regularly focusing on success, and looking forward through short, medium, and long terms goals. I’m continuing to add to my dream list, which helps me to stay connected with my heart’s desires.”

How would you summarise your coaching experience?

“It’s enabled me to discover my heart’s desires and to realize that I could do what I really want to do, rather than those things which bring me heartache, pain and depression. It’s brought me to a new way of thinking – letting go of many of my “have to” thoughts and thinking “want to” thoughts. It’s freed me from “having to” heed the critical spirit, and freed me to doing what I need to do, to accomplish the goals which are my heart’s desire. I’m looking forward to my future. My destiny is going to be fulfilled and I will stand before God as a good and faithful son.”

 “If you’re uncertain about your direction or future, Tina’s destiny coaching will help you immensely, enabling you to see what you already have and are able to do, and will help you build and expand on your strengths.”

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