Dr. Cheri Toledo

I was talking with a friend the other day and realized that I absolutely I love coaching smart, competitive, successful Christian women. I love guiding them through the paths of their lives to the place where they can take that leap of faith and fulfill their calling and passions!

I think it started back in college … now that I think of it, it started when I was about 9 years old. I remember sitting at the little table that belonged to my downstairs neighbor boys – they were 2 and 3 – and I was teaching them to write their names on a mini-chalkboard.

After spending every afternoon at the playground, excelling in PE, and then majoring in PE I was in 7th Heaven.  I ended up teaching and coaching on the high school level for 10 years and then got the bug to start coaching on the college level. I got my Master’s in PE and off I went.  I coached college volleyball at Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton, and the University of Wyoming … then I got the big break a drove 1/2-way across the country to East Texas where I served as the Head Volleyball Coach at Stephen F. Austin State.  My third year there, our team came 2 points from beating the #2 team in the country, and I was named Coach of the Year.  That’s the good news … the bad new is that early that spring, my AD called me and let me go because of budgeting issues.

I packed up my stuff and life and moved back to California and enrolled in a Marriage & Family Ministries Master’s program at Talbot Seminary.  You see, my last year at SFA God called me into counseling … so His hand was in me leaving Texas and heading home to Southern California.

Once I graduated I realized that there were no ministry jobs for me, so I went back into K12 education as a teacher, academic counselor … and I even coached volleyball again.

The call to counseling continued, so I went back to school and earned a master’s in Marriage & Family.  During my internship hours (I had over 3000 clinical hours) I worked at a Christian residential treatment home and met this Christian cook, athlete, sensitive man … long story short … we were married a year later. As a single woman looking at beginning my 5th decade of life, I had given up ever finding a mate … God had a different plan.  As soon as I let go of mine, His kicked into action.

The bottom fell out of the therapy world for Marriage & Family Therapists, so I headed back to K12. 🙂  We were living in San Diego and I was working at a large Christian school, when one day I got a phone call from my husband … he was at the hospital with a racing heartbeat – they diagnosed cardiomyopathy.  For the 10 years from that day, Nick was on disability, went through four open heart surgeries … the last being a heart transplant. God did some amazing behind-the-scenes work:

  • Led me to a doctoral program while we were still in San Diego and empowered me to finish in 2 1/2 years
  • Opened a job in Illinois that was 45 minutes from a transplant center – Nick was placed on the transplant list as soon as he saw the first doctor
  • Had us in a place where he only waited 3 days for a heart once he was on the heart pump machine
  • Provided health insurance coverage that for paid all of Nick’s care – including 5 surgeries and multiple hospital stays

I’m sure my story is the same as every Believer’s … God loves us and has an amazing plan for our lives!!  He has created us out of love … grows us and heals us in the fertile ground of relationships with Him and others … is with us in the ups and downs of our paths through life … and looks forward to increasing the depth of our relationship with Him.

I’ve been a Believer and follower of Jesus since my senior year of high school … I wouldn’t change anything in my life … even the huge mess-ups and stumbling that I’ve done down my path!

By the way, I’m super competitive.  The other evening, Nick and I were brushing and flossing … I realized I was racing him to finish!!  I love sports and watch them all the time.  I’ve attended multiple NCAA D1 Volleyball regionals and Final 4, gone to Spring Training in AZ, watched volleyball, football, baseball in live and on tv.  Nick brags to his friends that he’s in sports heaven because I love sports so much – such a blessing to have this in common.

Next Steps Elite Coaching Core Value Verse

I am Yahweh, your God. I am the One who teaches you how to succeed and Who leads you step by step in the way you should go. (Isaiah 48:17b TPT)