Enter: My Counselor

A Story of Healing

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Almost four years ago I realized I had a ton of “issues.”  Some might call it “baggage,” others might call them “wounds”… but basically I realized I had a bunch of pent up junk that needed attention.

Enter: my counselor.

I had never been to a professional counselor before this.  I have a handful of close friends who either are or were counselors of some sort.  Two of my dearest girlfriends and their husbands are/were on staff at churches and have done innumerable premarital and marital counseling with couples, in addition to one-on-one counseling on many occassions.  And since I have access to these fine folks, plus access to a few other great and wise friends and relatives, I simply didn’t see the need for ever seeking anyone else.  I mean, let’s be real— counseling costs moolah and if I can get amazing wise counsel for free, then… why would I go for anything else?

But then I hit a low I hadn’t thought possible before.

And it became alarmingly clear that I needed something more than the lay counselors I was friends with and related to.  I needed someone who really seriously knew their stuff and could help me navigate the plethora of horrible thoughts, feelings and memories that seemed to be pouncing on me at an alarming rate.

“There would be no need for counseling except for the damage caused to all people by sin and the fall.  Since then all creation has groaned and no human being has grown straight and true, according to God’s design, except for God’s only begotten son Jesus.” (The Life Model pg 5)

So I contacted my two trusted counselor-type friends and told them a sliver of my story and begged them to show me where to go and who to turn to.

Praise God that I got in touch with the exact perfect counselor that I needed on my “first try.”  (I know so many people have a big-time trial-and-error season wherein they are trying desperately to find a counselor they both trust and who is experienced in the way they need and with whom there is that wonderful “chemistry” we all so desperately want.)  I am so thankful that God led me to her right away— I suppose He knew I was at a place in my life that needed bona fide immediate attention.  My literal life was at stake and I will forever thank God that He met me right there through my relationship with my counselor.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

~Psalm 18:16-19

The tools I learned from her and the exhortation I received from her have been invaluable.  Due to the way she coached me in how to connect with Jesus during our sessions together, I have been able to stay more intimate with God in a consistent and helpful way than ever in my life before.  She taught me how to use my propensity to write as a method for quieting myself and tuning into whatever He might want to say or show me.  She also reaffirmed in me some truths that had been lying dormant in me for many years due to a particularly abusive church relationship I once was involved in.  And she taught me how to identify those poisonous messages that have crept into my mind throughout different hurts and challenges I’ve encountered over the years…  and, even more importantly, how to tap into God’s voice so that I can hear and cling to His Truth regarding my identity and worth rather than those diseased attitudes I have tended to buy into.

During and after my times with her, I have been able to hear from God in ways that I simply never did before.  God has taught me how to receive from Him and how to identify and tend to the broken places in my soul… and it has all been in the wake of my times with my dear, Spirit-filled, Spirit-led counselor.

Although I know there are many people who see their counselor on a regular basis, I don’t.  Perhaps it’s just the way she and I work together, or maybe it’s due to the fact that I take what I’ve learned from her and utilize those methods in my own times alone with Jesus— either way, I am eternally grateful for the fact that, much of the time, I can coach myself through my life’s challenges using a bunch of the tools and methods I’ve learned from her.  So I only call upon her during those times wherein I feel seriously “stuck” or like I’m facing something that has historically been a big-time hot-button issue for me and I think it would be wise to get a “pep-talk/refresher course” from her.

It is hard to find words for what an impact my counselor has made in my life.  She has truly been a spiritual mentor for me, guiding me in how to connect with God in meaningful, genuine, life-changing ways.

Thank You, Jesus, for my dear, gifted counselor.  Thank You for introducing she and I and for blessing me with that wonderful “friendship chemistry” I enjoy so much with her.  Thank You that I can trust her and thank You for all she has taught me.  And thank You, of course, for always meeting with me in a very tangible way when I seek You in her office.  You are so beyond anything I ever used to imagine, Lord.  You are good good good.  I love you.  Amen.

*To get in touch with a counselor who might be a good fit for you,

feel free to check out www.itph.org

* * *

What about you?

Have you ever been blessed by a session or an ongoing relationship with a counselor?  Have you ever been mentored by someone more spiritually mature than yourself?

Please feel free to share your journey in the comment section below.

 

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