Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When to See a Professional Counselor

For some reason, going to counseling is still sometimes a taboo subject among Christians. I'm not exactly sure why, but I have a couple of guesses.

1) We think going to counseling makes us look weak. Or worse-like there is something wrong with us.
2) We live under the faulty assumption that Christians shouldn't need counseling. After all, we serve a God who is more than able to heal every ailment.

I disagree with both of these assumptions. Here's why. First of all, going to counseling doesn't make you look weak. In fact, quite the opposite. It takes strength to admit you need help. Secondly, even though God is capable of fixing our problems, he never promised he would. By all means, pray for healing. But don't ignore the help of someone else while you wait for his answer. God wants people to be his hands and feet to the world, to help the hurting find Him in the midst of their pain. What better way for a counselor to do so than to help the wounded find healing?

Last February, I decided to see a counselor to help me work through our miscarriages. Since then, I've been hesitant to write about it on my blog for the reasons mentioned above. And of course, I think it took me awhile to get past my own pride. Even though I believe seeing a counselor doesn't make someone weak, I guess I was afraid other people might think differently.

I write about it today to encourage other people to follow in my footsteps. For months, I tried to work through my pain on my own. But instead of feeling better, I felt worse. The emotions I didn't want to feel-instead of being worked through-were forced deeper and deeper into my heart. I didn't want to feel angry, so I shoved the emotion away. I didn't want to feel jealous of other people, so I blocked it from my mind. It was only when I started meeting with my counselor that I finally worked through my buried emotions. She, in only a few short months, was able to help me acknowledge and then heal from the pain of my past.

If you feel stuck in your pain, please consider talking to a professional Christian counselor. For me, it was the springboard for healing. Maybe it'll be the same for you...

As a side note, I want to thank those of you who encouraged me to meet with a counselor. If not for your encouragement, I wouldn't have taken that step. And to my wonderful counselor, thank you for being patient with me, for loving the mess that I was, and for refusing to judge me. I believe God is going to give you an extra jewel for the way you helped me.

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