“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 30:17 NIV).
One of the best decisions I ever made was deciding to see a Christian counselor. Although seeing a counselor was a good decision, it was hard. I felt weak. I felt like a failure.
What’s a Christian (and pastor’s wife) doing at a counseling center? If someone from my church sees me will they think I’m crazy? Does this reflect negatively on my husband’s ministry?
I treasure the first words my counselor spoke to me. “It takes an incredible amount of courage to seek counseling. Those who do are very brave. I commend you for coming.” Her words soothed me. They gave me the boldness to return again and again, for years.
Dr. Diane Langberg, author, speaker and noted psychologist says, “Healing cannot occur unless that which you most want to forget is remembered. And that which you cannot bear to say out loud is spoken.” That’s scary stuff! Remembering is hard and painful work. Speaking about it is even harder. But it is the necessary prelude to healing.
The 13th chapter of 2 Samuel tells the sad story of a young girl named Tamar. Tamar was a victim of rape and incest. At one point she cries out to her assailant, “Don’t do this wicked thing. What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace?”
I felt like Tamar. For years I too sought a place where I could get rid of my disgrace. I found it in counseling and in the presence of the One we call, “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).
I also found healing, hope, and a greater ability to help present-day Tamars.
Scripture says that God comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). What a precious gift—one that can be given to others again and again.
My counseling journey taught me how to come alongside others on their road to recovery and personal wholeness. It’s not always a pleasant path. But those who stay on the road are gloriously transformed while traveling.
- If you’re unsure of where to begin or do not know of a counseling service near you, try New Life Counselor Network. They can be contacted at: newlife.com or by calling 800-NEW-LIFE.