How would you like to have God turn your life upside down and expose ugly patterns in your life? How about opening deep wounds for the chance that they might be healed? Well, my friend, then counseling might be the thing for you! I understand that when you think of counseling, the connotation is intimidating and uncomfortable, but I believe it can be necessary for spiritual growth. Take it from my experience:
In the last few months, I have seen significant growth in myself through College Park’s counseling ministry. But this is not my first rodeo with counseling. Since I was about six years old, I have experienced countless panic attacks and months of continuous anxiety. I have grown the most through College Park’s counseling ministry and have learned four major things I’d like to share:
1. Fear makes us self-absorbed
I thought my fear affected only me, but in reality, it affects loved ones around me. When I am afraid, I cannot think of anything else besides my own wellbeing. I seek situations where, at all costs, I will feel comfortable and I will feel safe, not taking anyone else into consideration. As Christians, we are called to serve one another. I cannot accurately serve anyone if my life revolves around myself.
2. My identity has not been in God, but in control and comfort
As much as I don’t want to admit it, I would rather live an easy, comfortable life than experience hardships. Comfort and control used to be my idols and I sacrificed opportunities to worship God in order to worship them. Through counseling, God has exposed these idols, and I have continued to exterminate them. This has been the hardest area for me to enact change.
3. We need to rehearse truth to ourselves daily
If we aren’t meditating on truth, we slip into believing lies. Those of us whose hearts are bent toward fear can be easy targets for believing deceit. First Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith . . .” It has been freeing to know God’s truth is the only way to combat the devil’s deception.
4. Pride Fuels Fear
I knew that fear stemmed from our hearts, but I thought that I had a “special” problem, different from everyone else. When I began my first counseling session, we only briefly went through my past experiences and how I was feeling at the moment. My counselor spent most of the hour going through different Psalms and passages in the Old Testament. Pitifully, I was a little disappointed that we weren’t focusing on me. I’m very thankful that God was able to graciously show me the ugliness of my own heart.
I know counseling can be an intimidating and daunting experience at first, but it is worth it. I do hope that my story will encourage you. If you have considered going to counseling before, I urge you to take the leap of faith. It’s quite amazing to be able to look back and see how far you have come. Christ can do remarkable work in your life through this ministry, and that’s exactly what He’s done for me.