My younger sisters told me they thought I should go to counseling.
You see, my life fell apart last year – in a huge way. I’m the oldest of five pastor’s kids and professional counseling wasn’t a part of my life. I had been a handful of times long ago but more accompanying my husband than going for myself.
Counseling seemed scary, vulnerable, expensive, and inconvenient. I would need to drive an hour away for the first session. There was paperwork to sign, a babysitter was needed, and I would spend close to $100 in fees. So, why did I go?
I believe in the power of listening to those God has placed around me. My sisters know me better than most anyone. If they thought this was something I should do, I wanted to take that seriously. As mentioned, my life was imploding. It wasn’t a gradual, slippery slope or string of bad days but overwhelming devastation. I definitely fit the category of “needing help.”
Leaving pride behind
Perhapssurprisingly, the Bible speaks a lot of counseling.
Proverbs 12:15 (NIV) says, “….the wise listen to advice.”
Proverbs 12:18 (NIV) tells us, “…the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
And Proverbs 19:20 (NIV) says, “Listen to advice and accept discipline.”
My entire Christian life I thought counseling was for *those* people, and I thought I was above them. This was pride. Pure and simple. P-R-I-D-E.
My counselor is seminary trained. She has more than twenty years of experience. I have traveled our state to take my special needs son to top medical doctors, so why would I entrust my deepest thoughts, questions, and hurts to a magazine article, the internet, or an untrained ear, no matter how kind?
I left my first solo counseling session barely holding in the tears. I escaped to my car and sobbed. Sobbed. Sobbed for the trauma of what the counselor had revealed. I had been told the first session would be more administrative. Mine was heartbreaking. I wasn’t sure I would ever return, but I did, and I did again, and I continue to.
My counselor has taught me that I am only going to find healing in God. That sounds trite, but she has laid out steps to help me find the healing for which I search. She has confronted me with myself. She told me I needed someone to challenge my thinking. She has guided me through loss and to awareness and towards hope. She has told me there is always hope. She prays for me and tells me to pray. She said she has seen God do miracles. Counseling has changed my life.
Strong women need strong counsel; a pastor’s daughter is no exception. For me, I must have a female counselor. I am not going to share the deepest parts of me with another man, no matter the professional nature. I need a solid, completely committed, Biblical counselor. (Please note: I do not mean Biblical counselor in the sense of those who are anti-medication. I take medication. Biblical counseling is someone whose counsel is 100% aligned with the principles of the Bible.)
One of *those* people
As for money, I’ve spent a lot so far, but God has provided every penny. My heart and soul are worth it. Who I become for the sake of Christ and my family is worth it. Counseling has been instrumental in saving my marriage and that is worth every effort and expense.
I want to run the race of life well. I want to pass on a Christian heritage and legacy to my eight children. I want to love my husband well and finish together till death do us part. I needed help (and still do) to take these cries of my heart to practical steps. Maybe you do too?
I would encourage you to ask God for the courage to find a female, Christian counselor to help you along life’s journey. I have found such freedom in admitting that I am one of *those* people.
Sarah Shoe is learning to love Jesus instead of only following a checklist of Christian rules. She married
her junior high crush over twenty years ago. Sarah is passionate about mothers and encouraging them in
their high and godly calling, which often includes hard days. She daily lives this high calling as a full-time
mom to eight children: ½ dozen boys and two girls! You can find her wiping bottoms, placing Wal-Mart
pick-up orders, settling arguments, teaching math, always reading, finding bargains, and making so
much food. She encourages herself that there will be no laundry in heaven! Sarah would love for you to
join her Instagram friends @hopeforhurtingmoms where she shares her life and what God is teaching