Tonight I went to counseling. I used to worry about telling people that because I didn’t want them to think I was crazy, but then I came to the conclusion that we’re all a little crazy in our own ways so I don’t worry about that anymore.
Which is nice, because there are a million other things in my life that I do worry about. Like whether or not my friends like me, whether or not I’m serving enough, or loving enough, or being enough. I worry about if I’m being a good roommate, a good employee, a good daughter, and a good leader. Sometimes I over think interactions, and doubt and stress things that I have no control over. Worrying has become a stronghold in my life that is getting in the way of my relationships, which is what pushed me through the front door and onto the couch of a licensed professional Christian counselor.
Her name is Elaine and she is kind and gentle and understanding. I feel comfortable around her, she reminds me of a grandma. She has brown hair and laugh lines around her mouth that tell me she has lived life well. A general joy exudes from her, but it’s not over powering to the point that it feels fake. She seems at peace, and content, and naturally I am drawn to it. I sat on her couch in her tiny office and the words started pouring out. I couldn’t stop it, and I didn’t really want to. Her kind responses and questioning told me that it was ok to share. That in that room, during that time, I could be vulnerable. I was safe.
I told her about my parents, and about their parents. About how I can see the curses of their families getting brought into my family. I told her about the words that were said so long ago that left scars that I see constantly. Scars that sometimes still whisper lies to me, almost as if the wound is fresh. Scars that cause my deepest insecurities and affect my friendships in the worst way. I told her about my brothers and sister and about foster care. I told her how I can’t wait to do foster care myself, how even though I am young and single, I am excited for the day that I get to love a child who otherwise wouldn’t experience it. I shared my passion for people and for serving others and for loving those who the world has forgotten. I told her about my life group and the awesome community we have. About how we are a family. I told her about past and present hurts and about how some of my past hurts still cause me pain in the present. She sat and listened and asked questions, but she did something more important than any of those things. She gave me hope. Not hope based on human understanding, but hope based on biblical truth. A hope based on the fact that God loves me and that together we were going to muddle through the mess of my insecurities and emotions. A hope that healing is on the horizon, and that I’m not alone in getting there.
I’m going back again next week, and I think that’s when God is really going to start working. I’m scared, excited, nervous, and grateful. But mostly I think I’m expectant. I am expecting God to work, I’m expecting new freedoms, and I am a expecting a new confidence that can be found in the understanding that I am dearly loved. That I don’t have to worry, because the one who holds the world in His hands has taken my fears away.
I once heard Stephen Furtick talk about how he went to counseling for a long time, not because there was some incredibly deep dark thing he was dealing with, but simply because he wanted to be an emotionally healthy person for the sake of the church he leads. So that’s why I’m going to counseling. Not because I lead a church (obviously I don’t). But I want to be an emotionally healthy person so that God can use me however He wants, so I can do the most for Him. I want to be an emotionally healthy person so that I can love and serve the people that are in the hospitality ministry and in life group like they deserve. I am going to counseling so that I can be the best friend, employee, roommate, and daughter possible. So that I can spread God’s love to everyone I come in contact with. So that’s why I’m excited for next week and that’s why I’m not afraid to say it. After all, we’re all a little crazy.