Free of charge, here are my two cents on two years post-grad counseling. 🙂
It was a little under two years ago when I walked across a stage and I’m curious if that was when I became a counselor. Or was it when I got my provisional license in the mail? Or was it when I got my first job with the title “Therapist”? Or when a private practice graciously took me on? Maybe it’ll be most official when I finish supervision?
I couldn’t tell you when the moment was that I became a counselor. There is something I can tell you though. I have learned more from my clients than I ever did in a classroom. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some academia. There are some things though, that just can’t be learned through a textbook.
Something they’ve taught me is to not look away.
To look them in the eye and say nothing. To let the awkward wash over through the windows to the soul and see an image-bearer injured to the point of believing the invisibility the enemy speaks over the hurting. Jesus looked women in the eye.
They have shown me that counseling is to be present to pain you cannot fix.
A wise woman told me that we learn the most during our suffering. This is where the hard-won battles produce the most fruit. We talked about the tendency to want to “rescue” people right out of their pain when that pain might be the very thing God is redeeming their lives with.
My words will return void.
These amazing young women unknowingly remind me to keep the Word central because He’s the only Word who won’t return void. The Word will always accomplish his purpose.
So, two years in and I can tell you I’ve learned some about what it is to look at pain, to be present to it and to let it do its work. And to stay in the Word, to steep in it so that He overflows and saturates all the dry-brittle and broken places of a heart in need.
Ultimately, these last couple years have shown me my own need for a healer. If we’re honest, we know that there are wounds no human can fix. But, praise God, there is a balm in Gilead!
For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart broken;
I mourn, and grief has taken hold on me.
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?
:: Jeremiah 8:21-22 ::
Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.