As a Counselor when I meet someone new and they ask about my profession one of the first questions they want to know is “what type?”. When they ask this question what they are really searching for is what population I serve, what is my specialty, where is my focus with the people I see? All these questions wrapped up in the answer “I see a lot of marriages, families, individuals, adolescents, and people going through trauma recovery”. Whew. That’s a lot, and I am not fully sure that was even an answer.
That’s how I have been answering those questions, here’s what I would like to say the next time that question gets posed: “I see people that need hope. I see people that have a beating heart that feels like it is broken. I get the opportunity to sit with people and show them unconditional love, allow them to explore grace, peace, and joy. I serve people that need to be reminded that they are redeemed, and that they have value and worth in a world that may tell them otherwise. I talk with people that are seeking healing and can’t seem to find it around them.”
That’s what I do, that’s who I serve, that’s who I get the privilege to love.
I am biased, but I believe that counselors are a gift, and they posess a gift that shouldn’t be exclusionary to their office but extended into yours.
As Counselors, we sit with people going through crisis, going through rock bottom moments, and showing the worst parts of themselves and their circumstances. People courageously take a step towards vulnerability with a counselor and sitting right across from them we get to show them through our words and responses that even at your worst we still look at them and see the potential of their best.
So opposite from the world, but so beneficial for a human being to hear.
In the world, we meet friends at our best, we see each other dressed our best, and we connect over the best parts of our lives. And when the worst happens, we don’t know what to do next? We don’t know how to love someone that no longer looks their best.
We pray that God sends someone to intercede on their behalf believing that we aren’t equipped enough to intercede on God’s behalf.
It’s time we do something about this crisis.
Not the crisis your friend is going through, it’s time we do something about the crisis in our world and churches today. Not knowing how to love someone going through the darkest days of their life is something that needs to be taught in helping communities.
If your church wants to reach the broken, the hurting, the people with lives that are upside down, you have to love them right in that spot. You have to see them in their worst season believing the potential they have with the best seasons up ahead.
This is a gift.
This is an expression of love.
This is an example of showing worth to people who feel anything less than.
I believe in Counseling, I believe in seeking out a professional. But if your home or your church sees someone in crisis and Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C is a referral for them to go see someone, that sends a message that we don’t know how to love you right here in this storm, and ‘please don’t touch things on your way out because you may make things dirty around here’.
Seeking a professional works best alongside a community that expresses hope, shows grace, and holds hands towards healing. Together.
We have to learn to love people that have more than a stubbed toe walking into our buildings. The people that need hope from a God that can do the impossible are the people who are struggling to live, whose life feels torn apart, and who have been given a death sentence with no chance of revival.
These are the people who need to meet my Savior Jesus.
We need to love better.
You don’t need to do everything for somebody, but you do need to be able to do something for someone. That something is to show love. Show love in a way that doesn’t match the world, that goes against what everyone would expect you to do because it falls so in line with the way Jesus would handle a crisis here today.
This is how we love.
My encouragement is that even if you don’t have the title of being a professional counselor, I want you to know that you are still equipped to “See people that need hope. To see people that have a beating heart that feels like it is broken. To get the opportunity to sit with people and show them unconditional love, allow them to explore grace, peace, and joy. To serve people that need to be reminded that they are redeemed, and that they have value and worth in a world that may tell them otherwise. And to talk with people that are seeking healing and can’t seem to find it around them.”
This is our calling. Not just the calling of a counselor, the calling of all people that claim their inheritance with God their Father. We are called to love. Even in our churches. Even when people in our churches don’t have the pretty lives we thought they did. Even when their marriages are at their worst. Even when their families aren’t the image we had thought. Even when the trauma they are going through is bigger than we feel equipped to handle.
Love every step of the way.
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