“You need to go to counseling,” they all told me. And by all I mean everyone. EVERYONE! Friends. Family. Colleagues. Children. Ex-wife. I was even told that I couldn’t be a minister until a counselor says I’ve worked through my “issues.”
I plopped down on the couch and poured out my heart. I told him about my marriage. I told him about my ministry. I told him about my children. I told him about my fears and hurts and angers. I told him that I didn’t know what to talk about but everyone says I need to talk. I told him how I truly wanted to discover any pent-up emotions that could undermine me in the future. I was as open as I could possibly be.
When we had finished our time together the counselor looked into my eyes and said something that honestly had a profound impact on me: “You’re one of the healthiest individuals I have ever met.”
So much for needing counseling!
The truth is, I’m in a better place than I’ve been in years. I’m closer to my children. I’m happier at work. I’m restoring discipline into my life. My tension level has been reduced to nearly non-existent. I’ve removed many of the distractions and I’m seeing myself more clearly than I ever have. I’m not exactly where I want to be, but I know God is doing something powerful in me during this season.
It turns out counseling isn’t what I needed at all. What I needed was hope. What I needed was a new vision for the future. What I needed was the ability to imagine myself as something that I hadn’t imagined before. What I needed was to be still and let God do his thing in me. What I needed was to move forward in the grace of God and allow him to lead to me into the next season in life.
I’m not against counseling. I’m actually a big fan of counseling. My point is that no amount of counseling can do what God can do if you’ll let him. Walking with Father is the most important thing. Trusting Father through the challenging times. Depending on Father to answer the questions that seem unanswerable. Believing in Father when humans have so disappointed. Following Father through the chaos of life when you can’t see what lies ahead. This is what matters. This is how we receive hope. This is how we receive vision. This is how we are renewed. This is how we find true emotional health.
So to all my well-intentioned friends who insisted I needed counseling I say this with the deepest love and sincerity I can muster: counseling schmounseling—I’ve got Father!!