Tag Archives: counseling

A Counselor’s Prayer

This prayer (I believe was written by Lea Ann; found at http://leaannsgarden.blogspot.com/2011/01/counselors-prayer.html) is AMAZING!  As a person on the journey to becoming a Pastoral Counselor, with dreams of working with “aging out” foster care youth, I can see myself praying this daily. 

We are so fortunate that God IS.

Oh God, remind me why I’m doing this.

Why me? What do I know about anything?

They sit across from me, broken dolls whose dull eyes beg me to offer hope that they no longer believe exists. Hope is a four-letter word that belongs to someone else. They’ve given up because they are out of options. They can see nothing in the future but more pain.

And I’m IT? I’m all that stands between desperation and hope? Sometimes, life and death? What were you thinking, Lord?

Who am I to tell a young rape victim that God loves her?

Who am I to advise a wronged wife to stay with the man who tore her heart out?

Who am I to offer understanding in situations I have no ability to understand?

How can I make a woman believe in a loving Heavenly Father when all she knows is fatherly abuse?

How do I gather the scraps of a shattered life and put them together again?

How do I convince a woman consumed by rage that it is safe to leave that anger with You? She’s mad at You too.

How do I pretend to believe that this round of sobriety will be different for the lifetime drug addict? The last eight times didn’t work, but this one will? Because now he faces ME? I’m not sure I believe that myself.

I feel so inadequate. So unworthy. Who am I to be trusted with this great responsibility? Who am I to meddle deep inside the private recesses of a human heart, to hold it in my hands, twist it, turn it, hurt it so that it can finally struggle free from its prison.

It’s scary, Lord. Sometimes, right in the middle of a session, I don’t want to do this anymore. Why am I doing this?

But now I’m remembering something.

I’m doing this because You asked me to. You promised that you would do it through me if I would just stay out of the way.

And now that I think about it, You have every time.

You put a smile on the lips of that rape victim.

The young couple is holding hands again.

The ones who knew only hate are experiencing love for the first time. It’s hard for them. They don’t know what to do with it, but You’re showing them a little at a time.

And as I watch, I know it isn’t me at all. It never was.

You always seem to enjoy choosing as your tools the least likely people: the frightened Gideon, the obstinate Jonah, the renegade Moses. And look at that ragtag band of disciples Jesus chose. What an unlikely group to be entrusted with Your plan of salvation for the entire world! Frankly, I would have chosen some better candidates, if I’d been given the opportunity.

So I guess I’m in good company, huh? Is that what You’re telling me? My inadequacy fits the profile?

Is this what you meant by “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in your weakness”?

I’m glad to know that, because if I wasn’t sure You were doing this through me, I would quit. The burden is too great. The price of failure too high.

But You’re right. I have seen You work. I’ve sat there and watched Your Spirit open a closed heart, purify a perverted soul, cleanse a dirty conscience, heal a damaged spirit. And I just sit there. You’re doing all the work.

If You called me, You will enable me. I’m just a warm body for Your Spirit to flow through. Healing is not my job, it’s Yours.

I panic when I forget that. Help me never to forget again.

Stop bullying myself?

I had my first counseling appointment this morning.  I have to admit, I am not really the type of person who believes that I need a counselor.  I know the irony…since I am about to start graduate school to become a counselor.

It is that precise reason that I don’t feel I need one.  Of course, that is a pretty ignorant of me to say, and I am coming around to realizing how important it is to actually talk things out.

Many times, when things are going on, and I am experiencing stress, I have certain friends that I know I can go to for advice.  People with whom I know have over come particular obstacles, or who actually can relate to what I am experiencing.  But not ONE person knows the whole me.  Not even my ex-husband of 15 years.

That is a problem.

And even if I can work through my issues and emotions, and stresses using my own methods, I realized that I
need help.  I am at the point in my life…where I feel like I am at the other end of the desperation and sadness, I am geared up to move forward, but I am not sure how to start that.  It is not like I have a green line in front of me that says, “Start here.”

No, instead I am in the middle of all of my problems floating all around.  I cannot see the big picture because I am so deep within the heart of the matter.  I admit, I need help seeing the big picture.  Logically, I know what needs to be done…I know what technical steps I need to take.  But, I cannot see how to fit all of the pieces together into a path.  I need someone to tell me like it is…not just appease me.

I do admit, that last statement was VERY DIFFICULT for me to admit.  I am always the one to help other people…I have never been the one to need help…not truly.  Talk about a major shock to the system.

So, I get to the therapist’s office this morning.  Nice lady.  Evidently, she did not have me on the schedule because she was confused that I was there.  However, she agreed to see me (I mean, after all, I DID have an appointment.)

Let me tell you what…the flood gates opened and all of hell and creation came spewing forth.  I am not even sure that she was able to ask me more than 2 questions.  I rambled and ranted…I gave her as much life story as I could give her in an hour.  AND IT WAS GREAT!

We set some goals, and I am totally stoked about talking with her again.

BUT…her word of advice to me at the end of this session was to stop bullying myself.  At the time, it made sense, but the more I ponder it, the more there is to ponder…

Bullying has a plethora of definitions:

Dictionary.com: “A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.” (or Corned Beef…go figure)

FreeDictionary.com: “A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.”

Miriam Webster online: “a blustering browbeating person; especially : one habitually cruel to others who are weaker.”

OK…bullying.  I get it.  But bullying myself?  I think this has more to do with the negative attitude I have about myself.  I often view it as “humble” when in reality, I am consistently judging myself according to what I “think” are other people’s standards…instead of my own.

My counselor described a bully as a person who just picks on someone continually…never giving up…constantly belittling.  I must confess…I do this.  I don’t like failure, and have a very hard time accepting that I am “allowed” to make mistakes (we all are, we are HUMAN).  And instead of just dealing with the mistake and moving forward, I over-analyze it and end up beating myself down about it…over and over and over again.

I am my own worst critic.  I am the one who is ALWAYS on my own case about how I could be a better mother, how I have let this person down, how I have failed at that goal.  ENOUGH ALREADY!  I think I get it, but I am going to keep pondering this concept.

Do you do this?

Well, it was definitely food for thought.  What do you think?