It’s Ok to Ask for Help

Since losing my mom, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made is to seek help from a professional Christian counselor.

God has used my counselor to speak truth into my life when I couldn’t feel or think truth for myself.

God has used my counselor to encourage my broken heart and offer hope for tomorrow when I felt there was none.

God has used my counselor to assure me that my feelings were normal and understandable in relation to my circumstances.

God has used my counselor to offer wisdom to me in seeking additional helps for healing.

In so many ways, God has used His people (my Christian counselors) to bring help and healing in my life.

Honestly, I grew up in a Christian environment where counseling seemed only necessary and used by those who were “really” struggling. You had to be “bad off” to see a counselor. Or at least that’s the way I perceived it to be.

I thought everyone was doing great and had no problems because usually when I would ask someone “How are you doing?”, I saw a big smile on her face and got the answer, “I’m fine. How are you?” I rarely remember someone outwardly expressing their personal struggles and need for prayer.

Transparency and honesty were not encouraged. To see a counselor seemed shameful. Sharing your struggles was for the weak and sinful ones. To need counseling was to admit you couldn’t pull yourself up by your boot straps and get it together with the snap of your fingers!  To seek a counselor seemed that you weren’t “right with God.”

Several years ago now, during one dark season of personal depression, I was told, “You just need more joy in your life.  It’s a spiritual problem.” And then a Bible study booklet on “How to Find Joy” was placed into my hands. Lots of talking was done. . . but very little listening. Lots of hurting. . . but very little help and healing.

So with that being my background, seeking help from a Christian counselor was a very hard step to take for me. As I walked into a professional counselor’s office for the first time, I felt that I would faint, throw up, or have a full-blown panic attack. I was embarrassed to be there. I was ashamed of my story and what my mom had done. I just wanted to cry. I wanted Jason to walk me back to the car, drive far away, and pretend I was ok.

But I was desperate for help! I was NOT ok!

My mind was a jumbled up mess. My hands and legs were trembling. My body was feeling very weird. My heart was shattered and broken. The nightmares were awful. The constant anxiety was overwhelming. The grief seemed unbearable.

But, oh, how God loves to take our raw and bleeding wounds and pour His healing into them. He is the master at mending our broken hearts. He extends grace in a million little moments. He bring healing in such surprising ways. And God was at work in my life. . .such grace to me.

Sitting in that counselor’s office for the first time and sharing my story was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But it was one of the BEST things I’ve ever done!

And it continues to be one of the BEST things I do.

The truth is that we are weak. We do sin. Our world is broken and very few things function the way God created them to be. We all have struggles. We all need the light of the Gospel to shine into our hearts and expose self. It’s when we truly see ourselves as hopeless, needy people that God is able to do a great work in our lives as we seek His strength and help!

In our weakness, we find His strength. In our darkness, we find His light. In our daily struggle with sin, we find victory through His complete forgiveness. In our confusion, we find His wisdom and sovereignty. In our hurts, we find His healing and hope.

I have needed someone to help me process the traumatic and painful death of my mom. I have needed someone to speak truth into my life. I have needed someone to help me understand the complexities of the brain and how trauma affects me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have needed encouragement to push through the grief and keep walking the hard journey. I have needed someone to listen and not judge me. I have needed someone to take God’s Word and speak healing and hope into my brokenness. I have needed help.

I am so grateful that I took the first step in asking for help from a trained Christian counselor. It has been money well spent. It has been time worth giving. Through counseling, God has whispered grace into my life in more ways than I can mention. God has brought so much healing through Christian counseling. I will forever be thankful for the counselors God has brought into my life in this season of grief, change, and healing.

If you’re struggling today, don’t try to hide it and push it away.  It will not go anywhere but just deeper inside your heart. Take the first step and seek help from a knowledgeable Christian counselor.  I know it may seem embarrassing and shameful to expose your struggles, but I also know that Satan loves nothing better than to keep you living in the dark. It’s only as we expose the darkness and bring it to light that God can do His amazing work!

Christ desires that we have abundant joy! Christ desires that we may be filled with all the fullness of God! And He is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. (Ephesians 3)

I’m giving you permission today to ask for help! God is waiting and wanting to extend His grace. Cry out to Him and ask Him to give you boldness to seek help. Open yourself up to His light and healing. He is the Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6)and He never disappoints.

 Psalm 77 (ESV)

In the Day of Trouble I Seek the Lord

77 I cry aloud to God,
    aloud to God, and he will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
    in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
    my soul refuses to be comforted.
When I remember God, I moan;
    when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah

You hold my eyelids open;
    I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old,
    the years long ago.
I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
    let me meditate in my heart.”
    Then my spirit made a diligent search:
“Will the Lord spurn forever,
    and never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
    Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
    Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah

10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
    to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”

11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will ponder all your work,
    and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
    What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
    you have made known your might among the peoples.
15 You with your arm redeemed your people,
    the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

16 When the waters saw you, O God,
    when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
    indeed, the deep trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water;
    the skies gave forth thunder;
    your arrows flashed on every side.
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
    your lightnings lighted up the world;
    the earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea,
    your path through the great waters;
    yet your footprints were unseen.
20 You led your people like a flock
    by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

 

 

 

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