I know I need to go and I also really don’t want to—these thoughts hang simultaneously in the air. Does anyone want to voluntarily sign up to work through hard things with someone they don’t know very well? Definitely not me.
I text a friend, please check in with me to make sure I schedule an appointment. I still don’t want to go. My husband and friend both remind me, have you made an appointment yet? Begrudgingly, I pull out my phone and send the text I know I need to send.
On the day of my appointment, I sit in the waiting room on a comfy couch, uncertainty weighing heavily upon my shoulders. What do I even say? What is she going to think of me? I can’t tell her that. My mind whirls like an endless fan. Nervousness announces its presence through a quickening heart beat, a tightened chest, and sweaty palms (and if I’m honest, armpits).
I focus on where I am—the plant next to the window and the bare tree branches rattling outside. I exhale a deep breath. She is going to help. This will be hard, but this is going to help.
I open the door, walk over to the couch, and sink into the pillows. The door closes, a visual reminder that this room is a trust-filled space. My gut reaction is to start small talk with her; however, I now know that in order to heal, I can’t hide or cover up my feelings, skirting around the pain that clings to my insides. I shed the layers of facade, as words spill from my mouth. As I slowly fumble through sharing, she helps me untangle the tightly wound lies. On the other side of the closed door, healing commences.
In God’s grace, He provided a biblical counselor. Is everything automatically better? No. Is it hard? Unbelievably so. Am I still showing up on that same couch over a year later? Yes.
I am learning to love myself as an image bearer of God. And learning so much more about God’s love for me. I will be forever grateful to my counselor—another gift of grace through whom God saved my life.
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