Although Christian counselors want to lead clients in God’s plan to solve their issues and concerns, it can be hard to navigate the difference between trusting oneself and trusting God to lead a client. One of the challenges in working this process is learning to distinguish the various differences between the counselor’s inner voices. One voice is always the training: “When working with anxiety, use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to make the most difference.” Another voice is the soul in its constant work in progress: “This client is really angry. She is just like your boss. You better confront her rather than let this slide again.” Another voice is the Holy Spirit. For most counselors, just like most people, this voice is the quietest voice. This voice doesn’t make its presence known without constant petitions. This voice is often soft. When it does speak, it is mostly nudges, promptings, and subtleties that take seeking to recognize. Christian therapy isn’t a perfect process. It is a soft science and a fluid experience. The counseling session is the combination of a mysterious God, the imperfect counselor, and a hurting person.
The reality of this messiness means that both clients and counselors need to know that Someone with a perfect plan and a perfect heart is working behind the scenes during our counseling session. While God never promised an easy life for anyone, He has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deut. 31:6). He has promised to be present in all troubles (Psalm 46:1). God will get involved in all of our concerns and work them for good if we don’t give up on seeking him (Romans 8:28). Because God is good, just, and merciful, we have the foundation we need to be confident that everything will be okay in the long run.
This past week, I was reflecting on the people in my early life. When I was a little child, my neighbor’s family taught me about the peace of God through their loving relationships. My piano teacher was the one who showed me that God cared and accepted me unconditionally. My aunt showed me that God would be merciful to me in my time of need. Counselors showed me that God would direct my path. In reflecting on these things, I realized that people are just part of a greater plan that God is working for our good. Life is full of divine appointments that remind us that God cares and has a plan that He is working one step at a time.
In light of this knowledge, I think it’s important for counselors and clients to remember that God is His own agent. He acts on our behalf (Isa 64:4), He directs our lives (Proverbs 16:9), and He continues to love us through anything we go through (Romans 5:8). In conclusion, we can take some pressure off the process of change and put more trust in God because He cares for the outcome too. Our counselor is just another person God is using to give us a glimpse of who He is and direct us forward in His plan.
Sara is an exceptional counselor in our Grandville office. She first got connected with Beacon when she heard Kyle speak in one of her classes and decided to do her internship with us. She really enjoys working with young adults, couples, and those coping with anxiety. When not at the office, you’ll find Sara reading, being by the water, listening to music, and spending time with her husband.