In 2019, I was blessed to finish my counseling internship at Beacon of Hope.
Before Beacon of Hope, I was really struggling with Imposter Syndrome. Am I doing enough? Am I doing this right? Do I have what it takes to a counselor? What kind of counselor is God calling me to be? Honestly, there are still days where I end a session and think I’m not cut out for this.
But I guess in some way, shape, or form, I think we all know what it feels like to be an imposter.
If I learned anything from Team Beacon, it was that counseling truly is God’s work. He is the one who calls. He is the one who qualifies. He is the one who fills, sustains, and provides all the wisdom and strength we need. Counseling is – for both counselor and client alike – fueled by grace and grace alone. Praise the Lord!
The team at Beacon of Hope truly lives this out. Whether it be praying and reading Scripture in staff meetings, comforting or exhorting one another in passing between sessions, or in supervision – the message was always resoundingly clear: This is God’s work. As much as clients are on a journey, so are the counselors. Week by week, I saw God growing Team Beacon with clients. For me, that often looked like walking alongside kids, teens, adults, marriages, and families through crises, clinging to the truth that God was still in control even when things felt out of control.
At Beacon of Hope, I learned to stop striving to earn something freely given. Counseling is a gift! I grasped that “counselor” was not who I was, but a ministry God was inviting me into. Once I stopped focusing so much on myself and what I was doing “wrong,” I felt a tremendous weight lifted. By the end of my internship, my eyes were more on Jesus, what God was doing in sessions, and how I could best serve the clients in front of me. Complete and total freedom and clarity!
The LLPC I am today is, in large part, due to my internship at Beacon of Hope. Someone who is imperfectly receiving and giving the grace that’s been so freely given. Someone who is confident in her identity in Christ. Someone who rests assured that counseling is God’s ministry, through and through. For God is our ultimate counselor:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6
Rachel is a limited license professional counselor (LLPC) at Joy Unlimited Counseling Center and enjoys coming alongside others (especially youth and young adults!) when life gets messy to help navigate through a variety of obstacles: spiritual issues, anxiety, depression, life-transitions, decision-making, relationship conflict, identity, sexual concerns, and family problems. She’s committed to making sure her clients feel heard, valued, and loved in a safe and warm environment where they’re empowered to achieve their counseling goals. When not counseling or consulting, Rachel’s probably writing, running, catching up with friends over coffee, or exploring West Michigan’s beauty with her husband.