I remember the first time I ever saw a therapist. It was the year 2010, and one of the ladies I worked with at the time was talking about going to counseling weekly.
She put it plainly like this, “I go see a complete stranger once a week and vent for like an hour just to get it all off my chest, then I go home.”
She made it sound so simple. I remember it being a time in my life where I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone. I had so much going on in my mind and in my relationship at the time that I didn’t want to share with close friends and family. Maybe talking it out with a stranger would help. So that day, I got on the internet and looked for the first counselor I could find.
Let me tell you, it was much deeper than venting to someone once a week about my crap. She actually talked back. She started pointing out toxic behaviors and suggesting things for me to do that I didn’t want to hear. She tried to really dig into my personal space and that’s NOT what I agreed to. I wanted to talk and vent. I didn’t want advice! I didn’t want to walk away from our sessions feeling like crap because we’ve dug deeper into my childhood. I’m not paying weekly for this!
So after a few months, I stopped going to her. And swore off counseling. I didn’t need it anyway.
Or so I thought.
Last year, was a tough year for me battling my depressive moods. It was literally every other month, I would go through a week or more of depression. No matter how much I prayed, and cried out to God, I was still going through the same destructive cycles like clockwork. I was tired of it. I felt like a shell of myself, and I knew what needed to change more than anything, was my mind.
I had to realize, I couldn’t change my mind by myself. I needed help. I wanted to understand who I was and I wanted to understand most was WHY.
Why do I move like this? Why do I think like this? Why did I stay in that relationship as long as I did? Why don’t I hate him now? Why is my relationship strained with the men in my life? Why do I seek to people please? Why am I insecure? Why am I afraid to pursue my God given passions? Why am I inconsistent? Why am I so afraid?
And most importantly..
How do I stop?
I had to get to a place where I saw the value in therapy and also understand that God gives us therapist as well. He is absolutely our Great Counselor and being that, he has provided us with the necessary tools and recourses to be free. God can absolutely set us free from bondage in instance in our spirit which aids us in mind renewal. But we still play a part. Our minds have to catch up with what has transpired in our spirits. And for most of us, that can be the hardest part!
Think about it, a lot of our toxic mindsets and traits have developed over decades of time! That’s 20+ years of thinking WRONG! Yes, I believe some of us can make up our minds about a thing and that’s IT! But for many of us… that’s not the case.
In my case, I needed a professional. Not only that, I needed the right professional. I prayed and prayed about how to find my therapist. I didn’t want to waste my time with another person that wasn’t a right fit. So I prayed and God showed me exactly who to go to. And thankfully, God showed her as well and she embraced me with open arms.
I’ve been in therapy for over a year now, and I can’t tell you how impactful it’s been. I believe what helped with the impact is that I went into the therapy, not only with an open heart, but with goals. I told her exactly the areas I believed I needed help in, and each week we wrote them down and kept track of our progress. And as soon as we got through one set of goals, there would be another list of things that needed worked through. And it’s just truly made my life as a whole better. I know myself in a way I never have before. And I’m beyond thankful for her continual impact in my development.
I don’t believe having a therapist is the absence of Jesus.. and I don’t believe having Jesus means you don’t need therapy.
Of course without Jesus I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. Only one man on this earth, laid down His life to save my eternal soul. ONE. I’m nothing without Him. Nothing.
At the same time, without my therapist showing me Jesus in the light that only she’s gifted to do so, I wouldn’t finally be me either.
There is room for both to work together.
And when they do.. it’s absolutely beautiful.