As many of you know I have been working with women for the last 14 years as a Pastoral Counselor. I took the last two years off to take care of my husband who is currently in skilled nursing where he is getting very good care.
As this broken world continues to spiral downward.. many of us are hurting and really could use some help. I have decided to return to the work I love and I am praying that the Lord will send me people to help as He has always done in the past. My own situation continues to be challenging but in the midst of it.. I need to pour out to others so that the Lord can use me as a wounded healer. I decided to post this in case anyone reading it needs to talk through whatever struggle they are having. I am posting this here and on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/aliciasroses/) You can message me on Facebook if you want to connect. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. Pastoral Counseling is not therapy and it is not Spiritual Direction.. it may have components of both but it is truly counseling by the power of the Holy Spirit as He brings healing to the brokenhearted.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a] to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. ( Isaiah 61)
2013 is half over. We’ve reached the half way mark today. God has been busy this year doing all kinds of things. I can only imagine what will happen in the months to come. Fourteen years ago I began my life over in the month of July. Since that time, nothing has ever been the same. I was widowed July 6, 1999. . the beginning of a new season in my life.
Because the marriage was extremely difficult, I grieved but I also felt a sense of relief. God was setting me free to experience so many new things that I could have never anticipated. So here I am, married again..for 11 years..rejoicing in the goodness of our God. I remember thinking that my life was over..how could I start over after a 25 year relationship? What would my new life even look like? It was very scary and a little exciting.
My new life started up almost instantly and it was filled with surprises. God blessed me with a new husband, wonderful son-in-law, and three amazing grandchildren. . I married into a wonderful faith filled family and acquired three grown step children and ten more grandchildren.. I was given the opportunity to go to seminary and start my own counseling practice. I’ve had time to spend many wonderful hours with my daughter.. making up for the years when we were unable to have the relationship I always wanted.
God continues to bless me with new friends and wonderful opportunities to do His kingdom work. All those years when I wondered if my life would ever change were not wasted. He was preparing me for this season when I would use my life experience to minister to the brokenhearted.
To God be the Glory.. He brings life out of death..He is always doing a new thing and today is the beginning of a new season! Rejoice in Him.
God has called us out of the darkness into His wonderful light. A conversation with a good friend brought this to mind today. He really did call us out of the darkness..yet the darkness in the world is very real. We are faced with it every day..take a look at the news for even a few minutes and you will find darkness..unimaginable darkness.
He has called us out of this for a reason..He wants to shine His light into this world.. we were created for such a time as this. He knew when we were formed..before we were born that we would live in very dark days. He knew that our lives would truly matter. We are here..right now..for a reason.
Every single day we encounter hardship, disaster, grief, fear, discouragement, depression, cynicism, disillusionment..either in our lives or in the lives of those around us. There is more of this than I have seen in my lifetime. It is a very interesting time to be a believer..to walk boldly through the hallways of despair and defeat.. knowing that we have the living God walking beside us. His life in us is able to shine light at just the right moment.. to bring hope, healing, love, understanding, and compassion to those who are brokenhearted.
He wants to use us..His people.. to remind a very troubled world that He is the answer..He is the way..He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
For about the last year I have been asking the Lord to heal me…from my past. He heard and He has acted. It did not happen in the way I would have expected.. basically He stopped me in my tracks and isolated me so He could do something deep in my heart. It has been scary and painful. He dug into the deepest roots of my childhood and brought the repressed feelings to the surface. I never knew they were there. It felt like an earthquake inside my body.
God is always waiting for the opportunity to do a healing work in us. Many of us are way too busy to even ask..many of us don’t really want to be healed. He is not an intruder..He never barges in where He is not wanted. He waits and when we are ready to receive.. He moves. He goes to the deepest wound and sticks a knife in it..the dam bursts and before you know it, you are flooded with memories..crying your eyes out. It is a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. Not for the faint hearted.
I share this with you so you will understand the heart of our God. He wants to change us..to make us over in His image. To release us..removing the garbage that we carry around with us day-to-day. He is after us with a vengeance.. He is not timid.. He is wild. He is unpredictable and He is not safe.. but He is good. He requires a heart that is fully dedicated to Him.. He won’t settle for anything less.
Jesus quoted the beginning of this scripture in the book of Luke..
” The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. “
God give us these just when we need them the most. So often we are wrapped up in the moment..seeing only those things that are right in front of us..having trouble understanding what is going on. Suddenly a light goes on..we see a glimpse of something bigger. Something hidden is revealed by the Spirit of God. I love these moments..God reminds me that He is at work doing new things and He has chosen to reveal some of these things to me.
It happens to us in many different ways. You might be praying when you realize that God is showing you a new way of looking at an old situation. You may be sitting in church when a vision of something new appears..His plan for you and others becomes more visible. He gives us these moments so that our faith is built. He enables us to enter in to the kingdom of God in a deeper way. We realize that He is intimately involved with us..guiding our steps..preparing the way for us.
The bigger pictures is always God’s perfect plan for us. The path for our lives. He designed the road we are on and He is leading us. What peace awaits us as we trust Him and depend upon His sovereignty. He will show us all things.. He is the source of wisdom and understanding. His ways are far better than ours..His plans far more wonderful than anything we can ask or imagine. He desires to give us good things..to bring showers of blessings in our lives..to use us to bring encouragement and hope to the brokenhearted. He is with us and He is ready to direct our steps as we follow Him.
” You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me.”