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)
We live in a world that doesn’t think holistically. We become convinced that each part of us operates separately. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are complex beings…If we are unhealthy in one area, it will overflow into another.
Unless we come to terms with our emotional struggles and invest time (and energy) in learning how to deal with them.. they will grow into physical struggles. Our body will tell us that we are not doing well..that we need to stop and examine our livestyle and our levels of stress. We can run to the doctor and get a diagnosis and possibly medication, ignoring the underlying issues… if we ignore our emotions and stop growing.. we may stop moving forward spirtually..
Growth in one area.. leads to growth and freedom in other areas. God created us this way. He made us feelers, thinkers, and believers. He designed us so our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits would all need attention.. Unfortunately we get a very limited view of this because we separate ourselves into compartments.. we act as though we are only our feelings or only our bodies and we miss out on the healthy life that God intends for us. The same thing happens when we over- spiritualize.. everything is not a spiritual issue. We need discernment to realize all this and God is ready to give that to us if we ask.
He gave His Holy Spirit to us for such a time as this.. to help us navigate this complicated world and to give us answers that will enable us to live fully while we are here.
Jesus said this in John 16:
“I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. “
Does God speak to us? Yes..He is always speaking and revealing new things to us. Learning to hear His voice and follow His leading has been the focus of my life for the last 35 years. What better way to live than to follow Him and receive all the things He has intended for our lives. The living God who created the universe has a unique path for each of us.
Do you doubt that? I believe we all do. One of the things that has helped me is to look back on my life. If I look carefully I can see the way one thing led to another. I can see how the pieces of my life fit together like an amazing puzzle. One piece by itself does not make sense.. but put them all together and you have a picture of God’s faithfulness.
Another practice that encourages me.. is to look around my home. In every room and on every wall are gifts from God. We purchased a few things, but most of it was given to us..God’s abundance is so visible. I am very visual and love beauty..God knows that ..we have views from every window in our condo. Nothing is an accident or coincidence.. it is all part of the story that God has written for my life.
I encourage you to begin to look for the places in your life where God is speaking to you..revealing His goodness. He wants you to know that you are the apple of His eye and that He loves you more than you can ever imagine. His arms are open wide.. longing to embrace you and fill you with everything you need to continue.
He is speaking.. listen.. it is the still small voice that only says wonderful things to you!
“See! I have not forgotten you..I have carved you on the palm of my hand.”
If you have been reading my posts you know that I am describing the season that God has given me. Reflecting on my past and remembering.. He continues to bring up pieces of my past to help me understand myself. What.. you may be asking.. is the reason for understanding ourselves? Aren’t we supposed to focus on the Lord?
Yes we are..but our unresolved issues can make that more difficult. Emotional health and spiritual growth go hand in hand. We need to work in both areas as we journey with Him. We can get stuck spiritually if our emotional life is hidden away as we over-spiritual everything. We can also get stuck emotionally if we forget about God..His healing power and His grace for us.
Thinking wholistically .. we must also recognize the needs of this physical body..without that focus things can get very unbalanced. So how do you think I am spending my time these days..in this quiet season? I talk to God about my emotional problems..listen for His voice to guide me spiritually and do lots of stretching and walking for my body.
There is another area that we must not forget.. our intellect. We need to grow intellectually and use this amazing brain that God has given us. Reading and having deep conversations does that for me.
One last thing..enjoy His creation..break away and leave your circumstances behind for an hour, a day, or a week.. He will make a way for this! It is His gift to us as we live our lives with Him.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”