Friday Counseling Issues on Saturday

I have no idea what I’m going to write.  That’s why I didn’t post yesterday.  No ideas, no inspiration.

I’m really very tired, and looking forward to Thanksgiving week.  I always take off that week.  It’s really only two days off work, because everyone gets off on Thursday, and I use those days to clean and do prep for the meal on Thursday. So it’s not a true vacation, at least by my definition, but it’s a valued change of pace.

Terry is already up and pounding nails into things 🙂  He’s been working very hard for weeks now on several projects, and finishing up the kitchen is one of them. He’s constructed small cabinets out of bigger ones that were left over from the major cabinets. The smaller ones go above the stove and refrigerator.  The one over the stove is done, and he’s working on the other one right now.

Last night he finished mounting our new flat-screen TV on the wall.  It looks really good. Now we can put the DVD player and the old VCR player on the cabinet where the TV has always stood.  He threaded all the cords and cables behind the wall, so it looks neat and tidy.  He also refinished areas on the wood floor in the living room that were looking pretty seedy.  Now I need to vacuum up all the dust from the spackling and sanding. That will be a major chore for me today. Back to the kitchen, he’s got all the toe boards in place under all the cabinets.  Looks really nice.  I think the  major thing left now is the painting.  He’s done most of the prep for that–filling holes, spackle, sand, and prime–in the kitchen, dining room, and down the hall.  It will all be the same color.

So what does any of this have to do with counseling?

It doesn’t.  It’s just where my mind is this morning, along with planning for Thanksgiving, and beginning to think about Christmas.  I washed all my teapots yesterday, but I’m not going to set them back out.  I think I’m going to start bringing up my Christmas decorations, put the teapots away until January.

So here’s something about counseling.  I need a break. Therapists?:  Someone asked me the other day what I found the most difficult about my work.  My immediate response was, “Seeing the pain that sin creates in the lives of everyone who is touched.  One person walks away from God and godliness, and a whole family suffers. Relationships are hurt, sometimes broken.  Trust is destroyed. Even when there is repentance and restoration, the hurt and distrust take time to heal.  I hate Satan.  Truly hate him.”   I don’t think my questioner was prepared for such an impassioned response.

Let me warn you that this work is not for the faint of heart.  I find myself talking about things I would never, ever have discussed with relative strangers.  I’ve heard so many stories of betrayal, pain, and sorrow.  Young people, old folks, middle-aged–it doesn’t matter.  The pain of betrayal is horrendous.  I’ve had more than one person tell me it would have been better if the one who betrayed their love and trust had just died.  Betrayal creates a whole different kind of grief and sorrow.

I don’t think I could have done what I’m doing now when I was 25.  I didn’t know enough about life, and I certainly didn’t have the confidence  in my relationship with God that I do now.  My knowledge and trust in God’s Word has grown to meet the needs of the people I try to help.  I’m praying more, sometimes as I’m working, listening, trying to seek God’s leading for my next words.

At the end of a day, I’m not at the end of my rope because  I don’t find my own wisdom or strength to be what I fall back on.  But I am weary, and I love knowing that when I get home there won’t be any stress.

Counselors are supposed to stay objective, right?  Not become emotionally involved.  Right.  When you see people for weeks and months as you try to help them walk through their pain, I just don’t know how you can blithely stay above it and remain unaffected.  I’m pretty good at leaving most of it at the office.  I don’t  usually have trouble sleeping, and I don’t think I’ve ever dreamed about the horrors I hear every day that I work. But yes, it affects me.  I am thankful for my God, Who gives me just the scriptures that I need when my thinking begins to go to dark places.

Psalm 119:165. “Great peace have they which love Thy law; and nothing shall offend them.”

And that’s all.

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10 thoughts on “Friday Counseling Issues on Saturday

  1. That’s all folks! A little pic of Bugs Bunny popped up in my mind at the end!

    On the serious side: I believe it is Dr. Dobson who wrote in a marriage book that “divorce is ongoing death.” He is right. At least the person doesn’t show up at graduations, weddings, even funerals, if they are dead. Especially with your replacement.

  2. I have thought of how your clients’ stories must affect you often. I pray for you each time I read Friday counseling issues.

    May God give you peace, strength and wisdom and you help hurting people find healing in living, loving Creator.

  3. Thanks Linda, for being real, and for the work you do. It is often the case that working for the Lord brings little reward, as this world counts rewards, in the here and now. And as you well know, hurting people often do not have what may be termed a trade-out, in that they have been hurt so bad they have little to give that is positive in return. But the Lord Jesus knows. He walked the same path and still walks it every day. His work continues to have a great impact on this fallen world. So does yours, as He works through you. May your joy be full.

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