Out of Suffering

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
Khalil Gibran
Recently I received a bulletin in the mail with the welcome news that a local church was opening a biblical counseling center. It is a sorely needed resource and I am sure many will benefit from it. I’m not exactly sure what kind of clients and issues they will receive, but Im very excited for the church and the community. Kudos to those involved for reaching out and beginning this ministry.
As I continued to read the bulletin, I found myself remembering my own journey in counseling some years ago. It was not easy and it was not brief. It lasted for two years and every moment and every session was very necessary for me.
 Its Christmas morning and Im ten years old. My brothers and sisters are in another part of the house. Im in my room on the floor, playing with a new toy. The adult (I choose here not to reveal more for my own reasons) comes in, shutting the door.I know right away Im in trouble. The adult demands to know why I did it. I dont know what “it” is and just stare. Again I’m asked why I did it. I bite my lip and look with scared eyes.The adult knocks me on my back and begins pressing down on my neck. It becomes more and more difficult to breathe…I wont go any further except to say on that Christmas morning my terrible crime was…stepping on a crayon. I had supposedly stepped on, and broken, a crayon. This is a small snapshot of one day in that house.
What you read above is a very small part of the life that I lived as a child and teen. Unfortunately, the result of that life echoed long into my adult-hood. I had to work very hard and be committed to counseling, in order to deal with what happened. It was a long drawn-out process. How do you begin when all you know as “normal” is far from normal? The beginning to healing can be quite rocky. But I did begin again and I learned. I learned I will never get an answer as to why because there are no answers. I learned you do not “get over it” but you do learn to live with it. I learned you stop apologising for surviving and I’ve learned to be OK-to be more than just OK.
I know sometimes people harbor the idea that we must sweep it under the rug and not speak of it.When you sweep everything under the rug the pain grows until it explodes and covers everything around you with its’ ugliness.  I haven’t lived in that ugliness, that secrecy, in quite some time now. However counseling was only part of the equation of healing. There is The Healer, and without Him, I could not find the peace I truly needed.
This year at age 48, I accepted Christ, and Pastor A. brought me out of the baptismal waters to be raised with Christ to live with Him.This does not mean the past is magically erased. It is not and I do not want it to be. My past is given to God to shape me and to become the person He wants me to be. I am excited to see what path He chooses for me as He leads me. God took a scared beaten child, a confused abandoned teen, a drifting young adult, a lonely divorced mom–I am all of those things past and present–and gave me His Life and Love.
Life and Love-this is what will make the new counseling center so unique-because while offering counseling services they will also be offering the Love of Christ for all who walk through the door.So as this new center gets under way, please give them both your prayers and support.

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