If I had to give a name to this season in life it would be, without a doubt, preparation- in more ways than I could even attempt to express in this post. Moving to Mississippi and leaving everything behind that was familiar has been a humbling experience. Some parts of it have been extremely hard, but hard as it has been, I would go back and make the same decision simply because of what I have learned, and what Brett and I have learned together. I know that throughout my life I will look back on this time thankful for the foundations laid here, completely aware that without this time I may not have been able to move forward as God had planned.
Specifically, I have felt the overwhelming confirmation that the Lord is calling me to the ministry of counseling. My last year at Regent the Lord really put it on my heart (pretty much out of nowhere) and since then, it's like everything in my past and everything in my present agrees. Throughout my time here situations have occurred and it's like I just knew that the Lord was giving me these conversations and opportunities so that I could use them in the future. I feel like I'm in school all over again, trying to remember and take to heart what I am learning from the beautiful people around me as they both struggle and succeed.
I actually just finished reading the book The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen, and though the book was a slow start for me, by the end I was all in. The book is about ministry in general, but he paints a perfect picture of who I want to be as a counselor working for the kingdom of God. His main premise is that those of us who want to help people heal must be willing to suffer alongside our fellow men. We must not merely "sympathize" with other people's struggles, but open up our own hurts and trials to them. Nouwen states, "...No one can help anyone without becoming involved, without entering his whole person into the painful situation, without taking the risk of being hurt, wounded, or even destroyed in the process" (72). I pray to God that even as I seek out a licensure in counseling and one day make money to do it, that I will not lose sight of this.
I am naturally a very personal person. Anyone who knows me at all knows I'm pretty terrible at "small talk." I just don't have time for that jazz. I want to really know what makes people tick, what makes them smile, what made them who they are. I want to do counseling because I genuinely want to see more people walk through this life in wholeness instead of brokenness. I want to see people healed from the hurts of their childhood so they can be good parents, and so they can have healthy relationships. In the past, I have struggled with being intimidated by what God is calling me to. This is changing day by day though, as the Lord gives me continual confidence that I am HIS. I am not my own. He alone has brought me to this point and He alone will complete the work. Life has it's ups and downs and sometimes times are hard, but I am gaining more wisdom everyday about what matters. For me, that thing is the people God loves. They are what makes life sweet for me, and I will lay down my life that they will know You, Lord.