Each December, we take time to share Stories of Hope from counselors, board members, pastors, and others who have been impacted by our work. We always look forward to sharing these stories with you, and inviting you to partner with us in our work. This week we begin with Kim’s story. Kim is one of our counselors and works out of our Wilson, NC office.
“Come and see!” These words of invitation were spoken by Philip and the woman at the well concerning our Messiah. What a privilege it is to invite others to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” At our counselors’ meetings, we are constantly encouraged to bring our counselees to The Wonderful Counselor and to go him ourselves for strength and wisdom. I am encouraged by the humility that I find in my colleagues as a result. I am convicted by my own resistance to allowing myself to be weak and vulnerable so Christ’s strength can shine through me. Hope Counseling Services is a place where I am regularly being challenged to grow.
As my counselees and I have gone hand in hand to our Great Physician, I have had a front row seat to some amazing transformations. Many times, when counselees first come, I can see the heaviness in their bodies. Their face is downturned. Shame and guilt way them down. Sometimes, they can barely look me in the eye. Pent up emotion seeps out as they begin their story. They feel alone, stuck. Over the course of weeks or months, their demeanor begins to change as they come face to face with their Savior whose countenance is not condemning towards his children. They realize that he is inviting them to come close in their struggles rather than staying at a distance. Their view of who God is and their view of themselves slowly changes. They become freer to confess their sin. Once again, they can enter the covenant community with their heads held high knowing that they are clothed in beautiful wedding garments provided by their bridegroom who laid down his life for them. My hope is that they leave exclaiming, “Come and see the God man who knows me intimately, who sees me, and loves and accepts me because of whose I am not because of what I have done or what has been done to me.”
This same Jesus is for me, inviting me to do the same. I am just a fellow struggler in need of his grace. As a counselor, I struggle with my own ineptness and my own pride. The voice of doubt plagues me often. As I am inviting my counselees to come and see, they are encouraging me to do the same. At Hope, we realize that counseling is a partnership that adheres to “iron sharpens iron.” I have been incredibly sharpened by my colleagues and my counselees. In my weakness, I am having to run to the Wonderful Counselor who holds me fast. What a privilege it is to taste and see that He is good!