“I think you might benefit from seeing a counselor,” my boss told me as I took another bite from my bagel. We were on a break at work, and she was being candid with me. I didn’t really know how to respond, so shocked by the comment, that the only thing I could muster out of my mouth was, “Where would you suggest?”
Looking back at that moment, I know I am extremely fortunate to work with someone who cares deeply about my personal spiritual life, but I did not feel that way right away. I was embarrassed to have hit a point in my life where everyone else around me could tell I wasn’t doing well. My husband and I had recently moved to Sioux Falls, both started a new job, bought our first house and had our first child on the way. The things I used to turn to for comfort and a sense of control - friends, family, a clean house, a predictable pattern to my life - had all in one swoop been taken away. The anxiety and depression I had struggled on and off with most of my life really bubbled up, and quickly spilled over. There were many moments that season that I spent alone in the bathroom, at work or home, crying, feeling so overwhelmed by life.
I was introduced to Jesus going into my sophomore year of college. That moment had caused much change in my life, and it was a true joy getting to know Him. Yet, eight years later, He still felt so distant in those moments of anxiety and depression. It was confusing to understand what that meant for me and my relationship with him.
As per my bosses suggestion, I started seeing a counselor at New Haven Ministries shortly after our conversation. Much to my surprise, she wasn't just some lady in a chair with a pencil taking notes on me, she is someone who loves the Lord and cares deeply about my relationship with Him. She has helped me to see lies I am believing about God and myself. She has given me assignments, prayers to replace lies and speak truth, and just general encouragement to keep seeking Him, keep talking to Him, keep letting Him in. I have learned that I need to be aware of expectations I place on myself and others, and that God meets the needs in my life for worth and belonging. I’m learning to see God as present in all things in my life, even the anxiety and depression, as well as to separate my feelings from what The Word says is actually true of me and God.
Counseling has been a consistent place to go to be pointed back to God, to have truth spoken to me, and to be encouraged. I am so thankful for her, as well as New Haven Ministries. God placed it in my life at just the right moment. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6