As a child, my journal entries were filled with unending outcries to God for comfort, companionship and direction. I had no idea how to live, and Christianity, the way it was expressed and taught didn’t seem to hold real answers. I knew God was there but felt like there was a veil separating me from Him. I pled endlessly for His intervention and sometimes felt like I was “granted” relief, but mostly experienced anxiety, depression and despair. I felt that if I had been more “courageous,” I would have ended my life, but I took the least dramatic path and just whined in my journal every day.
I married at 24 ½ in an attempt to find happiness, towing a whole host of emotional baggage. This attempt to find happiness was short-lived as I discovered that if you go into marriage with complex emotional pain, not only does marriage not fix it, it makes it worse. And worse it became. So I bumped along for many years in a hit-or-miss style of Christianity, attending many wonderful churches, hearing great sermons, having intense theological discussions, leading Bible studies, attending Bible studies, being consistent with devotions, not being consistent with devotions, speaking at retreats, and even providing lay Biblical counseling to women. But most of the time, I felt like there was still something missing. Something I couldn’t put my finger on. My life was very tumultuous. I seemed to be unable to connect with God on a consistent basis and continued to feel like I was failing at life.
More years passed and I found myself transitioning to a psychotherapy practice in Austin, Texas after going back to college to pursue a clinical social work degree. I was exhilarated to be finally pursuing my passion of counseling fulltime. At last, I would be able to lead people to finding solutions for making their lives work! Though I did not yet know it, I had not yet found a way to make my own life work.
One day while working on my website, my website designer referred to me as a Christian therapist. I immediately stopped in my tracks. A Christian therapist? Shamefully, I hadn’t planned on being one. Her statement was convicting, and it caused me to completely reassess my calling as a counselor and also my relationship with God. There was a disconnect between my attempts to help people live emotionally healthy lives, and showing them that their solution was in God. A disconnect that should never have been present.
Is there a disconnect between your Christian life and the rest of your life? Do you keep God confined to Sundays, during devotions, before meals and sometimes on Wednesdays? If you find this happening, this may be the cause of the distance you may be feeling. Can you commit to talking to Him more this week about the little things and the big things, and stopping to thank Him for your daily blessings?
Philippians 4:6 (NLT) says, “Don't worry about anything, instead, pray about everthing. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done."