We all have stories that we tell about ourselves – our lives, our families, our past, our present, and maybe even about our future. These stories shape our behaviours in the present moment and are, without a doubt, shaping the course of our lives.
As someone who not too long ago invested significant hours of therapy working through inherited responses and behaviours in relation to particular stresses, I now have the rich insight through the help of a skilled and thoroughly Christ-focussed counsellor into some of those key areas that shape and provoke me in certain ways.
I recognise that I firstly had to articulate my ‘story’ before I could start to see an alternative vision. It is easy to write about now, but it consisted of several years of very deliberate and hard work to get here. In fact, one of the things my counsellor said to me in my last session with her was the admiration she had about how dilligent, focussed and intentional I was in working through the things at hand. This was not a rushed process, but it was deliberate.
Ultimately because I knew that if I was to be true to the calling upon my life to be a minister of the gospel and in church leadership, I had to accept and tend to the things that needed attention. Not areas of huge sin or failure, but woundedness, pain, hurt and exhaustion of continually seeking to keep on keeping on when all my energies were escaping through trying to stay afloat with the extra emotional baggage of earlier hurt.
I am telling this particular story today because I know there are people out there who try to limp along with the emotional equivalent of a tonne weight on the back of their minds. I am telling it again because people need to know that there is freedom. I’m also telling it because, in my experience, God doesn’t just take these things away. Rather, it is in going into the wounds that we find the healing Christ.
It is a bit like the kids book, ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ – you can’t go over it, you can’t go round it, you can’t go under it….you have to go through it. Our freedom has already been won. But as Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:1, we need to remain free in Christ and not take on our burdens again.
Why don’t you talk to someone about ‘that thing’ and begin the journey deep into your freedom?