I'm counseling someone.
7 years ago, I went through my last serious bout with anxiety and depression. 7 years before that, I went through it the first time. I've always had a "depressed" personality-at least on the inside, I was once told that I'd smile at a funeral. I guess what's on the inside isn't often shown on the outside. I always seem strong and capable. Ready to face anything. Ready to help others. This time, it's really hard.
I've always wanted to counsel. My spiritual gift is exhortation with pastor/shepherd right up there. People have always come to me with their problems. I remember having kids bring me their problems way back. I was often helping people in the back seat of the bus! When I went through the instense times of anxiety and depression, I assumed God would use them to help others. His Word tells us,
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NIV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
I always knew that He would use it for His glory and to help others. I didn't realize how much it would affect me to try to put it into practice. Up to this time, I've been helping young moms or other friends and a few ladies from outside my circle. This time, my pastor put me in contact with a woman who was seeking someone to help her study her Bible and has severe anxiety.
Unfortunately, it has brought about feelings of anxiety (March is my worst month) in me. I don't feel like "me". I'm struggling with irrational fear and mistrust. I want so much to trust God in this, but I'm not sure that I know how to do that. If I can't get rid of the underlying current of anxiety about this situation, am I really trusting God?
I don't believe that I went through what I went through just to sit at home and feel better about myself. But, even though I've desired to counsel others for years (including a desire to possibly go into the ladies prison), I'm beginning to doubt that I can handle it.
The depths of this woman's sorrows and life are a bit overwhelming. I'm studying to try and understand it better, but I don't want it to consume me.
I always want to fix things. I want to make it better. I see that as my pride, for my glory. That is sin. On the other hand, I know that God can heal this woman if she is willing and will cooperate.
Lord, help to keep this all in perspective. Help me to trust you, that you will not give me more than I can handle. Help me to keep in my that you are the Healer, that I am not the Holy Spirit and that only you can bring change in the womans life. Help me to let those things go that I cannot control. In Jesus' Name, Amen.