Originally posted July 27, 2016.
After my last blog, I contacted a Christian counselor. I needed someone to help me navigate the murky waters of infertility and how it’s negatively impacting my faith. I also think there are some other things I am kind of working through still and could use some additional support.
Anyhow, I went with a male counselor… not my first choice, but I felt like I was being led to him by the Holy Spirit. I had so many reservations prior to my first visit with him. I am working on becoming a counselor myself and currently work in the mental health field so you’d think I’d be used to it and not nervous at all, but I really was. 1) I’ve attended counseling in the past, but the last time I seriously attended, I was like 18. 2) I’ve never seen a male counselor before. 3) I’ve never seen a “Christian counselor” before. 4) I’ve never talked to a male other than my husband about this process of getting pregnant.
So, yeah. I was nervous and I definitely had my reservations about it, but I still went.
My first visit with him was last Tuesday and it went really well. I was a big ball of emotions from the get-go! Ten minutes in and I was already choking back the tears. By the end, there was no holding them back. He was so great. He was very understanding much more than I thought he would be. We talked about trying to conceive for almost 2 years and the emotional roller coaster it has taken me on. We also discussed the way TTC has begun to chip away at my faith. We talked about my struggles with my faith, in general and my difficulty trusting God to take care of me and my life. I was very open about it all and he really challenged my perception of my struggling with God and made me feel more accepting of where I am with my faith. It was so hard and so heavy for that 50 or so minutes, but the next day, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I knew that counseling was exactly what my spirit and my mind had been in desperate need of.
We have our next visit on Friday… I’m already feeling in a better place than I was.
One of the things the counselor said was that he felt like much of what I was saying reminded him of Jacob in the Bible. Jacob wrestled with God. He said that I was referring to my struggles with God and my faith as a bad thing, but through Jacob wrestling with God, he received his blessing. “Maybe,” he said, “Your wrestling with God is a good thing.” I had never seen it in that light. At one point I said to him, “I know I need to have faith. I just wish I could have a glimpse into WHY there is this struggle.”
Fast forward to yesterday… for my job, I have to meet with my supervisor each week for a check-in. I sat in her office yesterday and through our discussion I mentioned that hubby and I have been trying to get pregnant. So that sparked a conversation regarding that and we ended up having like a 30 minute conversation about it because her and her husband are TTC too as it turns out. We were able to vent to one another about the frustrations that go with TTC… like the dreaded 2WW, trying to time intercourse but also wanting it to feel more “natural” and less like an obligation, all of the emotional highs and lows, and the obsessing over every little sign or symptom your body experiences. It was really great to be able to share with somebody who gets it and is at that same place currently and somebody that you really know too. It was so freeing. She actually became emotional at one point and shared her recent struggles with me too. In that moment, it became clear to me that the counselor was right. My struggle isn’t about me. It’s not a punishment from God for some perceived shortcoming. It’s not because I don’t read my Bible enough or go to church often enough or because my husband isn’t a Christian… I felt like God was sending me a message loud and clear. I am his servant and by signing up for the Christian life I agreed to let God use me in a way to bring him honor and glory. Sometimes, that glory that I can give God is by walking the hard road, getting through it, and then helping others navigate their hard roads. God is building in me, the testimony that will help others to find their own faith. He’s chosen me for this honor. THIS is the cross I bear.
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
This is both an honor and a burden, but the Lord will help me carry it. I wasn’t meant to do it alone.
So, anyhow… God is challenging my perception of this whole journey. Not that it makes it easier. It just helps me make sense of it in a way so that it doesn’t destroy me. So I vented to my counselor about wanting to see a piece of God’s vision for this part of my life and that was quite literally exactly what he provided. God is so awesome like that.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.