My journey with counseling began in high school. Adolescence isn’t an easy time for many people, and I was no different. But I had been taught the value of prayer and that we have everything we need in God—so where did seeing a counselor fit? Was I not trusting God enough? Not praying enough?
As it turns out, therapy ended up playing a major role in my relationship with Christ. That wasn’t because of any characteristic specific to my therapist; it was because God was able to use the therapist as a vessel in my relationship with him. Through her professional training, she was able to teach me new ways to look at things, and in turn, new ways to see God in my daily life. Finding a community of friends and mentors was important, but I also found the value in having an unbiased person who was specifically trained for handling many of the situations I was experiencing.
God was able to use the therapist as a vessel in my relationship with him.
Simply put, receiving guidance is biblical. Proverbs 24:6 says, “For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.” We are called to seek sage counsel and guidance—from God himself and through other wise people.
Convinced of the value of counseling, I’m now a trained marriage and family therapist. Later this year, my husband and I will begin serving long term with the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (CCCD), an RCA mission partner in Jamaica. Deaf students in CCCD’s schools are experiencing typical adolescent difficulties, but many of them are unable to process these issues with their families due to language barriers. I’ll serve as a counselor for adolescents, young adults, and couples who are navigating their futures and sorting through relational issues.
We were never made to walk alone. Even in the garden of Eden, where God and Adam were in the most intimate of relationships, God created a companion for Adam (Genesis 2:18). Consider the role God may want counseling to play in your life or the lives of others in your community. He truly can work in mysterious ways, and he may be trying to reach you or those around you through the vessel of a counselor.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please consider reaching out to your church for counseling resources or looking for local therapists on www.psychologytoday.com.
Kara Bloemendaal is a member of Community Reformed Church in Zeeland, Michigan. Learn more about her calling to the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (CCCD) at www.pkbloemendaal.com.