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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Beauty That Surrounds.

When I first started counseling, I had this idea of being in an office with two wing back chairs facing each other and me "helping" someone else have the life they desired. I'd be well-dressed, of course and they would need me desperately. God has brought me on a much different journey. It took much longer to get me here than it did to educate me on how to counsel. Brokenness and desert surrounded me for a long time. I have learned that it is easier to counsel in a few gracious sentences than in hours of my opinion. God intends us to do this when we look the worst. He wants it when we desperately want to escape the Walmart bathroom, but there is someone at the sink crying. He wants you to offer your heart when you are desperately uncomfortable. I have had more meaningful conversations on my front porch or across the table at a hole in the wall restaurant than I ever could have had in a stuffy office. I'm better for it. The more we are real about our struggles, the more we are changed. 

I have long clung to a verse that says God is close to the broken-hearted. My prayer is that He would let me be too. He has. I have rarely dealt with people who want to be counseled about some superficial thing in their ministry. In fact, I'm honestly reluctant to help them. I love being surrounded by the broken. The presence of the Lord is so thick around them . . . even when they cannot feel it. 

There are things I have learned we all need to hear. It is okay to be in a desert. We don't have a part in the lies of the enemy. There is a season for everything. A time to dance. A time to mourn. It is okay to be in that season. We are beloved of Christ and we can trust that He will carry us to the other side.

Where do you find yourself today?

2 comments:

danielle said...

The beautiful heart and gracious spirit God has given you, and your willingness to let Him flow through you makes a HUGE impact in little ways. I am grateful for how God has allowed you to minister to me through such modern tools as the internet. Your ministry keeps me "on my toes" and brings a breath of fresh air just when needed! Oh, how God is such the Master conductor of the music of Life!

In 1st Kings 19 the Lord's voice was not in the great wind, earthquake or fire but in the gentle whisper.
Even looking at the ministry of Jesus on earth... many of his most impact-full moments were not in-front of crowds preaching, but in those impromptu moments. In the home of Martha (Luke 10), dinner with Levi (Mark 2), the samaritan woman at the well (John 4), even bringing life back to a child (Mark 5).
Each of us has been given a "talent" that God can use. Some may be do-ers (hands), others may be confident speakers (mouths), others may be interpreters and analyzers (brains), and each has a little mix of all parts in various portions but, all useful parts of the "body" of Christ.
I have always seen you as a heart shaped like a beautiful and fragrant rose. Your rose is not on display at a rose show but, placed by God where one least expects it and most needs it. After-all, one expects to see beautiful roses at a rose show but, what a grand feeling to be walking through a barren concrete jungle with your head down and suddenly turn the corner and there it is ... a fragrant beautiful rose along your path in the midst of all your turmoil.
I pray that God continue to bless you and use you in His own special way!

Stephanie Cherry said...

Thank you. You have deeply encouraged me.