Until I went away to college, I did not express emotions easily. I also did not confide in people. When bad things happened to me, I buried them, telling myself that it was no big deal. It became very easy to hide instances of bullying, near misses with sexual violence, and my own insecurities.
Well, God decided that it was time for me to peel away these layers. He blessed me with many good friends, all of whom would not let me get away when something was wrong. I finally broke down and started to become more open with people. They’ve been amazing to me, giving me hugs, buying me tea, taking me out for awhile, and praying for me.
More than that, I realized that as great as friends are, they can’t always point you in the direction that you need to go in. They’re there for me and they support me but they aren’t trained. They’ve been trying to get me to go to counseling, reassuring me that they’re still going to support me but that I need more direction than they can give. I finally went (though one of my friends was very close to dragging me kicking and screaming) and am very glad I did. I’m considering going at least a couple more times.
Counseling does not mean anything is wrong with you. And it certainly does not mean that God isn’t enough. God gave us each other in order to see each other through and blessed us with many great gifts to serve others. Counselors have the gift of not only listening and caring, but also of helping you determine the right direction. Meds can help with true chemical imbalances but there is no pill to get rid of excess baggage. Friends can help too, especially if you’ve had an intense session and want to vent to them, but as much as they love and support us, they can’t always give us the help we need.
God blessed me with great people. He also has been helping me realize my own weaknesses and enabling me with the strength and humility to seek help. I didn’t feel strong until I started asking for help.
So if you’re dealing with something difficult or just need more direction, give it a thought. Like I said, doesn’t mean anything’s wrong and it doesn’t mean that God isn’t enough (otherwise, we’d have to say the same thing about doctors, emergency services, food, etc.) It can be a very big, scary step, but it can help. And if it doesn’t work, at least you can say you’ve tried.