I say this all the time, but my favorite part of my job (HANDS DOWN) is reading and responding to your emails. It brings me to tears that you’d share your stories with me and invite me to give my 2 cents. It’s an honor I don’t take lightly, but one I cherish—holding it in both hands and close to my chest.
Your emails are all over the board: Boys, self-confidence, what the heck we’re supposed to do with our lives, etc. And my thoughts on the subjects are varied as well.
But there’s one piece of advice I’ve been sending back more than ever lately, something I have found myself wishing all of us would go and do.
That advice? Get some help.
GET SOME HELP
“Get some help” sounds cruel doesn’t it? It sounds like I’m saying, “You’re too messed up to fix this on your own.”
But that’s not what I’m saying at all.
All of us are going through something. Life is like wandering through an overstuffed furniture store. You can’t move more than a few feet without bumping into a sharp corner, or an edge of some kind. We walk through life as carefully as we can, but we emerge on the other side of days, weeks, and seasons with bruises and scars, and wounds deeper than we may even realize.
Life cuts us up pretty good, and that’s just the way it is. That’s just the deal as humans walking through a broken world.
And because life is this way, I’d bet that in one area of our lives or another, all of us are trying to heal, to find freedom, and to get past the things that have been holding us back.
And that’s a noble pursuit. It is. Healing, and growth, and redemption are roads we will (and should) walk down our entire lives.
What I’m suggesting here is that we don’t have to walk down them alone.
HOW TO HEAL FROM OUR BROKENNESS
My whole life has been a story of healing and freedom and redemption. In every season I can point to the things that were broken to begin with, and how they were healed throughout the journey.
The part I may not mention enough is the fact that I didn’t always find that healing on my own.
I have had lots of help along the way. I've had friends, and mentors, and pastors pouring into my life, certainly. But I've also reached out for some professional help.
I was in a major car accident my senior year of high school, and I went immediately into therapy so that I could drive again without paralyzing fear. I went into counseling for a season after I went through my worst breakup. I was having a hard time getting past it, couldn’t seem to heal the way I knew I wanted to. So I got help.
I spent some time in counseling when Carl and I were first dating. I had a pile of fear and anxiety about marriage I never knew was there, and so I worked it out with a professional.
Yes, I’ve experienced healing in tons of areas of my life, but I’ve had help along the way. And I’m not the only one.
As I was thinking through this, I began thinking through the women who are the very closest to me. As I went down the list, I realized that almost every single one of them has been in counseling. Almost all of them have asked for help and come out the other side free and better because of the counselors that walked them through.
I’m not saying that God isn’t enough. He absolutely is. But part of God being enough is that He provides us incredible resources to help us along the way.
- If you’re suck in something you wish you could get through
- If you’re hurting in a way you don’t know how to heal from
- If you’re just looking to find greater freedom and healing in your life overall
- Or if you just want to check under the hood to make sure everything's working alright
… I’d recommend finding some help unequivocally.
THERE IS NO SHAME IN ASKING FOR HELP
Maybe you’re not ready for counseling, or that’s not exactly what you need. Maybe it’s reaching out to a friend—someone who can give you honest advice and perspective. Or maybe this is a bit above a girlfriend’s pay grade. You might need someone a few steps ahead of you in life like a mentor or a pastor. Or maybe counseling is what you need—someone who’s paid and trained to sit with you and help you navigate your past, your present, or your future.
But whoever you reach out to, there is no shame in asking for help. I’d argue that there’s strength in it.
There’s strength in humbly admitting that you can’t do everything yourself, and there’s love in caring about your heart enough you’re willing to do anything to take great care of it.
So if you’re struggling with something today, even if you think it shouldn’t be a big deal, or that you should be able to muscle your way through it, I’d encourage you to ask for help.
You don’t have to go through this alone, so why would you? I can’t wait to see the freedom waiting for you on the other side.
A note from the pros on how to find a good therapist:
A Google search, or asking around at your church is a great start. You can also ask friends who might know someone or have been to counseling themselves. References and recommendations will be the most helpful, so don't be afraid to ask around.
The most important thing to look for when finding a therapist is a good fit. You can ask for a free trial session, and trust your instincts on whether or not you want to move forward. Do you feel safe and listened to? Good therapy is a partnership where the professional models good boundaries and respect. Therapy won't always feel good but it should not feel destructive. Also, the more training the therapist has, the more qualified they are to dig into deeper issues. I hope that helps!
If you would like to dig further into this topic, be sure to tune into these episodes of the Girls Night Podcast:
Girls Night #20: Answers to our biggest questions about counseling and therapy
Girls Night #44: Stephanie Tells the Story of her Recent Anxiety and Depression
Here are a few resources for finding a therapist:
Faithful Counseling – affordable Christian counseling from the comfort of your couch (use this link to get 10% off your first month of counseling)
EMDR – the kind of therapy Steph did after her car accident