English: Unsettled (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hard, hard days. We’re moved, but I can’t say that we’re settled, as settling takes a while. And my soul is unsettled.
I did finally go to church today; haven’t been on a Sunday since the day I ran into my counselor in the hallway a couple of months ago; the day that Didn’t Go Well. Fridays are safe, as a rule. But I have to go; have to get things back in order in all areas, because all of this fear of getting hurt, and the consequent avoidance is unhealthy. And I was glad I went, because it was good teaching today on the love of God.
I made my own notes, as always, and compared the difference between the love of God for me, and the transitory love (professed love) of my counselor: how the love of God for me is unconditional, but how her love turned out to be based on appearances (perceptions) and performance. I’m still trying to figure out what this means as far as her role as a minister, as she is supposed to represent God, but I don’t confuse her with God. And never have. All I wanted was pastoral counseling, plain and simple. Wasn’t looking for psychotherapy, gimmicks or interventions, just straightforward counsel from someone who is a little farther down the path than I am. Someone who can listen, and counsel wisdom from the heart of God, concerning the way I take, and the decisions that have to be made. Straight talk, please, preferably in the place where I have already invested ten years of my life, in the good faith that when things happen I will have a place already prepared to go and sort all of this out. To sort life out.
And this would be a good week for it.
I went to the hospital earlier in the year, as I had been hurt over the weekend of the Super Bowl. After many hours of confusion and humiliating exams, they finally decided not to call my counselor (the only person I would have spoken to in a situation like this) and instead sent in a very young social worker, from an agency I was recently fired from. She was about the age of one of my daughters’ friends. Very nice, very sweet, and very young.
So I said nothing, other than I will be fine, thank you. (Not.) I do not want my personal records sitting on the desk of my former co-workers, thank you. And so I called my counselor myself, and she returned my call, and was both kind and helpful. But I’m still waiting for an appointment. And waiting.
Until finally, after hitting bottom physically and emotionally, my physician said I needed to talk to someone – anyone - before things get even worse. (After which he laughed, and said things really can’t get much worse, so what do I have to lose anyway? Right?) Amen.
That was how I ended up in the office of the cognitive-behavioral counselor who wanted me to quote the alphabet during the panic attacks I’m not having. And told me, when I said that I preferred to talk only to my pastoral counselor, that “it’s good that you have a positive source to draw positive energy from.” And she looked completely confused while saying it.
Not worth my time, or my money, especially as I have precious little of both. No, I want what I have already paid for and invested in. Not looking for a new counselor at this point in my life, just want to work things out with the one I already have. I don’t believe in throwing people away, unless they are truly evil, and she isn’t.
But, I don’t perform well, so right now my time slot on Wednesdays is being filled, presumably, by someone who is much better at performing than I am. Who can play the intervention game (or isn’t aware that it is one) and looks good while doing it. Who says and does all the right things, or whatever it is you do to not get rejected by your counselor. God knows, I don’t.
Which brings me back to the message today: “And we have known and have believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides [dwells] in love abides in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16 (NKJV)
When we walk in love, we walk in the very essence of God.
God doesn’t just forgive my sin, He removes it and treats me as though I have never sinned. He loves me, no matter what. Still could use a pastoral counseling session, just to talk things out and get direction, and help with managing all of this grief and stress, but my counselor is not God. With her, there are no second chances, no fresh starts, or clean slates, but with God, always. Always.
And there my faith rests.