I’ve seen several different counselors in different settings and at different stages of my life. There is not an expected or “right” way to receive help and care. Some people go see a counselor for a specific reason, and short-term counseling that focuses on working through that particular problem or circumstance may be all that’s needed. But many times, women silently bear things over a long period of time, and we feel both lost and at a loss. It may take some time not only to tell our story, but also to find ourselves in it. In this case, counseling may be more of long-term process. Some women who just feel “off” or “bad” may be hesitant to get help because there isn’t something exact they can point to or articulate. Partner with a counselor to develop what works best for you.
Difficult Yet Beautiful
Let’s be honest: It’s so hard to make that call and show up. Every time I go to counseling, especially that first visit, I am kind of a wreck. Several translations of the Mark 5 story say that when the woman comes before Jesus, she falls at his feet trembling with fear. The Greek word used to describe her is one that depicts what happens to the female body in childbirth. There is the shaking of both pain and anticipation as a new life is born. What a messy, accurate, glorious picture of what it’s like to be in counseling. It can be difficult, scary work to examine what has been marred, stolen, or even destroyed in your life. It can be as difficult and scary to explore the goodness, gifting, and glory of what was meant to live and thrive. I cringe at the belief that seeing a counselor means you don’t have enough strength, smarts, or spirituality. Jesus blessed the faith of the woman who came forward—and oh what incredible hope, courage, and integrity she had to have in order to share the truth of her story.
This is not to say that Jairus didn’t have hope or courage or integrity. Jairus is not better or lesser than the woman. He is just different. Honoring the woman with the issue of blood in us doesn’t mean disparaging the parts of us that are like Jairus. When I first started to see a counselor, I went with the belief that I needed help to “fix” my woman with the issue of the blood so that I could be more like Jairus. Now I see a counselor so I can be more like Jesus.