When approaching any counseling situation, we should pray not only for wisdom, but also for protection as we tread on ground the enemy has attempted to steal. We’re reminded in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (ESV). The enemy will use the same lies again and again, not because he is lazy, but because the deception successfully steals from the children of God.
By no means does this imply we should stop ministering to others out of fear of exposure, but it does mean we must stay alert to the state of our own thoughts and feelings as well and make them obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). Depending on how you process, journaling after a meeting can be a prayerful check, or you could check in with trusted allies about your own heart. Just make sure that whatever you choose to do maintains confidentiality in regards to the other woman’s story. A Spirit-filled counselor or mentor doesn’t need all the details of the other woman’s story to help us remember how to draw truth from the gospel, even after facing a potentially triggering event in another’s life. Now that we’re healthier and free, we need to remember that God does not want us to be subject to the yoke of slavery the enemy will try to place on our shoulders again, so we must be mindful that we don’t end up welcoming it back (Gal. 5:1).
4. Focusing on the pain rather than the Healer.
Similar experiences often lead to instant rapport and a deep relationship with the women we’re counseling. This is a good thing, but we can’t allow that to take the place of the relationship that actually brings healing—the one between the saved and the Savior. It’s easy to stay focused on the pain, but our job is to lead people to the throne of grace where salvation can be found. So we begin with and always circle back to the gospel, as we walk with them from grieving to healing. Only God can help them recover from the trauma and rescue their souls from the tragedy of sin. We must seek Jesus for all our strength, with every breath, because treading these deep waters with others while living the reality of our own lives is not for the faint of heart.