This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go hear Beth Moore speak in Colorado Springs at Living Proof Live. She does speaking tours every year in different cities and I was excited to hear she’d be in my state this year! Unfortunately, the Waldo Canyon fire had just started a few days prior to the conference and had caused some horrible damage to some neighborhoods. Over 32,000 people were evacuated, over 300 homes burned, the Interstate had shut down, it was so devastating to see my home town suffer so badly. The fire was so bad that the conference was almost cancelled, but thankfully they decided at the last minute to go through with everything.
Apparently, Beth doesn’t really plan out what she is going to say months in advance like other speakers. She changes her topic at each conference and just waits until she gets a word from God to share with everyone. I think that’s really neat!
So this weekend’s topic was on “finishing.” It was absolutely a message I needed to hear.
I am a quitter, no doubt about it. If something gets too hard or if I’m not enjoying something or succeeding at something, I quit. If a hike is too hard, I quit. If a start a big project and get overwhelmed, I quit. If I get bored at a job, I quit. I have a list a mile long of things that I have quit, some big and some small.
Most of the time, I don’t think twice when I quit something. I just move on, never looking back. But there are a few things that I’ve quit which have stuck with me and have made me wonder “what would have happened if I didn’t quit? If I saw it through, even when it got hard?”
Counseling is probably at the top of that list. I finished my Master’s degree in counseling and then declared I would never use it because I hated counseling. My experience as a counselor was not a good one. It was actually rather traumatic. I had some very difficult clients and I felt like I was causing them harm rather than healing. I started to get borderline panic attacks prior to counseling sessions and the amount of stress it put on me was almost intolerable. So although I finished my degree and completed all of my classes….I mentally checked out of school about a year before I was done. My heart had completely given up on the notion that I could be a good counselor. Then once I graduated, I swore off counseling forever and moved on to a full time career in photography.
But I felt some swirling in my soul this weekend about counseling. I felt like I could hear God say “I’m not finished with you on this. Sure, you can take a few years to sort it all out, but you gotta finish this one, I’m not going to let you quit this time.” To which I promptly whined, “But God!!!! I’m flat out no good at counseling. I can’t do it, I don’t like it, it makes me nervous, gives me panic attacks, I’m ineffective and just can’t do it ok?!”
But He didn’t let up. Wave of conviction after wave of conviction hit me. And I started to realize that maybe He was right. Maybe He isn’t finished with me as a counselor. Maybe this is where my Wild Goose Chase has been leading me all along. If He called me to counseling and He wants me to finish and get to a place of peace with counseling, then I’m sure he will make a way for it to happen.
I have honestly no idea what this looks like for me yet and it terrifies me just to think about it. I think my first step is to find a counselor myself and talk through some of these issues I have with counseling. Who better to understand me than a fellow counselor? I know this is going to be a long road, one that will take years to complete and I’ll definitely be tempted to quit, but I’m going to try my hardest to finish and actually get to a place where I can effectively help people and not have a panic attack every time a client walks in my office looking for help. 😉
I also just felt really convicted in general to quit being a quitter. I really felt the Lord telling me it’s time to get my act together and stay the course on various things in my life. From trying to lose the same 10 pounds I’ve been trying to lose to not giving up on getting pregnant to completing a few decorating projects at home….I have a lot to finish.
I am so grateful for such a spiritually rich weekend. I’m thankful for my friends, for challenging words and for being able to hear the Holy Spirit speak into my life. I’m thankful for moments where my heart changes direction and my spirit is convicted. I’m so grateful that I serve a living God who can speak to me and know exactly what I need to hear. What a blessing!