Over the past several years, I have been working on becoming a certified Biblical counselor through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. After several years, I just recently completed the program. Through the process, I have also been counseling in my church and for a para-church organization. Counseling has always come very natural to me, I was a social worker for many years and even before that, people were always coming to me with their problems and concerns, so it was just a natural fit.
I don't think anything could have prepared me though, for these past couple of years, and even more as my husband has too become a counselor. You see the very worst of people, their idolatrous hearts, the shame that comes along with it, how people choose a myriad of ways to run from the God they say they love, and then all the consequences that come along with it. You can't help but, in some ways, become disgusted and disillusioned as you see marriages break down, relationships shatter and churches splinter. It's just ugly and awful. It absolutely makes you wonder why you would ever have chosen to be part of this ministry. (Although, of course, I believe God calls us into ministry, which is another discussion for another day.)
Then, God reveals the depths of my own sin. The wickedness and depravity I have come from and could so easily return to. And, of course, all that I still struggle with today. The unkind words, the judgmental nature, the pride, the quick temper... But oh, how, in humility, He saved me. Even a wretch such as me. I am "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love..." And I am, once again, humbled and willing to go where he wants me to go, to be His hands and feet to help restore my brothers and sisters in Christ. For, they are really not that different me. I'm so thankful that He could see this broken vessel as something that could bring others into relationship with Him.
Here I am Lord, send me.