It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with issues that landed me right in the chair of a therapist. And although therapy was a lifesaver, it’s incredible how much I struggled with the idea of going.
But why is that?
Truthfully, it had a lot to do with Christianity. Although no one directly said going to therapy meant lack of faith, I somehow felt those underlying tones.
Listen, I get it. Jesus is always on the main line. But through life experiences, I’ve learned that most times the way God answers is through help provided by others. And guess what – those others include doctors trained to help you work through the psychological issues that are holding you bondage.
I remember moments locked away in a dark room praying and crying until I gave myself a hoarse throat coupled with a sinus infection. Sometimes, I felt the presence of God giving me the peace I needed to make it through another day.
But if I am completely honest, during other times I became so angry and distraught that the only thing I felt was abandonment. There were lots of moments when I felt like God couldn’t hear me or didn’t care about me.
I’m sorry, but despite how you attempt to convince me otherwise, I believe that God used my counselor to help heal me. He used the voice of someone who could humanly guide me over to help make me whole.
No doubt, my prayer life plus scriptures and positive affirmations made a MAJOR difference (click here to learn how). But, an important point is that it was not the only thing.
I vividly remember spending hours face-down, crying out in prayer. When I finally gained the strength to get up, I’d somehow run into someone who’d say, “just pray about it.” There was nothing more frustrating than these moments. It insulted me to hear such comments, and frankly, made me slightly resent Christians during that time. It was as if those words suddenly made me feel more inadequate than I already felt. I remember thinking to myself, “Great, my life is crumbling. And to top it off, apparently I am not even worthy enough to get a prayer through.”
Plenty of people reminded me to pray, but no one stopped to ask if I’d considered counseling.
Thinking back on it, isn’t that interesting? It’s as if seeking therapy carries a stigma of inadequate faith.
We don’t do this with anything else.
Rarely do we imply that going to the doctor for a broken bone means we are less Christian. In fact, you never hear anyone say they are just going to pray about it and have faith for healing. Instead, we couple our spirituality with earthly help so that we get better.
Let me be the first to admit that a broken spirit is worst than any broken bone (trust me- I’ve experienced both). In the same way that we use doctors to heal physical elements we can’t fix on our own, we should have the spiritual freedom to utilize doctors to fix our hearts and minds.
If you are experiencing a tough time that you feel you can’t pray your way out of, please know that it’s okay. Take it from a scripture-quoting-Jesus-lover- sometimes a little extra help gives us the clarity to hold steadfast to our faith.
Therapy doesn’t make you inadequate. It doesn’t write your ticket to hell. It frees you. And isn’t Christianity all about spiritual freedom?