I’m going to attend the Spring Virtual Biblical Counseling Training Conference.
You might think that it’s because I plan to become a Certified Biblical Counselor and set up office hours to counsel at the church. Honestly, I thought that would be the only reason to attend the conference when Pastor Matt suggested that I take Track 1 last year. In fact, the idea freaked me out so much that I turned him down immediately. I did tell him that I would pray about it though, and after much prayer and thought, I decided to go ahead and sign up. There are three reasons why I agreed to participate.
The initial motivation for me to learn more about biblical counseling was because I have been on the receiving end of it as a counselee. God truly used a faithful counselor and a loving advocate to walk with me through and out of agony and depression in my life brought about by my sin. Satan continually tries to drag me back to that place, but through counseling, I learned to fight back using the truth of Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind….” This renewal is a change in thought patterns brought about by prayer, the Holy Spirit, and Bible study that I use every day. I want others to be blessed as I have by this life-changing renewal of perspective.
With my desire to share this blessing of mind-renewal, it was helpful to learn that the Track 1 of BCTC is focused on what the Bible says about how to handle different struggles that we all face being a parent, spouse, or Christ-follower. We are all called to not just rest where we are in Christ, but to grow, learn, and pour into others, so that they might develop as healthy believers. This is discipleship: walking alongside a relative or friend in need. Biblical counseling is simply a form of discipleship which is intensely focused on guiding someone through a specific problem area. It also brings me joy to know that my suffering can be used to help others. 2 Cor.1:3-4 says, “…God of all comfort, who comforts us in all affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction….”
My pattern in life has generally been to be a planner. I would set goals with a known outcome in mind. I have prayed for a long time asking God what my purpose was and for God to lay out the plan to accomplish it in front of me. Recently, I looked back through my life and saw where God has prepared me to do things that are in His will. I did not plan that specifically, but He knew all along what I was going to need. Now, I’m trying to let God do the planning. In 2021, I took a step in faith to retire and help care for my mother-in-law not knowing what the next step would be. Another retirement goal was to get back to serving God, not really knowing what that would look like. I’m finally learning to take one step in faith at a time without HAVING to know what the next step will be. Last year, I took one step toward learning more about how God can prepare me to help a friend with a struggle. I still don’t know where that will lead, but I will take another step this year. Will you take one with me?