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So, a year ago today, I loaded up my car and moved to a city I had been to for the first time only a few months before, with no job, to live in a house I had never even seen with people I had never met.  I knew no one. I had no connections.  I had nothing to hold on to, except that I knew it was my next step.

In those first few weeks I struggled with whether what I was embarking on was an act of bravery or stupidity.  I decided that it was a little of both, but most of all it was obedience that led me to Chattanooga.  More than anything I wanted what God wanted for me, and somehow I knew that meant being in Chattanooga.

Now, after being here a year, she has wooed my heart in many ways.  Not only is this city beautiful, full of history and amazing creation, it is changing me.

Throughout this year I have learned…

  • If I put myself into something and commit to it, I can accomplish it
  • God really does take care of me and orchestrate my steps (and He love me:))
  • I am worth taking care of myself
  • I can stand up for myself, not because no one else will, but because I can
  • True healing happens only in community
  • True community only happens when we are vulnerable
  • There are certain people who can be trusted
  • Not everyone in my present or future will act the way people did in my past
  • Stepping out of my comfort zone can be a really go things
  • There is power in saying “yes” to things I wouldn’t normally say yes to.
  • Nothing in this world is “black and white”, no matter how much we want it to be
  • Real friendship takes work
  • Isolation is dangerous
  • I can ask for what I need (and not feel bad about it)
  • A person’s true beauty is found in his/her stories on brokenness

I’m sure God could have taught me the same things in a different place or time in my life, but it wouldn’t have been with these amazing people who have influenced me so much this year.  I wouldn’t have been in this city that I have grown to love and cherish.  It wouldn’t have been in this community that has so much become my home.

Thank you Chattanooga!  I am looking forward to our next year, or two, or twenty…

So, I have successfully (or at least I think successfully) navigated my first month in Chattanooga and at Richmont.

It’s been an interesting month, and honestly I have been able to embrace more of who I really am than at any other time in my life.  I am learning so much about being present in this place God has put me at this time in my life and also allowing myself to hope in the future before me.

I am allowing myself to live in the present and not get lost in my past or caught up in what may happen in the future.  And, because of that I have been reminded constantly that God is in control of all of my days and is always ahead of me.  I have been able to make some great connections with people and start to build community in my life.

I have definitely had my doubts over the past 33 days, but there is also so much hope being birthed every day.  I feel like each day holds some confirmation that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be and counseling is what I am wired for.  I can’t remember a time in my life where I have felt more inadequate, overwhelmed, in awe, or excited to be where I am and doing what I am doing.  I love it, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

There are still so many unknowns….a permanent place to live, a job(s), how I will continue to pay for school…but I am trusting that God already has those unknowns taken care of, and my job is to trust Him in the uncertainty.  Please continue to pray for me as I navigate these uncertainties and trust God in them.

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”  Proverbs 16:9