Updated: Oct 8
It's been awhile since I've posted on my blog. A busy summer has blended into a busy start to fall. I am back and thought with this weeks prompt it would be a good time to introduce myself and to introduce what Metanoia Today is all about
I've been a therapist for nearly two decades who longs to help those I work with to KNOW-HEAL and GROW and move beyond the places where they are stuck to a life that is more free, authentic and meaningful. And Christian's sometimes get stuck too. Metanoia is the "journey to change one's mind, heart, self, or way of life." Christians are blessed to have the tools of faith, prayer, community, spending time in the Word of God to guide them in this process. These are all treasures to help us to live a life of meaning and purpose and keep us connected in relationship to a loving God who does the work of transformation in our life.
But I believe we work with Him as stewards of our hearts. Just like the farmer prepares the soil, and plants and cares for the seed (but does nothing to burst forth the plant or make it grow fruit ), we do our part in preparing the soil of our hearts for true growth. . And sometimes we need help with that.
Maybe we don't realize how our past has impacted us and the conditions of our own heart. Becoming who we were meant to be sometimes means facing the challenges in our life and recognizing the impact, how the stuff we've been through has changed our own biology and that impacts how we behave particularly under stress.
Removing these "rocks and weeds" so to speak, are the things we do to make our hearts ready to accept and grow the beautiful life changing blessings of our lives.
Some obstacles we might experience
-Perhaps along the ways we gravitated toward coping skills that may help ease pain in the moment but leave us with more lasting pain in the long run.
-Maybe we struggle with our own emotions, the wiring of our own nervous system that causes us to over or underreact to stress.
-Sometimes tragedy and difficult circumstances tax our ability to cope well. We need support and someone who can help us grieve and maybe not try to change anything that can't be changed but stay with us holding space for all the difficult emotions.
Understanding, processessing and healing these issues allow us to be more receptive to the transformation God has in store for us. This is not about salvation. That is given freely to all those who accept Jesus as Lord of their life. It's about transformation, shedding the old to make way for the new. All kinds of people, (Christians included) struggle with painful circumstances, addictions, relationship issues, vices that keep them in a way of life that can stunt spiritual, emotional, or relational growth at best and be destructive at worst. So I work with all kinds of people, to help them navigate these things. And if by doing this, I can "help make the rough places straight" so that people can be more authentic, less burdened or see God a little more clearly and be drawn to Him, then I've done what I am meant to do.
So I help people become. For some, maybe that is recognizing and working on what is hindering them from becomming all they were intended to be.
And for others, maybe this looks like removing some of the obstacles that keep them from knowing and trusting who God truly is as well as moving them along the path of growth.
Regardless, it is up to God to do the work. I just want to be a servant to Him in helping remove obstacles to growth.
The tools I use
-tools to help people KNOW-Know how they are wired, how trauma and grief impacts the nervous system, how beliefs about self, others, and the world shape us and need to be evaluated for truth. to Know and develop their own strengths.
-tools to help people HEAL- Work on regulating the nervous system, understand and regulate emotions, offering support and resourse and help people tell their story ( which sometimes incredibly healing in itself)
-tools to help people GROW- Make meaning out of the stuff of life, find purpose and flourish individually, and relationally.
I clarify this, because some Christians don't trust those who practice psychology. Many believe that all answers to the problems of life can be found in the Bible. And while solutions should not be unbiblical, perhaps finding new ways to apply Biblical truth is necessary.
And some psychologist or people seeking psychology don't trust Christians. The belief is that Christians see the world through a narrow lens that creates more judgement that love.
I've run into both and I have worked hard to find a way to allow both my faith and my training in psychology to inform my work. I sometimes don't introduce my faith formally to my clients. Some people have such pre conceived notions or past hurts from faith based communities that that would break down any chance of the connection needed to promote healing and erect an immediate barrier. But I always aim to approach anyone I work with with compassion, kindness, curiosity and wisdom and love. If that is the first time a person has ever experienced a relationship like that, maybe it removes a small part of a barrier to recognizing God's presence in their life or expands their awareness of who He is.
This has been a post connected to the FMF community. This weeks writing prompt is BECOME. Find out and join us here.