My major at CIU (aside from Bible) is psychology. Over the last two years, I have had the privilege of learning from and studying under professors who know the subject well and have a passion for it. Not only do they want me to grasp psychology from a critical Biblical perspective, they desire that I develop a compassionate heart for people. If I can hold these two in balance, by the Lord’s grace, I can be an effective Biblical counselor.
I began the psychology program with the idea that I would be equipped with tools to better respond to people’s problems and would know the words to say when someone’s world is crashing down. Yet as I near the end of my studies, I realize that I have learned quite the opposite.
When my friend tells me of their heartbreak or a family member explains how anxious they are, I often have no words. Instead of saying a perfectly-crafted word in hopes of healing their soul, I run to the cross where I pour out my heart to the Lord in intercession. “Lord I hurt for this person…show me how to comfort him/her in this time…allow me to feel the presence of your Spirit and give me words to portray You accurately.” My prayers are often jumbled, but as I throw my burdens before Christ, I feel the Lord grant me peace and courage to walk with my friend through their time of need.
Have I gained practical tools for counseling? Yes. Have I begun to understand how different people feel and process? Somewhat. But what I have learned most significantly is how much I do not know and how crucial the Father’s role is in my counseling. I need Him every moment, to give me wisdom when I have no words and courage when I have no strength.