Tag Archives: religion

Christians Need Therapy Too!

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A few months back, I shared my experience about visiting a counselor and how it almost didn’t happen. Two reasons why it almost didn’t happen: my cultural background (Cameroonian/African) and my faith. In that post, I shared why many Africans look down on counseling/therapy because our culture doesn’t support sharing your worries or concerns with ‘strangers’ and so do Christians.

Christians believe that anyone who calls themselves Christ’s-follower, should not have need for a counselor or therapist because Christ is all you need. As a Christian, I agree that Christ is all you need to get you through life in good and bad times. But there are times when the soul is so bogged down that it needs a place of release.

I know some would argue that there are christian counseling centers, which I agree but how well are they being used. The idea of counseling is still somewhat new in Christian circles and although these counseling services exist, how many churches actually encourage their members to use them? Some churches would actually make the individual feel guilt about their intent to use counseling because to them, you should speak to one person only who is Jesus.

The teaching of seeking God’s face and going to him in prayers no matter the season in your life is a very good one that all Christians should practice. But there are times when you want to speak to another person who would provide some kind of feedback and  that’s where counseling comes in. James 5:6 says “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working”.

For those who are not catholic and do not believe in confessing to a priest, what then is the best alternative of speaking to someone with a better understanding and even a calling to guide you as you navigate Christianity? I would think that would be counselor, but in this case let’s make it a Christian counselor. I think maybe that’s one of the meanings of that verse, to seek out a Christian counselor who would guide you.

I think at some points in our lives, we all find the need to have that one person we can confide in; that one person who would listen to us unequivocally, provide sound advice or feedback, and wouldn’t judge us for the things we share with them and who can assure discreetness with the information shared. Some are fortunate to have friends who play this role and some not very much. Sometimes, even with the presence of friends who we can trust, you just need a stranger who is completely neutral.

Counseling does not take away from your time with God or does not negate your relationship with Him. If anything, it should strengthen it because after speaking with a counselor, they often times advice, motivate and encourage the ‘counselee’. In the case that it is a Christian counselor, they seek out Christian methods to help you deal with that situation. It might just be recommending biblical passages that were unknown to you, or a biblical based group where you get support from each other or better still, provide ways to better live as a Christian with regards to that particular concern.

Our families and friends each have roles they play in our lives; some are fortunate to have those they can turn to when seeking for counsel and guidance, others not so much. For those ones I suggest trying counseling or therapy. Seek out a Christian-focused counselor or therapist who is credible and who has testimonials. Because sometimes, we need physical interaction, communication, reassurance that no matter the turmoil that is brewing within, God would calm it all down. So don’t be afraid to see one or seek one and feel no guilt for doing so. The important thing is that you get the help you need before it is too late.  Sometimes, it takes a counselor to reassure us of that TRUTH.

 

The Thing About Death Is…

Death is nothing, it’s something, it’s scary, it’s unavoidable, it’s unpredictable, it’s menacing.(feel free to add whatever adjective you wish to describe how you feel about death).

If you follow the news, then by now you know a certain Dr. Miles Monroe died in a plane crash last week November 9th. Dr Miles Monroe was the founder and pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries, a mega church out of the Bahamas and he was on his way to a global outreach forum that held every year, when he was killed in the plane crash along side his wife and other passengers.

The christian social media platforms have been on fire with so many people in shock, some in wonder how such a man of God could die like that and others in plain disbelief. In the second week since the tragedy, people are still in shock and asking questions, questions like why him, to which we will never have answers to. The common factor in all the emotions shared is death.

Some people are wondering why a man who seemed as upright as Dr Miles would die in such a terrible way, others shocked that he died at all. Death is no respecter of persons. It doesn’t care whether they flew executive or commercial plane. It doesn’t care whether it was Dr Miles or a regular Joe, it was ready to strike and strike it did.  As Christians, the one thing that the Bible tells us we should expect is death because it is inevitable. It says believing that we would live for ever is foolishness and that we should expect to be ‘called’ home by and to our creator.

I don’t know how you feel about death but for me, my death doesn’t scare me so much as that of that of my parents. I am 27 and granted, I still have a lot I want to accomplish and achieve. So many incomplete dreams like me being a published author, finally graduating and going for a doctorate, experiencing amazing love with someone equally amazing, exploring the world and enjoying its spoils, given us by God himself. (My list is too long  right?) Somehow though, I am comfortable with the idea of me dying if it had to be this moment.

Depending on your opinion, I might have lived or not yet lived long enough or I ought to have achieved some of those things I mentioned on my to-do list. Well, there really isn’t no manual on how to live your best life (though some how-to authors would argue me on that). For some it happens earlier and others, it is later. I used to get broody over the fact that stuff happened late for me but I am ok with that now as long as I am working on it.

My point is, even though I am no where close to those dreams, if I was to die this very minute, I would be alright with that because in my heart of hearts, I know, I am certain I am going to my maker, to God, to Heaven.  I couldn’t tell you how I know that,only that I know. I am still in search of my true purpose and the reason why God has me here on earth and I know that if I am still here, it’s because I have not accomplished that purpose yet. But the moment I am dying and  I am aware of it, I know it would be God calling me home because somehow, I must have fulfilled that purpose.

Now my parents death is a whole other ball game. How is it that I am comfortable dying but not ready to let my parents go? you ask. For starters, I am Cameroonian and I am sure other/most Africans will feel the same way, in that my parents have not enjoyed the fruit of their labor yet.

God could not have chosen any better man and woman to bring together to be parents to me and my siblings. If I were to return to this world a second time, I would want the same parents. They have loved me and my siblings selflessly, given up so much to ensure our success, they prayed for us, blessed us and kept us safe in the best way that they could/can. They gave us the best education in Cameroon and they are the very reason I am in this beautiful country called America. They did all that and are still doing all that.

It is a very African thing to take care of your parents when you have succeeded after they have toiled for you, but even if it wasn’t I would still want to do that for them. That is my way of showing them how grateful I am that they answered the call to be my parents and did a marvelous job at it. It is my way of saying thank you for all those years of selfless giving, for all the times they didn’t have but went above and beyond for me and my siblings. It is my way of showing them how much I love, cherish and respect them.

So far, I haven’t had the opportunity to show them that. I just started and I haven’t even gone a quarter of that journey yet. So while I am aware that they are going to die someday, that I will have to say good-bye someday, I know I am not ready for those good-byes just yet. The thought of not having them here with me leaves me teary-eyed every single time. Simply put, their death scares me.

While death is imminent, the means of it is not. If we were all to know that we would die someday and know how we would die, I am almost certain the majority would change how they died. I think what scares us more about death is not even the fact that we would die but how we would die. If Dr Miles knew he was going to die in that crash and have the choice of choosing a better way to die, I am sure he would have chosen it.

Again like the Bible tells us, we neither know the day nor the hour. Death comes like a thief at night to steal us to our maker(hopefully for all of us). I pray and hope Dr Miles family find solace and comfort in God because only He can give them that now and help them deal with it. To our eyes and hopefully to God’s, he was a faithful servant and he must be done with his purpose here on earth. May God grant all those who mourn his loss and that of the other passengers consolation in only the way he can.

For the rest of us, hopefully we strive to live each day better and achieving those dreams, so that when it is time and we know it is time, we can only be glad to return to our maker.

How do you feel about death? Do you ever think about it? How is your day going? Stay warm, the weather this morning is brutal.

peace, love and warm jackets.