Ever since high school, I've been one of those people that everyone comes to with their questions and troubles. Why do people trust me? Why has God chosen me to be a counselor? I have enough problems. I am not Solomon, my life has many aspects where I do not exemplify wisdom.
All I can say is that by God's grace He uses me. For that, I am thankful to be able to touch other people's lives. And I am thankful for the lessons I've learned along the way.
Lessons I've learned in being a councilor:
1. I am first a friend. It's rare a stranger will come to me with their troubles, though it has happened. It's the people that I've become friends with. Some have made bad decisions. Not turning my back on them has gone far in earning their trust. (Maybe I'll write a whole post about that soon.)
2. Sometimes, a listening ear is all that is needed. When a person just talks about their problem, they may come to their own conclusions. I love that! All they need is to hear themselves speak out loud and for me to confirm their solution.
3. If I don't know the answer, it's OK for me to admit it. This builds trust, also. No one likes a know-it-all. I don't always need to have the answers. Sometimes, it's enough for the person to know that I'll pray that God will personally reveal the answers to them, that I still love them, and that I am only a phone call away.
4. I used to be nervous about counselling those older than me. However, someone once pointed out that, in the Lord, I am older than many. I have many years of teaching and growing behind me. Coming from a Christian home often helps in advising another parent who hasn't had the same background and is, therefore, uncertain how to respond to their children in certain situations. Often, it is a surprise to parents to find out that their Christian teen is as human as they were when they were young.
5. I am worthless as a counselor if I am not in the Bible and on my knees. Wisdom comes from the Lord!
Things I don't like about counselling:
1. It tears my heart out on a regular basis.
2. I have a hard time balancing between a friend's crisis and the needs of my family. I am learning that my children's ministry can be sacrificing mommy at times. However, it can go too far. I've seen people lose their children because they were so busy helping everyone else. Pray for me that I will find a balance.
3. Knowing that people trust me so much is scary. I also like people to like me - so telling them something that is hard for them to hear is difficult for me.
4. For those single-women who may have a listening ear - be careful! I had a few problems while I was single and listening guys spill their guts. Men interpret your listening ear as an interested heart. You need to be cautiously caring! And, once you get married, unless it's a team effort with your husband, only council women!
Why have I gone on about this? Just random thoughts, I suppose. But, it raises the issue of being chosen by God to fulfill a plan He has for each of us.
Sometimes, we question the gifts or ministries God seems to drop into our laps. I have done that in the past. But, I will stop questioning and start praying. Praying that I will allow God to use me in the way that He has chosen. And, I will be grateful that He chose me to be useful.
God has chosen YOU for something. You probably already know what it is. Are you questioning your "worthiness?" God isn't.
You are chosen!