Just the brainstorming we did on the questions helped me so much. We answered them and she encouraged me to go looking for scripture to back up what I know, so that when I am tempted to disbelieve or go the wrong way, I can look at those scriptures and remember the truth, it helped me so much.
We figured out it had been at least seven weeks since we had the chance to really sit down and talk, and have an extended time of uninterrupted sharing. (besides one quick lunch together when she was working.) I am praying that it won't be another 7 weeks before we do this again!
Cindy, my friend, is going through a Life Coach training series. She asked me if, once she has completed it, I would like walk through it with her. She said it might take us a bit longer than what they recommend, because I would be the first person to go through it with her. Almost right away I was able to tell her, "Yes." Not only will it give us time together, but will help me tackle some of the things that are making me get stuck here and now. She explained that Life Coaching is about helping me deal with things in the present time that are bothering me, or holding me back, or keeping me stuck. Counseling, on the other hand, predominantly ends up dealing with the past, finding out the roots to the lies I am believing, and help heal those things.
I have gone through the counseling and dealt with a lot of the things from my past, and received a lot of healing. I just haven't always been able to deal with the things in my present in the right ways. Just in my last post I was talking about how the pain of situations in my life was causing me to run from God, rather than to God.
As Cindy and I talked about yesterday, we find both of ourselves running in the same rut we always have, because it is habitual. For instance, certain things trigger anger in Cindy. For me, certain things like fear of rejection and unchanging situations cause me to running to something, anything, to help relieve that pain, even if just for a little while. They trigger depression, despair and anxiety.
She used the image of a dog to illustrate her point. In a fenced in yard, a dog will run up and down the fence line, over and over, creating a deep rut in the ground. That is what we have done over and over in our lives, from things that happened in our past, and from things that trigger automatic coping techniques, automatic responses. We instinctively do what we have been "trained" to do through the experiences in our lives.
She mentioned, and I agree, that we need to make a new groove. A groove of reacting, coping, and responding to situations with attitudes and thoughts that reflect Christ. The one things that Cindy said was that sometimes we will be doing something out of our flesh, but if we even start to recognize it, and even after we have done whatever it is, and end up praying after the fact, it is a step forward. It is a step forward because we may be coming from a place where we never thought about God, never recognized we were acting out of our flesh.
It will be good to go through Life Coaching with Cindy because together we will be able to work through different difficulties that have me stuck right now. It will be more hard work, and accountability, but so needed and strengthening.
I won't be starting the Life Coaching until probably this fall, after Cindy completes the two training sessions. I can't wait. I am excited to see what God will do through the coaching, and Cindy.
Yesterday's talking helped me get more in touch with my emotions and unlock them again. I have been able to get into the word more, and actually pray through some of the situations I find myself facing. It's another step forward.
As God has been teaching and growing Cindy, and as I have seen her taking any free moment to spend time with Him, and in His word, as I have seen her dedication to prayer; well it has been encouraging and inspiring to me. Her practices, and her ways of getting closer to God, have awakened a longing in me to get closer to God. They have prompted me to try to get to know God better. They have pushed me to set aside time with Him, to sacrifice some sleep, or my downtime without children, to be with Him.
Cindy has been doing a devotional called "Daily Office" by Peter Scazzero. She shared with me excerpts of the devotional, and scripture that came to mind as she prayed. It was so wonderful, and provoked some deep thoughts, through questions at the end of a couple of the studies she shared with me.
Here are a couple of them:
"What would it look like for you to respect yourself in light of your God given human limits?"
"How might it change your day today if you cease to look for human approval and sought only the approval of God?"
That last question in particular, made me really think, and then share deeply with Cindy. I look for the approval of those I care about, so many times. I was actually fighting anxiety in going to Cindy's house because I knew I wasn't being honest with myself and God in certain areas. I also knew that God wanted me to share those things with Cindy, to get them out in the open, into the light, so that I could have some accountability.
It was hard, but I stepped over the threshold into her home.
It was hard, but I shared with her my need for approval for others, rather than God.
It was hard, but I was able to share some of the things that I have been ashamed of sharing.
It was such a weight off of me once I did. And I think it drew us even closer together. It opened up doors, at least for me, for deeper sharing.
Yesterday was a sweet day of fellowship. Fellowship with God and fellowship with each other. God used the day to unlock my shut down emotions. God used the day to show me more scripture that described Him and His characteristics. God used the day to touch my heart in a special way, and to open my eyes and ears to really hear Him and receive His truth into my heart.
I thank God for how incredible He is. How amazing that He can and will use people such as us to speak into the lives of each other.
Our God is so good.
"The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love." Psalm 145:8