Recently I learned a sister in Christ has suffered some life
events that resulted in her seeing a therapist. Her family members took her to
a counselor and she has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and has panic
attacks. She has also been told she is depressed. The recommendation was talk therapy
with behavior modification and psychotropic medications to address her issues. As
we talked about her situation and numerous diagnosis she revealed that she had
lost hope of ever being “normal” again. She has been going to her therapist two
times weekly for the past 6 months and sees no improvement.
I understand her counselor is well meaning and wants to help her
client. I know she believes she is helping despite the reality that my friend
is much worse now than she was previously. In spite of the pills, and the talk
therapy, "getting it out", and talking about how she feels she has
found no release from the torture that has become her life.
Sadly I have seen this before. Like so many other counselee’s who
have been led in this direction for counseling she’s not found real answers,
only more heartache and now hopelessness. Like the others, this woman is convinced
that there is no real help or hope for her outside of a medication adjustment.
I am not against medication when a person
is ill, and I have referred counselee’s for short term psychotropic medications
because it was appropriate and necessary for their safety and stability as we
sorted through their problems biblically. Those are very rare situations
because most counselee’s are so excited to learn that there is help and hope
for them apart from medications that they are ready to begin the hard work of
change right away.
Some of the things I discussed with my friend were new to her. For
one I challenged her to think biblically versus psychologically. She had to
learn to redefine terminology and to think biblical thoughts about things in
her everyday life. For someone who has been thinking from the disease and
disorder angle this was at first very difficult for her. However, the more she
practiced thinking biblically (Romans 12:2) the more she began to understand
that if her problems were “diseases” or “disorders” or not was not really the
issue. It was her response to the problems of life (diseases or disorders) that
she needed to examine.
The more she became aware of her thought life and how her thoughts
provoke those anxious feelings the more she desired to distance herself from
them. She chose not to live as a slave to her former way of thinking that held
her captive in life. In exchange, she has come to desire righteousness and
holiness more than fulfilling the desires of the flesh.
She kept an Audio Thought Journal on her smartphone. Every time
she was tempted to become anxious she recorded the thoughts, beliefs, and
desires she was experiencing she talked through them as she recorded them on
her phone. When she arrived home in the evening, she wrote them out so she
could see on paper what thoughts were driving her anxiety. We went through them
together and determined which ones were real and true (Phil. 4:8) and which
ones were not. This proved to be pivotal in the counseling process.
What my friend has done is not easy, it is
actually fairly demanding but it is worth it. If you decide to take the narrow
path and truly deal biblically with your problems you too will experience
freedom to be who He has created you to be. You will find that you will know Him and the power of His resurrection and you
will come to understand is more important and worthwhile than analyzing
yourself. You will see that the more you know Him, the more you will learn about who He has already created you to be. You will learn to live your
position as a daughter of the King.
I want you to know that God is a Sovereign
King. As hard as it is to grasp right now, God was completely aware of your
circumstances, problems, heartaches, failures, sin, and every issue in your
heart before the beginning of time. He knew what would happen to you in life and
He allowed it anyway. This does not make God cruel or mean- He operates in ways
that are beyond our understanding and He is always good! God does intend to use your problems for good,
He does intend to bring you through the
storm, and He does intend to glorify Himself in the
midst of your tragedy. And the glory He intends to bring Himself will come as
you become more like His Son, Jesus Christ.
I hope and pray someone will give you
these truths, for there is HOPE!