So I went to therapy last week. I tried once before earlier this year, but the therapist wasn’t a good fit for me. Prior to that, it had been over two years. Not that I haven’t tried but my usual therapist was always booked so I just dealt with whatever I was dealing with. Just me and Jesus. I was talking to my friend about some things I wanted to do but I felt like I couldn’t. I’d prayed and planned and I jokingly said I should go back to therapy. My friend agreed.
As a trained therapist, mental health advocate, and previous therapy client, I should be well aware of the benefits of going to therapy. I should prioritize it. I should be consulting God about it. I should be okay with not being okay and perhaps needing help outside of the four walls of a sanctuary. I know all of this and I’m grateful I have people in my life to help me live it. I’m not of the belief that people have to be in therapy for years on end in order to be emotionally well. But I am of the belief that we all encounter bumps in the road of life and God has given us many helpful tools to deal with those bumps, one of which is therapy.
Any seasoned Christian will tell you their spiritual life has had their ups and downs. In some seasons you’re reading your bible every day and you have the faith to move mountains and in other seasons you barely feel like praying and have forgotten what the inside of a church looks like. In those latter seasons, hopefully you are surrounded by a community who will encourage you to go back to your first love and support you in rebuilding your faith.
The same way we recognize when our spiritual cup is running low and we do something about it, we should keep that same energy when it comes to our emotional health. You haven’t failed if you find yourself needing to go back to therapy. You are not weak. You are a human, working out your own soul and salvation (Philippians 2:12). God doesn’t need us to praise Him with an empty heart and depressed spirit. His joy is our strength and sometimes in order to find that joy and get that strength, we find ourselves sitting on a therapist’s couch crying and admitting things we didn’t have the courage to tell ourselves. And after an hour or so, we leave with a clearer view of God and His goodness. Or at least, I did.
Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost