by Shane Fookes, MA MDiv, Registered Counseling Associate
When I meet a client, I quickly experience a dichotomy. On one hand, I hear a story of profound woundedness. On the other hand, I see a person as wonderfully unique and glorious. In other words, each client displays something that is broken and something beautiful. This is true of clients because it is true of humanity. To be human means to possess both dignity and depravity.
Running From Our Brokenness
We often spend a lot of energy trying to get around, avoid, or run from our brokenness. We seek strength through behaviors fueled by avoidance, distraction, and indulgence. The means through which we use these behaviors is endless. Some are innocent, like watching TV, scrolling on our phones, and/or engaging social media. Other activities are destructive, like indulging in alcohol, pornography, and other illicit activities. Though these activities initially provide a form of comfort, they do not actually accomplish anything significant. Rather than trying to find a way out of our brokenness, we actually need to find a way into our God-given strength.
For those who look to the Bible for hope and help, this dichotomy is captured by the theological concept of human beings as “fallen image bearers.” The first three chapters of Genesis provide the foundational story for understanding this. The first chapter reveals that we as human beings are made “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:26-27). Literally, nothing else in the universe carries this distinction. How amazing and wonderful! Yet, the third chapter tells the heart-wrenching story of the first humans turning away from God. As a result, the image of God in each and every one of us is marred (Romans 3:23).
Your Wounds are NOT an Accident!
We also learn in Genesis 3 that the image-marring that occurred is not accidental. No, it is intentional. You see, God has an enemy. Because that enemy is powerless to assault God, he assaults that which most closely resembled God: God’s image bearers. This can happen through either the intentional or unintentional acts of others. It also happens through the effects of living in a broken world. It even happens through our own actions, whether knowingly or unknowingly. No matter how they come, these assaults create wounds. And here’s what’s vital for us to know: these wounds are not simply random. We are each wounded in the area of our design, in the aspects of ourselves that uniquely reflect the glory of God.
You CAN Find Hope and Healing in Christian Counseling
The Bible offers the good news that our woundedness need not define our story. We can experience hope and healing through the finished work of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; Colossians 1:13-14). Christian counseling is one way a person can access that hope and healing. Though Christian counselors have professional training, they, more importantly, offer comfort as “wounded healers” in the way Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. The focus of their comfort comes from the etymology of the word itself: “com” meaning “with” and “fort” meaning “strength.” Rather than seeking to remove suffering, the Christian counselor offers strong, good, kind companionship through the suffering. The counselor considers the suffering as “holy ground” for change believing that, when persevered, can produce strength of character and hope (Romans 5:3-5). The counselor serves as a kind of “midwife” for God’s Spirit to reveal clients’ unique design and calling – how they bear God’s image and bring it to the world around them.
To sum up, Christian counseling is a place to bring your wounds, experience healing, and find your purpose!
Consider Online Therapy in Oregon for Christian Counseling
Our Clackamas and Beaverton-based counselors are excited to work with you, wherever you are in Oregon. Your relationships can thrive again. We can help you get back on track in a way that aligns with your faith and values. When you are ready to start online Christian counseling in Oregon, follow these simple steps:
- Learn about our therapy team in Beaverton and our caring counselors in Clackamas
- Schedule an appointment with your preferred therapist, or contact us with questions
- Feel more connected to the important people in your life
Other Mental Health Services at Life Discovery Counseling in Oregon
If you are in Clackamas, Happy Valley, Damascus, Hillsboro, or Beaverton, we can help you in person at one of our comfortable therapy clinics. Christian counseling is the cornerstone of our approach to therapy. Not only do we see adults, but children in counseling too. We also work with depression treatment, anxiety therapy, trauma therapy and PTSD treatment, relationship issues, marriage problems, and postpartum counseling. No matter where you are in the state, we can provide the support you need with online therapy in Oregon. Once you’re ready to start, we’re ready to meet you. Let’s connect!
About the Author
Shane Fookes is a graduate of Western Seminary’s Counseling program and a Registered Counseling Associate. He served as a pastor for 17 years and is still involved in leading churches. He writes about marriage and relationship issues, anxiety, depression, and spiritual development.