I’ve started seeing a therapist.
I’ve wanted to for a long time, and a couple months ago I finally decided it was the right time.
And to give a little more background, I have also been meeting for the past year with a mentor, a Christian woman, through a unique local ministry that provides this service for free.
I feel like a totally different person than the woman I was when I first walked in to Journey of the Heart last July, looking for perspective. Over this past year I’ve learned to step back and look at day to day situations in light of the truth instead of through my emotions.
I’ve learned a lot about boundaries. How I didn’t grow up with many firm ones, and why I never learned how to set them in many areas of my life. I started setting them and experienced great peace in being able to say no.
I learned to respond instead of reacting. I began to make decisions based on what I was really willing and able to do instead of what others wanted me to do. I learned to not make excuses for taking care of myself.
Which felt really weird after so many years of putting everyone else first.
I think the timing of all this has been good for me and my family. My youngest is now sixteen, so as young adults I think they all benefited from my not doing as much for them. They now take care of more of their own things, which will help them as they transition to school or apartments.
Not to mention that after more than thirty years as a mom, I have my own things I’ve been looking forward to doing.
Probably the most significant change is that I have a mentor who faithfully turns my face back to God. Pretty much every time we meet she reminds me to ask for God’s input before I make any decision, and to search the Bible for direction.
I welcome the reminders to do the first thing first.
You would think that after having a relationship with Jesus for most of my life, that would be the most natural thing to do. Yet it isn’t.
So after almost a year of being mentored, there were things we had talked about that I felt a need to go into more deeply with someone trained to help a person know how to deal with their thoughts and feelings.
It was time to look for a therapist.
As with finding my mentor, God brought forward the right information at the right time. Even though the people giving me advice didn’t have all the facts clear, I ended up finding a Christian therapist that is helping me find freedom from things that have held me captive since childhood.
I’ll tell you a little about the therapy, but it really is different in the experience than in the description. And you can look up the description if you are interested in knowing more about it. I feel people like me, who are ready to dive in and tackle whatever issues come up benefit a lot from this therapy.
Splankna Therapy, according to the website at Splankna Therapy Institute ‘is the first Christian protocol for mind-body psychology.’ What happens in the practice of the Splankna Protocol is that I (mind, body, heart, spirit) tell my therapist where my body is holding on to the emotions that resulted from traumatic situations in my life. In isolating them she figures out what emotions or situations are keeping me stuck in reliving old hurts instead of healing and moving on.
The most satisfying part for me is that I pray and release the hold these things have had on me, and my therapist also prays healing over me.
It sounded like hooey to me. Bunk. Rubbish. Nonsense.
Then I tried it. And after only three visits I’m noticing real changes in the way I do life.
I have been able to name things that have held me back, put me on the wrong track, distracted me from my goals for most of my life. I have experienced NOT falling back into the same patterns of self-defense and control that have become second nature to me.
I have had revelations of lies I have believed, and been floored that I ever would have listened to them in the first place. And I have been able to call them lies and let the father of lies know that he doesn’t have a hold on me any more in that area.
I don’t know how long I will continue, but I am excited to be freed from more of my self-inflicted chains. I have tried to control my life, my environment, my safety and well-being since I was six years old, and I am so ready to hand it back to God, who is the only one who knows what my next steps should be.
Both of these ventures, being mentored and going to a therapist, flow out of the last four years of Celebrate Recovery. I now deal, one day at a time, with my hurts, hang-ups and habits; I identify my character flaws, my faults and shortcomings and ask God to remove them from me; I learn to recognize when I’m doing something hurtful and make amends more quickly; as I am hurt again I make the choice to forgive before letting the wrong fester into a much bigger wound than it needs to be. And most surprising, I have become willing to ask for help.
A neat thing has been happening with my therapist. She prays over me before we start, and she prays again when we are finished. And in her prayers, God puts thoughts in her mind, words to say, that are uniquely meaningful to me.
At our last session she prayed that I would be in line with the plumb line.
My whole life I have loved plumb lines. You pull them out and they are covered with purple chalk, and a weight hangs at the end and when you hold it up it hangs down and gives you a true straight up and down direction. If it’s against a wall, someone is holding the top and someone secures the weight when it’s hanging straight, and plucks the string to leave a straight line to orient to.
And in my life, I am seeking to find the plumb line that shows me I am oriented to God’s plan for me.
My therapy is showing me how I have not let the weight determine the direction of the line, how I have pulled it out in the directions I wanted it to go, snapped it and left a crooked, skewed chalk line that I have followed blindly.
I so much need there to be a strong hand holding my life line, and I need to see where God means for it to go, unaffected by the circumstances of my past and present. I need to see the direction of upright.