Why vulnerability is so necessary in the healing ministry of counseling

It’s been “one of those days” when everything on my calendar went smoothly and God was so palpably present that it was……..sacred! Even a 25 minute car ride to take a young lady for lab work was precious….. conversation so intimate and powerful that I could just feel God leaning over the seat, listening in and smiling. :

“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” 1 Thessalonians 2

It is during such times that I am privileged to hear some of the sweet revelations that God shares in the hearts of these ladies who are reading his Word and reflecting on their lives in the light of its Truth.

The necessity of “vulnerability” is seen in such moments when one has to cast reticence aside and jump in with self-disclosure or a probing question with these women to find out how they are processing what they are studying, seeing, hearing….then listening with the heart for guiding them deeper into relationship with Christ! Such honest and open communication is uncomfortable for many, even among close friendships. Women who have experienced the degree of brokenness some of these women have are not ashamed to be honest. Honesty is all they have left to give.. They’ve lost everything, including any pretense at reputation and self-conceit. They are ready to get down to the bottom of answers to some hard questions about life and their own repeated patterns of defeat.

In one such moment of vulnerability one young lady described something to me that sounds supernatural….having to do with her having briefly perceived a light in a way that God seemed to reveal himself being present during a particular action. It was a small thing, an everyday kind of thing, but in that moment something different happened. She described it cautiously, tentatively, uncertain about whether or not she could trust herself……or me. I encouraged her to consider that God was giving her a personal response to her prayers for God to reveal himself to her, to let her sense his presence with her (which she and I had discussed the previous week and for which she had been praying) . I was able to share a time with her when God revealed himself to me in a way that was out of the ordinary…..not something that happens very often, but which God can and sometimes does actually do.. Openness to, readiness for, and the ability to test things against the Word prepare one to experience the presence of Christ more powerfully. Gideon asked for a “sign” to be certain of God’s presence and purpose not just once, but twice. God chose to reveal himself to others throughout the Bible in ways that were “beyond” the simple physical function of our senses. I was blessed to have a counselor who understood that, who did not dismiss or pathologize some extraordinary things that I experienced…She helped me explore them through the light and wisdom of God’s Word. I seek to do the same with others……removing the fear and potential stigma that some apply to anything outside their own understanding or experience…and simply looking for God’s purpose in why he allows some things.