Free·dom – /ˈfrēdəm/ = the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
The “Three Ds” are most often what drive a person to seek counseling: Distress, Disorder, and Dysfunction. Over time, behavior and emotion become habit. At this point, patterns become destructive habits. Patterns and destructive habits bring about pain in our lives.
When in the depths of this despair, we seek freedom. Unfortunately, the patterns of distress, disorder, and dysfunction are accompanied by confusion. Many times in the midst of life struggles, we mistakenly equate freedom with feeling good. We come to believe that if we can be free from the pain, from a quick fix (like medicating, avoiding, taking alcohol and drugs), then everything will be alright. Unfortunately, these quick fixes lead to more chaos and emotional pain. As we attempt to disconnect from the pain, we become separated from reality, socially isolated or alone in our addictions.
Freedom is not about being centered on comfort or pursuing the “quick fix”. We have to face the challenge of distressing thoughts, emotions, memories, and troubling symptoms. These challenges are given labels like: major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress, sexual addiction, drug addiction, chronic pain and many more. Freedom is gaining the ability to face the problems that trap us and embrace the opportunity to grow and change. The pain that we face is quite real, but how do we find true freedom from this struggle instead of temporary relief?
“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
We all seek freedom from pain, destructive habits or cycles in life. Jesus can free us from this slavery that keeps us from realizing the true purpose for our lives. Although there are many facets of our physical, mental, and spiritual well being, faith is at the core.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28 – 30
Jesus can free us from the burdens from which we seek refuge. Jesus promises love, healing, and peace with God. But His offer also comes with a challenging question: Do we need His help? Do we believe that maybe our own ideas about healing might be better?
The beginning of counseling requires the same deep, self searching questions: Am I willing to admit that my life has become unmanageable left to my own solutions? Am I ready to acknowledge that I can’t face this problem on my own?
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
Reflection Point: Come as you are!
Jesus is referred to as the “Wonderful Counselor” and “Prince of Peace.” Where do you put your faith? Who is the lord of your life? Here is the time to be brutally honest. All are welcome to seek help at CCA. The first task is to open your heart! In times of struggle, there will always be an opportunity to experience the powerful peace that the Lord can bring into our life chaos.
What are the emotions that trap me? List the hurts, anger, fear, and pride that hinder my life.
What are the behavior patterns that restrain me? What are they key events in my life that generate ongoing painful consequences? Where are places in my life where I am stuck?
When I pursue freedom from the problems above, where do I turn? How would I describe my relationship with Jesus Christ? Am I open to considering the next step toward freedom?