New Beginnings

I've known for months that I needed to start counseling. But the task seemed so big. I made small strides here and there. Over the course of a few weeks, I reached out to a couple therapists in the area. I got lots of great feedback and guidance. But when my insurance sent me a list of hundreds of counselors covered by our plan, I stopped the search. Looking at the list and trying to decide where to go made me want to cry. I asked for our small group to pray for me as I felt unable to move forward with the process. More weeks passed and I told myself I WOULD have a counseling appointment made by the end of January. Well, I did it! On Tuesday, with a lot of people praying for me and cheering me on, I stepped foot into a counselor's office.

For an hour, we talked over my intake form. That means we talked about all the reasons I feel like I need counseling. My counselor asked questions about my current life situations. I shared about my upbringing and the experiences that have impacted my life. The good, the bad, the ugly. It was an intense hour. At the conclusion of our time together, she put a name to the battle I've been facing: Adjustment Anxiety. 

Basically, I have had a lot of big life change in a short amount of time. This reality has caused a lot of stress that comes out in anxiety. Along the same lines, this anxiety has triggered past trauma to resurface and effect the way that I handle current stress. 

I'm not into diagnoses. I don't feel like I needed a label on what was "wrong with me". But it felt good to have someone professional say that there IS some stuff going on. And I couldn't agree more. Life has certainly changed a lot in nearly two years. Last time I wrote in this space, I was announcing that our third baby was a girl! At the time, we were living in our friend's basement, waiting anxiously to hear when we could close on our first house. 

Amelia {4} - Elsie {2} - Isla {1} 
Since those posts in March 2014, we have:
- bought a house
- moved our family to a new church
- had a baby
- changed job locations
- started homeschooling
- stepped into leading our small group at church

... ON TOP OF all the fun that comes with just normal life. At times, I feel super bummed that I haven't enjoyed some of this change as much as I should have. But my counselor said something that spoke to that and I loved it: "Shoulds are dangerous because they set us up for expectations we can't meet. Shoulds are in the past. It is what is. And that's ok."

During a conversation with a young woman that I mentor, I explained how my goal with using social media is to have my online space match my real life as much as possible. No surprises. All I want is to share my story and in doing so, point people to the work God is responsible for in my life {which is a bunch}. I've always been open on Instagram. I believe in authenticity in real life and on the internet. But I like to write a lot sometimes. So this space feels good for the longer ramblings I might/will do. ;) With that, I am planning to share the continuation of my counseling journey here, among other life things as they come up. I also plan to write more in depth about exactly what lead me to the place of seeking a counselor. I know several people who have messaged me and/or spoken to me in person, feeling like they're on the same journey, just a few steps behind. Hopefully this can encourage some of you!

And because I like for social media to be just that - SOCIAL - I'm going to be more intentional with my posts. I plan to have questions here and there at the end of my posts in hopes that some of you will engage in conversation. I will also add random things like a song I love that day or what I'm reading.

Here's to new beginnings, friends! Here's to a deeper 2016 than I ever imagined.


~ If you have done counseling before, how did you benefit from it? What was the process like for you before starting?
~ If you haven't done counseling, what do you think when you hear people say that everyone could use counseling? Do you agree or disagree?

As I thought through what I wanted to write today, this song came on and gripped my heart: "My Story" by Big Daddy Weave