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Carry Hope, this Counselor’s heart


journey-pic  It is never easy being vulnerable nor is it ever so easy being the strongest. What I am learning is that life gets better when we share. When we open up, expose our hearts, share our pitfalls, and express our hopes and dreams, our lives become bigger. No longer are we alone, separate, on our own.

I am learning with confidentiality comes responsibility. At the beginning of my education in counseling, I thought confidentiality was a burden…a required stressor for client relationships. As Counselors we cannot share any client cases not even with our spouse. I would find this most difficult whenever my he finds me. Yet, as I grow, as I try to understand the complexities of the heart, our minds and the human spirit I am not alone in carrying or solving another’s problems. It is their story, I am blessed to hear it, to listen in…what a grand opportunity to be present for another.

Our heart’s ache with so much. Love for family, for our spouse, our friends, partners, for all we are connected to and things will get heavy, very heavy. Carry Hope. Hope is essential. Faith is a required necessity. The two enable us to pick up shattered pieces, to gain a God perspective in all matters of the heart. In addition, it is free…listening with care is priceless. Seeing a person’s heart is one of the greatest values, a treasure. God will do the rest. Carry Hope and be gracious in giving it away.

Yesterday, I listened as this woman described how her 19-year-old son has schizophrenia. How over the years he has tried to cope with the voices in his head…how loud music does not drown them out, how the medicine does not drown them out. Yet, he knows the difference in what the voices tell him…he knows which are spiritual and which ones are not. I listened as she says she has never been dismissive when he speaks to her, warns her about things. I listen, as she has become his champion, his advocate. How she works to make sure the members of the police department know him, their family for his safety. How the Church members know him, he sits in the foyer (his choice) away from everyone and he listens to the sermon, the music. How she says he looks normal and he is her son. There is no tiredness in her voice, no weariness. She smiles. She speaks of love, her son, her husband, their community. I see her heart. I am proud of her, her son, her family, her community. She “fights” for everyone. #VillageLove

My Autumn  told me she saw me as a forgiving person, very forgiving. I asked does that make me a wuss, a pushover. She responded: “It means you forgive, Mother. That is it. Stop adding stuff.” I laughed. What a great characteristic to see in a person. She is right; I tend to add more than the necessary to any situation. Forgiving frees you up. It requires a lot to forgive but even if the process is slow, we are gaining more of ourselves each time we forgive. Do not let what others perceive of you dictate the kind of heart you have. Let your heart show. Let it beat, break, heal and love some more. Continue to guard it, though guard it with love not barbwire.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4: 23 (NIV)

Inevitably, the God-stuff happens. My heart is most happy when I can witness the miracles God works daily through our lives, nature, in our friendships, with family relations, in business ventures and once in a lifetime encounters. It was not until I went to bed last night that I realized that I was among a group of women that counsel, that are Believers, wonderful individuals and we all want the same thing. This path is so different from what I imagined. I am so grateful for my experiences; even the difficult ones for each equip me to journey on.

Again, carry hope…your definition of success is soon to follow.

Intimately worded,

A. Michelle!

© 2017 Michelle Tillman All rights reserved



13 responses to “Carry Hope, this Counselor’s heart”

  1. Inspiring POST Sis!

    “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4: 23 (NIV)
    If we can really get this down in our spirit and apply it, we are well on our way.

    I spent five years working in a behavioral healthcare center, and during that time I spent two years working under the direct supervision of a LMFT and a LPC.

    I have my Master’s degree but in a different field. At that time, I thought I might want to purse counseling but I have since changed my mind.

    Anyway I can’t help thinking about your recollection of the young man with schizophrenia. Years ago, I had a client who was in college when he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I remember his Mama saying, “I just want my baby back.” Girl my heart completely dropped when I heard that mother’s plea. I was heart rending.

    At any rate, she and her pastor made him wear headphones so that he could listen to scripture incessantly. But, as you said, he could not get relief from those voices.

    By the way, a drug rep once gave me a CD that mimics the voices that a Schizophrenic patient hears. Girl it is so disturbing. You hear all kinds of voices that are absolutely NOT your own inner voice, some of them male, some female, some demonic, some childlike, some elderly…it was something else.
    Have you heard that CD or anything like it?

    PS: Sorry for the length of this response but you touched on some important points 🙂
    I enjoyed it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • What extensive experience you have! The cd you speak of is exactly what we endured while completing a reading comprehension exercise, a math test without using a calculator and then a team exercise where we had to give instructions to each other while listening to the many different awful voices…it was difficult and surreal. No need to apologize. Schizophrenia has always scared me but the stimulation and hearing that mother’s love for her son gave me a new perspective. How awful to live. Do not apologize for the length of your response. I love it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your daughter is right…..you are a forgiving person! And a person who has a heart that is filled to overflowing with compassion and love for those around you.
    I love how you gather in the hurting and let them know what real love is. You are a great counselor and I am confident God has some amazing things in store for you to do.
    I did have to laugh about your daughter telling you to not add things…..I tell my husband that all the time. He tends to read more into a comment that sometimes is there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There you are! Challenged by SPAM. Conquered SPAM! I have missed you, Mrs. Faye. I appreciate your kind words. We are our own worse critics. I love counseling…its hard to describe how I feel knowing that this is what I’m greatest at. I hold it to my chest dearly. It still blows my mind when others see it in me. Thank you for your time and for making sure we recieved your comments. You are a treasure!

      Liked by 1 person

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