2012: My Year to Know Him as Counselor

I sat in her office, rigid. She asked questions and I gave hollow answers. I tried to steal glances around her office when she looked down to scribble notes. I scanned her bookshelf for familiar titles or authors I trusted. When I spotted her credentials listed on the wall I wondered, again, why the perspective of an outsider, no matter how credentialed, could be of any more benefit than those in my inner circle. Counselors were for the messy and, up until now, I hadn’t categorized myself as messy. Nothing about this felt comfortable or easy.

But I was desperate. And as was true for most of my life in those years, when you are desperate to get out of a certain state of heart or mind many pre-conceived notions crumble. (For me, time has revealed that most of them needed to.)

As the clock ticked behind our transfer of information, mostly mine to her, I settled into my need. My heart was catatonic; I needed help. It was obvious. Just before the hands hit the hour of my release, she asked a question which I haven’t forgotten now for a decade:

“What percentage of you do you think your husband knows?”

She moved from taking down history like a clinician right to the jugular, though I wasn’t wise enough to catch it.

“Oh, probably 80%” I said matter-of-factly. We’d been married for 4 months.

She tipped her hand for the first time in an hour. “I might suggest otherwise. I’d suggest probably  … 1 %.”

Presumptuous, I thought, for a woman whose face I’d seen for the first time 50 minutes earlier. I wasn’t sure I liked her.

She responded to my look I couldn’t conceal by saying “there are vast frontiers of your heart yet to be explored.”

Time was up and I was out the door. Little did I know, that day was the beginning of a beautiful thing called counsel and a relationship with someone who would eventually take me to the feet of the Counselor to find it for myself.

And now I stand at 2012’s starting line with two years under my belt of making big asks of God and big declarations back to Him. Both years, He has responded. With a history like that, how can I not turn the page of this year with another?

God sent this precious woman to help put a new name on my twenties. What I thought would be the years of looking out and making my mark on what I saw were, in fact, the years of looking in and finding what He’d created. The frontiers of hearts were opened to me for the finding– His, Nate’s and my own. And her words were true, they were vast.

They are vast.

As I’ve been asking Him what this year is about, that day in her office hangs in my mind. Faith ventured into discovery then because of my weakness. Where I saw weakness as something to conquer, He made it a doorway. It’s the currency of His kingdom.

I backed into something beautiful.

And now, a decade later, I hear a soft invitation from a God who isn’t the distant, directive, results-oriented boss I once thought Him to be, but from a strong, always-beckoning Father. Come sit on my lap. Write My Word on your heart and let my instruction be your drink. 

I wrestle with dozens of things during any given day. I am pulled away from considering her little heart voids by the noise of the dryer, only seconds before the soup comes to a boil — and somewhere in there I remember this morning’s internal conflict, yet unresolved.

Endless questions waiting on a God-Man. One who intervenes. Engages. When I expect Him to toss decrees down from a high mountain, He scoots near to me. He whispers so that I might come close to hear. He moves in, not away. He counsels from right beside me. He liberates.

And this year I also want to move in: to His Word, and to His whisper. I want sit on His lap in the quiet morning hours and not leave that place when my day gets loud. I want to know the side of Him that grabs my hand and says: every single day I have something for you, every hour has opportunity for My fingerprint. I want a travel guide with whom I can explore these vast frontiers: of Him, of Nate, of them, of me.

I want to wrap His Word around my fingertips and hear His whisper in even a thunderstorm.

I don’t want to leave His lap.

In 2012 I want to know Him as explorer, discoverer. I want to know Him as counselor. I want to know His namesake.

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6