If there's one lesson I've learned about God more frequently than any others, it's that He calls us to obey first, understand later. This past spring, with many confirming messages and a special nudge from my husband, I felt specifically led to attend an Association of Certified Biblical Counselors regional training in Sioux Falls. I had no idea how God might be planning to use that in my life, but He'd been awfully particular about putting the opportunity in my path. And, through those three training weekends, the Spirit spoke loud and clear. I saw what I’d sensed missing from my past experiences in seeking counseling, and I saw a clear picture of healing in biblical community.
Let me be very clear here: this is not an either/or conversation. It’s an and issue. Since the day God called me to go stumbling down a path toward ordained ministry, back in early 2012, I've been wrestling to get a firm grasp on a personal either/or conflict. For a long time, I was nagged by a question over Christian counseling. I couldn't tell yet whether God meant me to pursue that vocation, too, or if He just planned for me to see this ordination track through to the end. Was I supposed to be a pastor, or was I supposed to be a counselor?
Through the ACBC training and a memoir by Eugene Peterson, the Lord gave me a definitive answer: "Yes." I realized, for me, it’s not one or the other. It’s an and.