The office has this hipster sort of feel to it. The coffee colored walls are cement in texture, there are 1950’s art deco pieces hanging, a black and white chevron rug and of course your typical cushy leather chairs that are positioned at an angle facing the counselor’s desk. I have to admit that the set up is quite nice and I suppose atmosphere matters when you choose to wade through a mess of this magnitude.
Our counselor is tall with reddish hair, most often wearing a collared sweater with denim pants, glasses, black dress shoes and sometimes sporting a beard.
We really appreciate him and his wife (who provides a bi-weekly support group for all the wives) for all their hard work and commitment to helping folks like us.
Once a week we walk in, greet one another with a smile and words of kindness, then get straight to work. Our counselor prays for us and our time together, wasting no time with filler words. His prayer usually goes something like this, “Dear God. This is so messy. But we know you are good and love us in our mess. Please help us. Amen”. It’s short, sweet, and to the point.
We usually identify our current feelings and discuss what is (or isn’t) happening at home. We are given a homework assignment almost weekly and pretty well fail each week. In all the raw emotions on display I sometimes feel God’s presence in that room more than I have in the past at church. I am finding that being “naked” and full of shame is a pivotal change from where we have been in the past. It’s terrifying, yet utterly liberating.
In this office, admittedly, the gloves come off. We check our “I’m doing just fine” mask at the door and one of us usually leaves in tears. We talk about addictive behaviors, past sexual abuse and the gospel. It’s. Heavy.
For the next few weeks I am going to share with you some of our homework assignments. I will reflect on how Jesus interacts with us in them as well, in hopes that anyone who is going through this or (God forbid) will through this in the future will have something to refer back to when looking for help. It’s going to feel uncomfortable, because it is uncomfortable. But you know something? I wish I would have had this point of reference when my world came crashing down.
Thanks for checking out the office! See you next week with homework assignment #1 : The Full Disclosure Letter…