My Spiritual Journey: Counselor—Faith—Intuition
Summer of 2009
I’m Dr. Kay Trotter, and I love my clinical work as a counselor for children, adolescents and adults. While I respect all religious beliefs, I am also a devout Christian, and love the strong foundation my faith gives my life and my work. In addition, I love how I am spiritually inspired and guided, receiving messages and confirmations in intuitive flashes of insight.
While these three facets of me are all important – the clinical, the religious and the spiritual – for years I felt I needed to keep them separate from each other. It became more and more difficult, though, and I seemed to be attracting to me clients who required that I begin to work with them from multiple perspectives. For instance there was the young girl who saw ghosts, and needed a way to understand and control what was happening in her life. Other clients have asked me to pray with them.
From a clinical perspective, I was feeling torn. While I received excellent results when I used both my religious and spiritual experiences to help my clients, I still questioned the validity of deviating from the clinical model – or rather, building other layers on top of it.
I had to be authentic – I couldn’t pretend these other facets of myself weren’t there during a counseling session when I felt clients were needing guidance above and beyond textbook models. And in the instances where I did delve into my spiritual and religious tool box, I could see sometimes miraculous emotional healing in my clients. In summer of 2009, I finally realized I had to take a sabbatical to both prayerfully and analytically reflect on my work, and my future path.
I knew I had to undertake this spiritual journey for myself, all my clients, and all the people I am blessed to interact with on a daily basis. I also knew I had to journal my experiences – I couldn’t be the only counselor who was facing this dilemma.
No sooner had I made this commitment to myself and my clients than I found this remarkable passage, labeled “God’s View of Life:”
“God loves to decorate; God has to decorate. Let Him live long enough in a heart and the heart will begin to change. Portraits of hurt will be replaced by landscapes of grace. Walls of anger will be demolished and shaky foundations restored. God can no more leave a life unchanged than a mother can leave her child’s tears untouched.
It’s not enough for Him to own you; He wants to change you. Where you and I might be satisfied with a recliner and refrigerator, He refuses to settle for any dwelling short of a palace. After all, this is His house. No expense is spared. No corners are cut. “Oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him (Eph. 1:19).”
This explains some of the discomfort in my life. Remodeling of the heart is not always pleasant. We don’t object when the Carpenter adds a few shelves, but He has been know to gut a entire west wing. He has such high aspirations for me! God envisions a complete restoration. He won’t stop until He is finished. And he won’t be finished until I have been shaped “along the… lines…of His Son (Rom. 8:29).”
My Creator is remaking me into the Image of Christ. He wants me to be just like Jesus. This is the desire of God.”
– By Max Lucado
in Just Like Jesus
So with this strong confirmation, my journey began. It is an honor to share it with you through this blog.
Saturday June 6, 2009
Because I feel God is challenging me to go on a spiritual journey, I have chosen to take a three-month sabbatical from my counseling practice. For this journey I completely surrender myself and my hands to God, that He can take me where I need to go and show me what He wants me to see. I feel with all my heart that He is taking me on this journey to be in relationship with Him at a greater level than I am now—to the next level of faith. I do not know where He will lead me, but I will strive with all that I am to go where He takes me and to utilize all those He sends to guide me. I know that these summer sabbatical months are just the prelude for a lifelong voyage as I allow God to guide me in both my personal and my professional life.
God has also called upon me to re-dedicate my life to Him, symbolically, in a new Baptism. As of yet I do not know when or where my Baptism will take place — however I feel it is not far off. As I walk and cry on this journey, I hope to take you with me, sharing in my joys and hopes and risking to let those closest to me see the parts of myself that I keep close to my heart out of fear of be ridiculed.
I pray that God gives me the strength and words to let you in, something that I struggle to do. It is much easier to keep the deepest emotional parts of my heart and my faith cloistered away. I pray that God gives me the strength to not hide myself when I am overcome with the presence of the Holy Spirit and tears quietly roll down my face. I pray that God remove my feelings of self-consciousness and that I truly embrace all that He is sending me, no matter where I am, no matter who is around me and could possibly see me. I seek to move my faith and God’s presence in my life out of my private world and into the world of others. For I know this is what God is calling me to do.
As I write these words tears wet my face and the power of Christ fills me. This is a gift God has always given me, the ability to see and feel Him in so many different places and in so many different people. I have been the one who has kept Him locked up, out of fear of what others will think, fear of what others will do if they know how intensely I feel God’s presence and how unconventionally he works in my life.
Sunday June 7, 2009
I know this may sound silly to you, but God just showed me what He wants from me and what I am.
“I am a healer.”
I know those of you who know me are chuckling to yourself because you have always known that that I am a healer and I have known too. But — not at the level that God now wants me to own it. Like the Scriptures tell us, people longed for Christ’s compassionate touch. And each who came was touched. And each one touched was changed. I know that God has given me the ability to compassionately touch His children and on some level, I know they have been changed. But that is a lot of power — and I don’t know if I want that.
I guess that’s part of what this journey is all about — me learning to release God’s power in me and just let God flow thru me. I also know that thru this journey, God will help me learn to manage the physical and emotional drain—not just a ‘drain,’ but rather the pure depletion I can experience being His healer.
The cognitive part of me wants Him to show me coping skills, mediation, relaxation techniques to use to fill me up when I am empty. But on some deeper level, I know this will not happen. I have to learn once again to surrender myself to God and allow Him to use me. And I have to know that although I may feel like I am going to explode; that there is no more that I can give, that I am exhausted — God will be there to take care of me. He will be the one to fill me and replenish me in ways my human mind can not even imagine.
I was gong to write that I need to go Google some of our world great “healers” and see how they take care of themselves. Then I realized that it is this kind of ‘stinking thinking’ that I have to stop. Because God does not want “me” to take care of myself — He wants me to surrender to Him, and have faith that he will take care of this need in me so that I can do the great work that He is calling me to do. Since I now see this more clearly I will work on surrendering this aspect of myself more to Christ. God willing, I will succeed!