So many of you have written to say the most welcome words a person will ever hear, and that’s this: ME TOO! Thank you for reminding me that I am not the only person in the world who ever doubts and feels angry or isn’t sure. Thank you for telling me your stories and sharing the things that have made trusting God hard for you.
As a follow up to that post, I thought I’d share some resources that are available out there. I have not personally had interaction with each of these, but they come highly recommended to me if they are not from my own experiences. Check out their websites if available or I’m happy to make a recommendation for counselors I know and trust in the Greenville area.
Alcoholics Anonymous www.aa.org AA is a well known and highly respected organization that helps people who are dependent on alcohol. There are also support groups for family members of people who live with or love alcoholics. AA holds meetings all over the place, multiple times each day.
Safe Harbor www.safeharborsc.org Safe Harbor is a shelter for domestic violence victims here in Greenville. They provide counseling and assistance to women and children who are victims of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. I served as an intern there while in graduate school and have the utmost respect for this organization.
Grief Share http://www.griefshare.org Grief Share is a support group for people experiencing grief from the loss of a loved one, family member or friend. Groups meet all over the U.S. and Canada. A friend of mine leads a group that meets at Brookwood Church in Simpsonville, SC and comes highly recommended to me. Those who have experienced loss have such a unique voice when ministering to others going through loss.
Counseling: I’m a big fan of counseling, and have benefited from being in counseling over the last eight years more than I can ever say. There is something about talking with someone who doesn’t have a dog in the fight and can objectively listen, encourage, support and advise. Sometimes I think there is still a stigma in the church world about counseling. You know, if you pray more, have a longer quiet time, read your Bible more, you don’t need counseling. You need Jesus! Yeah, we do need Jesus, but often it also helps to talk to a caring professional.
Here’s something else I would recommend:
Spiritual Direction with a well trained Director or an extended unity of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) My FB friend Dorothy reminded me that “you don’t have to be headed into chaplaincy or ministry to take a CPE class, and they are a great place to reflect, process and discern.” Thanks Dorothy! I would love to take a CPE class and have done a bit of spiritual direction. So helpful to my reflection and discernment process.
Again, thanks for your encouragement and support in this journey we share.