• Jena

Security or Significance.. you tell me.

I’ve been entrenched in a great book called Effective Biblical Counseling by Dr. Larry Crabb. In January, both Will and I will go to Moody Bible Institute for a modular graduate level class in Pastoral Counseling. He is taking the class for credit, and I am a tagalong.

There is a ton of reading prior to the class, and I must admit: I love it!! I do not have the gift of compassion or mercy or any of those things. I am not very patient. And yet, God often uses me in counseling situations. Who wudda thunk? So, I asked Will one day, “Do you think I should get some training in counseling?” He thought it was a great idea.

I realize that reading a few books and taking ONE class does not qualify anyone to be a counselor, but it’s more training than I have now–which is nothing. And God is always putting me into situations where I wish I had more counseling training. And as far as compassion and mercy go, well… God will have to supply those also.

So, here I am reading.. and reading. I’m not quite ready to put up a sign like Lucy on Peanuts “Psychiatrist 5 cents”, but I am learning a lot about how my thinking is not aligning with biblical thinking, and how I have believed some lies, and for some reason, it is just hitting me the right way. Perhaps I just like the counseling jargon, or the way it is written.. or maybe the material is just.. good?

So, what am I learning? If I tell you, please don’t neglect to buy the book and hear it from the real professional. I am just processing this information as it pertains to me. (yes, boring little me)

So, according to Crabb, we all have this huge need in our lives for security and significance. And when we feel upset about something, often one of these two areas are threatened. It was a very convenient time for me to be reading this, since I was upset about various things, so I decided to be my own counselor. (cost effective, eh?)

One thing that has been nagging at me for a while.. (And I hate to admit how lame my struggles are, but you guys will understand that I’m just a pathetic little organizing mommy with pathetic little struggles, OK?) is that…

We are going to be having Thanksgiving alone. Yup. that’s it. It’s just going to be the farkle family at home with NO GUESTS. Now most people would say, “yippee! stress free!” and yet, I was troubled. We’ve always had guests. Even in Panama, we had tons of people around our table. And then the nagging questions start: Is it that no one in this town likes my cooking? Is it because..??? and the anxiety starts.

Now you tell me: is it my security or significance being threatened here?

Well, it’s certainly not my security. I have a home, a family and a turkey. I’m feeling secure alright. I’ve cooked many turkey dinners (alone)–with no help from outside guests. I already have the stuff.

No, it’s definitely my significance. I want to think of myself as a hospitable woman. I take my role as a homemaker seriously. I am threatened by a “lack of company”. I feel threatened in some way by this. And so, I sulk, wonder and worry. And I keep wondering: Lord, is there someone we’ve forgotten?

And while you are either laughing for the outrageousness of my fears or pitying me for having such a small world, I just want you to know that: just writing about this and figuring this out helps me a lot.

The end goal of Biblical counseling is to bring someone to right thinking and maturity in Christ. Obviously, this example proves that too much of my significance is all about seeing myself as a hospitable woman, rather than who I am in Christ. Hospitality is great, but we can’t worship it. Nor can we value ourselves so highly or lowly as to think that all God is using us for is this ONE style of ministry. Maybe what we should be doing is fasting and praying that day, rather than eating anything at all.

And these thoughts have been what is making my home sing this week at Mom’s the Word.

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