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The Cost of Freedom

Have you ever considered counseling for yourself? Laura Smith walks us through the freedom we might discover.

Elisa




The Cost of Freedom

By Laura L. Smith

 

All freedom is costly.


Freedom from tyrants and dictators.

Freedom from slavery.

Freedom from debt.

Freedom from addiction.

Freedom from anything that shackles us.

Freedom is attainable. It’s just pricey. Including freedom from mental health issues.

 

I speak from experience.

 

Every time I make the drive to my counselor’s office, I’m a little shaky. I spend most of the way there listening to worship music and praying. Why? Because going to counseling is hard. I need to intentionally ask God to come into the appointment and give me the courage to say things that are hard to say, admit places where I’m weak and broken and damaged, and allow someone else into parts of me that I’ve buried for decades. If I want freedom from the scars of my past, I have to revisit painful memories and share uncomfortable thoughts. Sure, I could walk in and tell my counselor that everything’s great, but that wouldn’t gain me any freedom.

 

I spend the drive home processing what my counselor and I discussed. I understand why she asks the questions she does and why I answer how I do, but still sometimes it’s hard. I do what? Because of why? But I don’t want to. That person will never change? Never? Deep down I knew that, and yet I was holding out hope.

 

I know this doesn’t sound like the most convincing ad to get counseling, but here’s the reason it’s actually an incredible idea. All that work I do before, during, and after counseling brings me freedom.

 

Freedom to know that I’m not alone. Freedom in the fact that I’m making progress. That I’m loosening old chains and slowly learning how to pull them off and walk away. Freedom in having words to describe my feelings and reactions. Freedom in the knowledge that if I keep at it, there’s even more freedom in sight. All of this is so liberating! It helps me breathe more deeply and feel more known. I understand myself better. It helps me fight for this human (me) that God created in his image and her mental health all the more.

 

But it costs me something.

Time. Dollars. And sometimes even opening so many issues – like a Pandora’s box, which I’ve been fighting for years to keep bolted shut.

 

Sure, it will cost us something. Freedom always does. But it will be so worth it.

 

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

 

 

Taken from Holy Care for the Whole Self: Biblical Wisdom for Mental and Spiritual Well-Being by Laura L. Smith. Used by permission of Our Daily Bread Publishing®, Grand Rapids MI. All rights reserved. Further distribution is prohibited without written permission from Our Daily Bread Publishing® at permissionsdept@odb.org

 

 

Bestselling author and speaker Laura L. Smith tears down lies, so we can live in truth. She loves Jesus, her prince charming of a husband, their four kids, music, a good book, dark chocolate, and travel. She’s also a huge fan of counseling. Her newest book is Holy Care for the Whole Self: Biblical Wisdom for Mental and Spiritual Well-Being. Laura lives in the picturesque college town of Oxford, Ohio where you’ll find her running the wooded trails, strolling the brick streets, shopping at the Saturday morning farmer’s market, or going on a sunset walk with her family. Visit her website at: www.laurasmithauthor.com or find her on Instagram @laurasmithauthor.


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