I’ve had my own share of counseling over the years, and no two experiences were alike. Counseling session number 1, as an eighteen-year-old, I entered what felt like a dark cavern of shame. No one could understand my pain, especially this old lady that my parents were requiring me to go to for counseling. I left that first session with the words of the counselor ringing in my head, “the truth will set you free!” Yet the message that struck my heart was, “you can’t come to grips with the truth, therefore you will never be free.” I don’t know if it was the counselor’s tactics or my insecure, immature teenage perception (more than likely the latter), but I never went back to her and instead attempted to discover the truth for myself which proved to be a long and painful process.

The prophet Isaiah speaks of the Israelites who were also in darkness, longing for the light that only the true Messiah could bring. Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness on them has light shone.” And then? They rejoice! They were ready! Awaiting, anticipating the Messiah who would come. He would be a wonderful counselor who would guide them out of darkness and into the safety and freedom that comes from walking in the light.

This was also my deep longing. In that moment of despair when my counselor said those words, “the truth will set you free”, I too felt as if a spotlight was directed at me, but instead of seeing that light as a means of hope; an opportunity to rejoice in the freedom that awaited, I instead experienced it as shame. This is not what our Wonderful Counselor desires for his children. I was weary and I was carrying burdens that no one had asked me to carry, especially Jesus. It was some years later, in a place of total honesty before my Savior, that his sweet words in Matthew 11 brought comfort to my soul. Verses 28-30 say, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Easy? Light? Rest? That sounded like the freedom that I so earnestly longed for. I was fairly confident that the journey was far from over, but these words of Jesus offered hope. Maybe, just maybe, allowing Jesus to carry my burdens could provide the comfort, hope, safety, and freedom for which I so desperately longed…and it did.

Jesus, our Wonderful Counselor, invites us to approach his throne of grace, to come to him in all our sorrow, pain, fear, discouragement, and shame. What we will find is a loving confidante and guide who is sympathetic, who listens, who offers wisdom, who comforts, who carries our burdens, and who longs to set us free!

Lynette Fuson
Care & Counseling Director

Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor! And he has gifted his people to help provide wise and loving counsel to others. If you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you and desire to receive counsel for yourself, please contact the Emmanuel Faith Care & Counseling Department. We would love to connect you with a counselor who cares and can point you toward the hope and freedom that only Jesus offers! Emmanuel Faith Counseling Resources

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