A New Life Chapter: The Restoration of my Faith

When I started Grad school to become a counselor I knew that to do well in my future job I had a lot more homework to complete than what was assigned by school. I knew that I most grow as a person. I needed to be in a healthy physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual place so that I could be ready to help others well and not burn out in the process.

I thought about my relationship with God. Waiting for God to make me feel loving and positive towards him and church had not seemed to be working. Relationship with God is like any other personal relationship, a two way street. I had to put the effort on my side. I can’t just wait to feel positive about God and Church. The last few years had been pretty one-sided. I’m sure God was trying his best to reach me, but I was not doing my part to draw close to him.

So I began to go to church regularly again. I asked A man I respected and looked up to because of his humble wisdom to be my mentor and he readily agreed. I caught up with my former Biblical counselor and we agreed to renew counseling sessions.

Finding personal, mature, deep relationships where I felt free to explore my feelings, beliefs, and ponderings was very healing and growth building for me. These were relationships I had always craved, but experienced rarely or only in short intervals in my life before. My meetings with my mentor were going so well that we decided to start a Bible study group. We both had it on our hearts to share our spiritual journeys and grow with other young men my age.

I began to feel Love toward/from God and get more out of church as well. I began reading the Bible more frequently. I started attending church more frequently. However, as I grew I also began to see my continued struggles more clearly.

I realized that I had issues with my ego which related directly with my struggles with self-esteem. I was too attached to my parents: what they thought about me and how I lived my life as well as their expectations for how to live life well. I distrusted authority, wanting people to prove themselves and earn my respect before really investing and following them well. I still had anxiety when it came to new situations or things I felt like I didn’t know how to do. I had anxiety about Substitute teaching, homework, being a counselor in the future, my writing ability, etc. When something went wrong in life, I often overreacted, fearing that I was reverting to the old me and not sure if I would recover.

Recognizing these things helped me grow in them. I had hoped that I had grown enough to be over these things. I did not like recognizing that while I had improved on these issues, they still came up, and I still had to deal with them. But I was also proud of how far I had come in dealing with these things and learning to handle them well.

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