Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Going in Circles

So, I've been so busy this past month that blogging hasn't been very high on my list of priorities, but I didn't want a full month to go by since my last post. That seemed too lazy. I really don't have time to write anything today, but I was given a last-minute assignment to write a profile about my job for our monthly newsletter, and I decided I'd just kill two birds with one stone. So, as if you haven't heard enough about my job already (I promise I do more than just work) ...

Today started off as “one of those days.” In my line of work, “one of those days” can involve any number of odd/bizarre/exasperating events. Today it was a morning of back-to-back sessions with young, elementary-school aged boys … boys who laugh as they pass gas and who tell me that they wish all of their teachers were dead. Ah, a day in the life of a counselor.

When I drove out of the parking lot to grab some lunch, I turned on my iPod and a song by David Crowder came chanting out of my speakers: “We’re gonna shout loud, loud until the walls come down; loud until the walls come down” (We Win). As I listened to the song, my mind was filled with images of a scraggly bunch of Israelites marching around Jericho again and again and again until the walls finally fell down, and my heart was encouraged.

You see, when I decided to go into counseling (and especially when I decided to work with abuse victims) I knew with my head that it wouldn’t be a walk in the park; but I think my heart still romanticized the idea of it. The thought of stepping into the life of a traumatized child and providing a safe and healing relationship seemed wonderful … and it is. However, there are many days when I feel like I’m trying to hike uphill through a swamp. Children who are too afraid to talk, parents who are too inconsistent and only bring their child a couple of times and then quit, and teenagers who just recite the lines that they know they “ought” to say instead of saying anything real. I sometimes wonder if what I am doing makes any difference at all.

But then, sometimes after many sessions of marching in circles around and around the fortified walls of their hearts, those walls start falling down. Once the walls come down and I’m finally given access to the hidden and scarred places, it is such a joy to help clean out the debris, to help life thrive again. And that’s why I do this job: each and every child’s heart is worth a million laps around it, if that’s what it takes for the walls to come down.

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