Greetings from everyone at R:TC,
As the counseling director at Redemption: Twin Cities, I have the privilege of hearing stories of redemption and transformation. The best stories come from people who are still very much in process. They haven’t arrived. They struggle deeply. Change isn’t quick. Growth seems so small. And yet it is so evident the Holy Spirit is at work. Our counselors know we walk on holy ground as we enter the messy details of people’s lives and bring truth in practical, compassionate, and thoughtful ways. Here is one such story from one of our counselors
An Unwanted Child
My last session of the day was with Justin, a young boy who is on the autism spectrum. I really enjoy meeting with this young man and this week was no exception. Justin was diagnosed late (he was eleven). He missed out on the help and support most other children with his struggles normally have from a young age. He has many struggles socially where he needs more progress than you might expect. Tonight, he said something shocking. His sister often says to him, “I wish you weren’t in our family.” I asked him how he felt by her statement. He said, “It hurts but I’ve been thinking that maybe I should kill myself and that would make her happy. She would be happy if I was gone, a lot of people would. In my old school kids told me often to kill myself. Maybe I should.”
My heart broke as I heard these words. I spoke to him of how this was not true, that his sister would not be happy if he died and that his parents love him and so do I. Most of all I told him that Jesus loves him and calls him his treasured possession. God loves him because he has chosen to love him and set his love upon him. He smiled and told me that he did not know that. I wrote the words of Deuteronomy 7: 7-9 on a card for him in words he could understand,
“Jesus has chosen you to be his treasured possession. He chose you simply because he loves you and you can trust him because he is faithful.”
He took the card and told me he would keep it in his pocket and bring it with him to school. We prayed together and as he was getting ready to leave I told him that he was my last appointment and shared my plans for the evening—Chicken Noodle soup at Panera followed by some relaxation at home. “Can I make a suggestion?” he asked. I thought he had a restaurant suggestion. But instead he said, “You could come to our church tonight. We’re having church at 6:30.” Visions of my cozy bed loomed large, but I knew now that God had cancelled my last appointment for a reason, His own purposes. I got the address and assured him I would come. He was delighted.
As soon as I arrived he greeted me and told me where I should sit—in the back row beside him. His parents welcomed me. His father thanked me for honoring his son. It was a lovely service. But what touched me most is when this young man turned to me during communion and asked, “Will you pray for me?” I knew that God was at work. I put my arm around him and asked God to help him in all his struggles. It was a sweet moment and the perfect end to a full day.
What a joy that God allows me to walk alongside a boy who often feels disconnected from others and unwanted. I could not help but notice throughout the service how many times he took the card I wrote for him out of his pocket and looked at it. Perhaps my presence was the concrete evidence that God really does love him and chooses him, for no other reason than that God is faithful and sees him as a treasured possession?
(We have purposely altered certain details in this story, such as name, age, and possibly gender to protect the identity of the counselee.)
What a Remarkable and Beautiful Story!
Our counselor responded to this situation like any good counselor would—caring for a person with suicidal thoughts, bringing truth, and reminding this person that they would be deeply missed, and doing the appropriate follow-ups. But what happened next is what sets biblical counseling apart from all other models. Our counselor offered this young man Jesus—not an approach, or method, or a step. Our counselor offered the Word of Life. And with great love and compassion she incarnated that love with her own actions and words.
This story beautifully captures our vision of ministry at R:TC. And this is precisely why we need your support—your prayers and your financial gifts.
Join with us as we continue to pray for this young man and his family. The road they walk is a long one with no easy answers or quick fixes. Pray the God will be near to them at every turn.
Biblical Counseling Director for Redemption: Twin Cities
Thank you for praying! Over the past few weeks we received 67% of our goal of $10,000 by 12/31. God is providing for us through the generosity of his people. Join with us as we pray for the remaining $3,300 needed to finish 2018 well and start 2019 strong.