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Judy Lair is a licensed counselor and owner of Counselorplace Christian Counseling. She is the author of “From the Other Side of the Couch: A Biblical Counselor’s Guide to Relational Living.” Judy’s personal struggles with fear led her through the valley of hurt and sorrow. She now embraces a joy-filled life grounded in God’s truth and freedom in Christ. Judy uses her professional counseling expertise to tell stories that help people find healing and freedom. Her vulnerable, godly approach helps people find courage to move from Fear to Freedom. For more information or speaking requests, email JudyLair@counselorplace.com or sign up for blog posts at http://judylair.blogspot.com

 “Freedom is attainable. Trust me, I’ve been on the anxiety side, gone through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and now I’m praising God, eating at the banqueting table, and helping others make the same journey. Whether you find yourself stuck in anxiety, disappointment, grief, or confusion, your heart can be set free.” Judy Lair, “From the Other Side of the Couch.”

Monday, June 6, 2016

A New Song

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:1-3

I’ve had six different offices in my 14 years of counseling. I began working out of my condo, then moved to a tiny 9x9 office some years later. Last month I had the opportunity to move my counseling office within our suite. I had eyed the corner office with two walls of windows since we leased the suite three years ago. When I initially joined the suite, I was thankful for the opportunity to be part of a group of folks who, like me, loved helping people. First-time clients called my small office “cozy.”

A lot of good things took place in that small office. Clients laughed, cried, and God used me to walk alongside them in difficult times. I wrote and published my first book, From the Other Side of the Couch: A Biblical Counselor’s Guide to Relational Living. I was content and grateful for God’s provision. Then an opportunity came open and I stepped out and asked if I could move into the more spacious corner office. Just one door down, yet I feel a new energy, new ideas, and hugely blessed every time I walk into that space.

Some clients see my wonderful office and experience my joyful heart and incorrectly assume I’ve never had difficult life circumstances. They see me with a new song of praise in my mouth without knowing the slimy pit where God rescued my heart, mind, and soul. Looking at my blessings causes them to feel ignored and abandoned by God. Yet my transformational journey is the vehicle God continually uses to help others find their own firm place to stand.

Do you look at the blessings of others and feel rejected by God? Do you beat yourself up when comparing yourself to those around you? Do you feel helpless to change your hopelessness?

Waiting on God’s timing in changing our circumstances can be excruciatingly difficult and discouragement will threaten to set in. But it’s at those times we most need to lift our eyes up to the mountains, ask for God’s help in your time of trouble, and receive hope through the testimony of others. What matters most is your perspective. Work hard to confess your negativity to God, asking him to pull the root of bitterness out of your heart. Wrestle with your automatic fleshly nature when it compares and condemns.

Ask God to show you others who’ve been rescued. Listen to or read about their story of transformation and allow it to inspire your heart. Then focus on crying out to God in the middle of your muddy life. He will not leave you stranded. God promises to give you a new song anchored by the firm foundation of his love for you.

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