Witnessing Renewal - Letters from the Founder of Restoration Place Counseling

Trust Me

September 6th, 2011 by Cindy - 4 Responses

I remember the day as if it was just yesterday. It was early spring 2001. I had applied for the Master of Arts in Christian Counseling program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte. The school had called and asked if I could come down for a meeting with the Registrar, Tim Myrick. They didn’t tell me why he wanted to meet with me. So, being the dreamer that I am, I imagined that he was wanting to tell me that they were so impressed with my application packet that they planned to give me a full scholarship!

Well, let’s just say that wasn’t even close to why. You see, it had been less than five years earlier that my life had changed drastically. To be exact, it was December 27, 1996. That is my sobriety date. On that night, I remember telling the Lord that I would do whatever He wanted me to do, if only He would relieve me from the misery I was living in. From that day on, He took me at my word. Before long I had relocated from Louisiana to North Carolina, had gotten involved in a great community of believers, and began Christian counseling (as the client). Just a few short years later, I felt the Lord calling me to return to school for counseling—this time not as the client, but to become a counselor. I submitted my application to Gordon-Conwell.

So back to the “they’re going to give me a full scholarship” story. (Obviously, I was still struggling with a bit of that narcissistic thinking that goes so nicely with addiction!) When I sat down in Mr. Myrick’s office, we exchanged the standard niceties. But from that point on, I don’t remember saying much. The reason for the meeting was due to concern regarding my “readiness” for seminary and ministry. Apparently, they were used to applicants who had been to Bible College and who had served as Young Life leaders, youth pastors, ministry leaders and the like. Not girls who grew up in church, but in high school decided to direct her own steps. And certainly not a girl who was just a few years into recovery from alcohol addiction and bulimia! I mean, I had been leading Beth Moore Bible studies for almost a year! Didn’t that count for anything?! Apparently not.

But the news wasn’t completely bad. They just wanted to “warn me” of the “pink cloud” many new believers experience and to tell me that life might get hard once the “honeymoon with Jesus” was over. Hmmm. Really? I suppose he had never struggled with alcohol or eating issues, because anything compared to those years of living would be cake! They also wanted me to secure a mentor from the pastoral staff at my church who I would meet with for the next year. If I did, then I was accepted into the program with “Special Student” status (again, probably not the best title for a recovering addict). Based on the completion of their requirements and the recommendation of my mentor, I would then be fully admitted into the program the following year. In the meantime, I could still begin taking courses that would ultimately count toward my degree.

Well, for a girl who loves to chatter, I had no words. I was afraid if I uttered a sound, I would burst into tears. So I just nicely nodded and shook his hand as I stood to leave the office. Once in the car, the tears flowed. I’m not sure why. They weren’t rejecting me from the program, and while a full scholarship would have been nice, my ability to pay for graduate school did not depend on this. Maybe what I felt was a rejection of my story…all those dark nights and miserable years. All the life experience that I knew would eventually be to my benefit in the counseling room. I wasn’t a freak. I just hadn’t walked with Jesus as long as others.

As I began to drive away from the school, with emotions bouncing from heartbroken to highly offended, I turned on the Christian radio station. (Perhaps if you’ve read many of my writings, you know that God speaks to me through songs quite often.) The song for this occasion was Crystal Lewis’ Trust Me.

close your eyes
take a step
it’s ok
I know where we’re going

trust Me
though you can’t see
you can trust Me
the way may be steep
you can trust Me
let me lead…trust Me

open your eyes
but don’t let go of My hand
let your tears give way to smiles
see the joy inside the trial

trust Me
though you can’t see
you can trust Me
the way may be steep
you can trust Me
let me lead…trust Me

In the car all alone, I continued to cry, but this time tears of gratitude, not sadness. I decided that God was in control, and I could either believe there was purpose in this or I could pout. As the story goes, there was great purpose. Through my year of meeting with the then-Shepherding Pastor at my church, there were many blessings that I received, but most importantly, it was the first time I had ever made the conscious decision to submit to authority and to the process. Talk about a lesson that I certainly needed to learn!

Well, to bring this part of the story to a close, things turned out just fine and I was accepted as a regular student (though I kind of liked being “special!”) into the program, from which I then graduated and began Restoration Place.

Now, fast forward to Labor Day weekend, 2011. Things with the ministry are going wonderfully in terms of client referrals and lives being changed. However, I’ve been fighting the worry bug in terms of financial security. Grant money has not come in as expected this year, and several of our individual contributors have ceased giving for various reasons but mostly due to the economy. Although more clients means more earned income (a third way our budget is met annually), more clients also means more payroll expense. We can’t do counseling without the counselors, and while they are willing to work for little, I’m not sure they’ll work for nothing! So an increase in grant funding, individual contributions, and fundraisers is necessary to sustain and grow.

With all this on my mind, I decided to go for a run, but not before I updated my iPod playlist. Crystal Lewis wasn’t even on my radar but somehow showed up as an artist I might like. And that’s when I remembered the song. Here we were again, me needing a lesson in trust. You’d think after all these years it would come naturally, but it doesn’t. Gratefully, I serve a God who is patient and longsuffering and who will continue to provide reasons to practice trusting Him. So we hit the trail, just Jesus and me, and I filled my heart and mind once again with

trust Me
though you can’t see
you can trust Me
the way may be steep
you can trust Me
let me lead…trust Me

How is He calling you to trust Him today? Don’t be afraid. He is trustworthy.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 at 10:44 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Responses to “Trust Me”

Lisa ElliottSeptember 6th, 2011 at 11:16 pm

wow I need to trust God more in my life but how do you do that being a new child of God please tell me if you know Cindy you are very beautiful women of God

AmySeptember 7th, 2011 at 12:30 am

What a beautiful, honest picture you have shared of what trusting Jesus no matter the circumstances looks like and how He uses it ALL when we let Him. A precious reminder… thank you for sharing your heart!

JulesSeptember 7th, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Honest and powerful. We think trust should be automatic, but even with God trust is something we must learn over and over again!

AnonymousJanuary 5th, 2012 at 4:30 am

Thank you for sharing this ~ God also uses songs to speak to me and minister to me quite often. My counselor gave me some homework a few weeks ago – to look up some scriptures about trusting God. During our session, I realized that I am afraid to trust Him and that I needed to repent of this. I did spend some time looking up scriptures and found so many that were encouraging. My favorite one was Psalms 32:10 “But the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him.” How I long to feel His love, to know and believe that He will never fail me as long as I put my trust in Him. I love what you shared in your blog about how God will continue to provide reasons to practice trusting Him but these lessons are sometimes very difficult. Thank you for reminding me that He is trustworthy – I pray that this becomes a reality in my life, even when I can’t see Him or understand what He is doing. I’m so thankful for God’s timing…reading the words to that song really blessed me and encouraged me to keep pressing on.

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