Things I’m Learning in Counseling

Welcome back. You belong here.

It’s not cheap but it’s helpful. Every wednesday night I go to counseling (it’s been 6 weeks), to walk through my ‘issues’…oh yes, my issues, there are many.

At times the sessions have been a waste of time (in my opinion), other times, they’ve been insighful. To me, a good session is when I cry. I’ve cried twice.

Some people ask me, “why do you go to counseling? Can’t you talk to your friends or God or your wife about things?” Sure and I do. And counselors frustrate me because they are trained to LISTEN. I’d rather get input and advice, reflections and even a little kick in the pants. But I’m learning some things.

Things I’m learning in counseling:
1. FEAR – I’m afraid of many things. Fear is the big underlying emotion I deal with. I agree.
2. WAR – The effects of war, childhood, seperation from my parents during my teenage years have had an impact in my life
3. IMMIGRANT LIFESTYLE – The life of fear was mostly seen in my immigrant lifestyle. I lived in fear of deportation, limitations, execution, shame for almost 20 years before I got my ‘paper work’ worked out when I married my wife. Even after we were married, I didn’t file for a change of status for almost 5 years. Why? Fear. Whether unfounded or not, I dealt with this kind of fear.
4. I KNOW THE ‘DON’T FEAR’ VERSES. I know them, read them, recite them, memorize them, sing them, hummm them.
5. EMOTIONAL OVERLOAD – She (I have a female counselor), tells me I’m on emotional overload. My grandmother’s death, the head injury, work stress, childhood stuff, my symptoms, I’m carrying a lot
6. I’M AFRAID TO FALL APART. I’m afraid of letting go. Not falling apart as in I can’t function, but falling apart as in, actually I’m not sure what that looks like. That’s part of the problem, I need to fall apart, but I don’t know where to start. She will have me talk about ‘my fears’ next week. We started to last wed talking about my fear and joy of becoming a U.S. Citizen, what that means to me, the culmination of 20 years of worries and hopes. I broke down as I told her the story, the tears wouldn’t stop.
7. THE SAFETY NET IS GONE. When abuelita died a year ago (feels like 2 months), my safety net died. It started with my father’s death 6 years ago and now this. I feel like I’m free-falling and as she said, I’m like a cat trying not to fall off the pole, hanging on with my nails as hard as I can. Yes, that’s how it feels. But God is building a new net, a new set of support and guidance and it deals with Jesus being my shepherd, my leader.

I’ve been reading Psalm 23 a lot, “The Lord is my shepherd….He leads me….”

Next week, we’ll keep ‘feeling the fear’ and trying to ‘fall apart’. Sounds hard. I believe God has lead me here and wants to open up these wounds so I can be healed for a greater purpose in His Kingdom.

I am trading my sorrows for the joy of the Lord, I am in His hands trusting, seeking Him with all my heart.

Have a great day.

Into the future,



  • You know, Dave, I was thinking recently that this seems to be something that Nicas as a people group deal with. I don’t know if it is post-traumatic stress disorder from the war or what, but it does seem to be that FEAR is a resounding theme in most of what Nicas do and how they handle things. I will be praying for you as you learn to deal with this, and could you please be praying with us as we try to minister here through that?!

  • Your openness is dissarming and worth the work that you are doing. I remember this whole issue of appearing <><>broken<><> when I was seeing a counselor some years back. Sometimes it is messy, but it is worth the honest. I would never go back. It is far less lonely to acknowledge the brokenness. We are all in it together.

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