As a therapist, I have had the opportunity to meet with many people in the midst of difficulty and heartbreak. It is amazing how parallel my life has been to the lives of my clients at times. What a humbling moment it is when I realize that the person I am sitting across from is essentially me. I may have specific skills and training (and perhaps some God-given inclination) that equips me to be a mental health professional, but at the end of the day, we are all broken, wounded, damaged, and insecure. The older I get, the more I understand just how vulnerable I am to the agonies of this world. As a mother, I am keenly aware every day how susceptible my children are to hurt and loss. As a transracial adoptive mother, I live with the painful truth that there are wounds in my children that I can never heal, as much as I love them and try to protect them. I feel that way with my clients at times. As hard as I try, I cannot save them. And thank God for that. I am convinced now more than ever that the only way I can truly serve my clients, support my family, and participate in genuine community with others is by first relying on God and trusting that He will never abandon me or this world. Even when it feels like He has.
I want to write this blog because I have been so inspired by the realness and vulnerability of others in my life and the transparency that can exist in authentic community. After adopting our son at the age of 4, my husband Dave and I had no choice but to be vulnerable with our community. Up until that point, we had been two competent, stable, professionals who didn’t really need to ask for help. We were the ones who people called when they needed help, and we liked it that way. But then everything changed. We were the ones who needed help, needed support, needed encouragement. We felt exposed, but also free. No pretenses. No room for masks. And because of this, we experienced genuine community. And now, as I like to say, there is no going back.