As I sit in my office, so much confusion, so much sadness, so much despair walks in with each patient every day.
From the mother whose child keeps getting in trouble at school, to the husband whose wife struggles to remain sober, to the daughter or spouse watching as one’s memories dwindle thanks to Alzheimer’s disease.
I can see it in their eyes. They are weary and searching. They crave normalcy and stability. They long for answers, direction, and comfort. Every situation feels like an emergency, but appointments with specialists feel like they take an eternity.
“Just tell me it will be ok.”
“Comfort me and confirm that we will survive this.”
“Tell us what to do and where to go for the help we don’t even know we need.”
Each patient is different, but at the same time, each is the same: in search of answers, in desperate need of hope. They look to me.
Never did I conceive that I would make my living by telling people bad news: “Your son has autism.” “Your father has dementia.” “Your memory may not improve after your head injury.” And yet, I never received one class, not one lecture on how to give feedback. I can rely only on the results in front of me and the leading of the Holy Spirit for how to direct and guide them while providing hope.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24)
My in-box is filled daily with needs. That’s His call on my life. Being called to help others emotionally and spiritually can be draining. To be a good therapist, counselor, or coach requires empathy and compassion while not absorbing others’ pain.
We also can’t give what we do not have. If we are weary, we are vulnerable. At times we have to shield ourselves and fill up by the power of His spirit. Self-care is non-negotiable. His care is essential.
My goal for every patient who walks through my doors is that they would experience His peace and His hope, whether they know where it comes from or not.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
My desire is that they would come face to face with the light of the world; an experience with THE healer who not only longs to heal their situation, but heal their need for eternity with salvation.
“I am the LORD who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)
Lord, you are NOT the author of confusion, sadness or despair. You came so that we might have abundant life. You came to give us peace despite our situations and circumstances. I pray that as each person leaves my office, they might take a bit of Your peace with them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Because of Him, #PeacePrevails!
Do you need to tips on how to pray for those struggling with depression, anxiety, discouragement, fear, and weariness? March is marked as the month when teen suicide attempts increase.
As a special offer, you can receive a FREE download of this Prayer Prompt Calendar that provides tips on how to pray for those in need.
This calendar was created by Kelly O’Dell Stanley in collaboration with myself and Michelle Nietert, LPC, and based in part on the book, “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression.” To get yours for Free, click on the button below.
Download Your Free Prayer Prompt Calendar
Michelle, Congratulations on your book! Your words “we can’t give hope we don’t have,” are so true. That’s true as a parent, spouse, and professional. Even the apostle Paul comforted with the hope he’d received. Wonderful reminder. Love your first picture too!
I was so blessed by this blog message!! I can see through your posts and blogs that this is your heart for your patients and those you minister to online: to help them meet the light of the world, Jesus, and know the eternal security they will have through Him. So hard to always give bad news but you also always give Peace in great measure and HOPE in great measure. Thank you for your heart full of the Love of Jesus and the desire to see all you touch experience His Peace. Love and appreciate you, Dr. Michelle, so much!!! Praying for you as you give out that you will be refilled by the Holy Spirit.