If there is one thing I learned from the Nick situation it’s that there is an actual cost to following Christ. To live a life completely alive in Him requires sacrifice on some level, from all of us. It took me a while to come to terms with this but I realized that I was only willing to give my relationship with Nick over to God because I believed He’d give it back to me. I didn’t think God was calling me to follow Him and really give up everything I wanted for myself (mainly a love life). I thought my story would be like Abraham’s! The Lord asked Abraham to sacrifice his son and then when He saw Abraham was willing to really do it He provided a sacrifice instead, and gave Abraham his son back. How was my story any different? I was baffled. In hindsight I can see the difference quite clearly: Abraham didn’t know the ending of his own story. He didn’t know whether Isaac would die that day or not, but Abraham trusted God and obeyed anyway. It is hard to say whether I would have been as faithful as Abraham in my situation if I had not assumed I knew the ending of my story. All I know is that if I were faced with the same decision again, I would make all the same choices.
My realization about the cost to following Christ combined with my dad’s death ushered me into this Cease the Day mentality. Life is short and I wanted to live a life that would be an honorable legacy behind my father. I also wanted to serve Christ with my entire being no matter the cost, and I didn’t want to wait around to do it. So, in January of 2008, just before my 25th birthday, I took an internship with CTI Music Ministries and moved from my hometown in sunny California to the icy lake-land of Minnesota.
I was really doing it this time! I was handing over every comfort and every expectation I had for my life in order to chase after the Lord. I left everything I knew, my doctors, my family, my friends, and my job, without expecting anything in return from the Lord except His glory. I didn’t know what He was going to do in or around me when I left home. All I knew was that I was reeling with excitement.
Affects on Counseling
I think this event will have a pretty positive impact on my counseling. I will be able to sympathize with those clients who are coming to therapy but have no idea why or what they expect to get out of it. In my case, I knew I needed to take this internship but I knew nothing about what it would be like or why I needed to be there. I just needed to go! Likewise, clients may realize they need help, and coming to counseling is the one and only step they could think to take. It will be my joy to help them figure out their goals and their expectations for our time together.