Faith in the face of fear

Photo by Rangga Aditya Armien

 

She’s almost all grown up.  But I still worry.  And each time I do, she reminds me not to.  Really, I should know better by now.  Forgive me if you’ve already heard this story, but here’s the reason why.    Almost 13 years ago, I got the call I had always feared.

She was five years old and they didn’t know where she was.

As I drove to her school, all I thought was “if only”, and “what if”. In between I screamed and prayed for me. Then I cried and prayed for her.

I begged God to bring her back to me, to protect her. I was so frightened. My prayer became my breath. Without it, I was afraid I would not make it. I feared the worst.

As I approached the school, every car and every closed door seemed suspicious. It was overwhelming. There were too many places where she could be. It was hopeless. She was gone.

Turning the corner to the school only confirmed my fears. I saw the police on foot, in cars and on motorcycles patrolling the streets and securing the perimeter. I saw the neighborhood children huddled together, looking for a way to help, while probably also questioning their own safety.

But worst of all, I saw my husband calling for her. This was my husband looking for my child. It didn’t make sense. By then, she had been missing for at least 45 minutes. Everything that I knew to be true, told me to expect the worst.

At that moment, I heard it. “We found her!” Thank you, God! I got to feel her, and see her, and hear her again! What a gift. Just minutes before, I thought I had lost my child forever.

That day changed everything.

At first, I became painfully aware of how vulnerable we are. How much we should appreciate what we have before it’s gone. That is true.

But along with that, I learned that just because I feel it; just because I think it; just because I believe it to be true, does not make it so.

I learned that there is so much more going on than what we can perceive. We believe this is reality. If you had asked me what was true that day while driving to her school, I would have told you the unthinkable.  But instead, what was true was nothing more than a fiercely competitive 5-year-old playing an innocent game of hide and seek.

I see now so plainly, that what we feel is a direct consequence of what we think.  So much of our reality is driven by our expectations for the future, as a result of our interpretations of the past.

For so many of us, we do not trust happiness.  We are only quietly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I have heard it said that what we fear is what we believe we deserve.

We expect the other shoe to drop because we secretly believe that we deserve failure, or loss or pain. We believe we deserve it because we have all done or experienced something in our past for which we believe we are guilty. The fear is that we will get what we deserve.

Sometimes we forget that payday can mean love and mercy instead of the suffering and loss that we might expect.  Thank Goodness for that.  Even after all these years, I am reminded of the power of faith in the face of fear.  So, no worries.  In that, I pray that you, me and she get exactly what we deserve.

 

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Psychological coaching is grounded in the art and science of psychology and is in many ways very similar to traditional psychotherapy.  They both utilize knowledge of human behavior, motivation, behavioral change, and interactive techniques in order to help a client move from where they are to an improved state of being. The differences between psychological coaching and traditional psychotherapy are related to their goals, focus, and perspective. Traditional psychotherapy seeks to diagnose and treat emotional and behavioral conditions, with the therapist serving as "expert" in support of the client. Unfortunately, many have considered the pursuit of traditional psychotherapy to be stigmatizing, in part because of this perspective of the client being "broken" and in need of repair.  Psychological  coaching offers a different point of view.  The coaching psychologist is more likely focused on developing a collaborative relationship, with the client in the "driver seat", with the perspective that the client is creative, whole, and resourceful.  The clients' capacity for wellness and healing is assumed, encouraging them to move more quickly and directly through obstacles to their happiness, success, and life satisfaction.  

As a Coaching Psychologist, my goal is to support you in creating awareness so that you can access your own skills and inner resources in order to manage the challenges you face now and into the future.  While our work together may touch on past traumas and psychiatric concerns, they will be addressed from the perspective of your strengths, rather than with a focus on ill-ness or disability.  In our larger community, it is not unusual for individuals to experience mild to moderate mental health issues, making psychological coaching an accessible and viable option.  If, in the course of our work together, either you or I have reason to believe that your mental or emotional health concerns are better addressed by another service provider, a referral will be made.  

As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, I have 20 years of ongoing training and experience providing, consulting and supervising others in the provision of psychological services.  However,  as of now, the life coaching field is unregulated, allowing anyone to be a life coach - even those without training in the behavioral sciences.  As well, the coaching field is considered to lack a solid base in research, creating disagreement on educational and training standards. The International Coach Federation (ICF) is working to change this.  In order to ensure that your coach is not counseling others beyond their expertise, it is suggested that when considering a life coach, individuals  should seek coaches who are trained or ICF certified.  Along with my license as a Clinical Psychologist, I am currently enrolled in MentorCoach® L.L.C., one of the oldest ICF accredited coach training programs, and one that will enable me to be an ICF certified coach.