Biblical Counseling Ministry
By Debbie Lalicker
It is a privilege to share my passion and love for Biblical counseling with you and the road which led me to it. Many times I had thought about becoming a secular counselor in the earlier years of my life. However, at a young age I made the choice to be a mom and put my counseling desires on the back burner. That was okay because I was doing the most rewarding thing I could think of.
Skip forward to having other careers in my past and my two boys grown, I found myself at Bethany in the fall of 2013 where I was encouraged to attend the Faith Biblical Counseling Conference in February of 2014. Bethany friends who had attended before shared how it had impacted their life. I’m not sure if my decision to attend was due to my curiosity, longing to grow deeper in my faith, desire to counsel others, or the Holy Spirit’s prompting me (most likely the latter), but I decided to sign up. It was an intense week of daily sessions leading into early evening. The speakers were inspiring and covered a wide array of topics. I was moved by their passion for the Lord, His Word and their honest and open transparency regarding their own life and struggles.
My eyes were further opened to the strong foundation for daily living which is found in the Bible. God’s Word provides everything we need to live our lives and for the health of our soul. As we dug deeper and deeper, I was amazed at new truths which were revealed to me in Scripture. I came to realize God’s Word provides everything we need for living a life which is glorifying to Him and which brings us to closer communion in the Lord. Isaiah 55:11 tells us that God’s Word “will not return to me empty.” Hebrews 4:12 further states, “For the word of God is living and active…” How true those scriptures have proven to be.
One of the early comments made at my first Biblical Counseling Conference was, “A good counselor must first be a good counselee.” I began to understand that statement in a profound way. As I prepare to counsel, God’s Word first speaks to me. It is powerful and empowering. Many times I find myself sharing scripture and truths with a counselee of which I also need to be reminded. I continue to grow in my faith through counseling others.
1 Peter 4:10 tells us, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” We are also called to encourage each other in Hebrews 10:25. Whether you are in a formal Biblical counseling situation or not, we are all “counseling” others by living life together and speaking truth into each other’s lives. Many of us interact regularly with people through our ministry of serving at church, small groups, ABC classes, work, school, in our neighborhoods, and with friends, family or others who God puts in our path.
Biblical counseling is sometimes difficult. It takes time and lots of prayer. However, the rewards of seeing how the truth of God’s Word can drastically change lives brings me great joy and a sense of awe toward our Lord as I watch Him work. I have witnessed the power of prayer and the hope that it brings to people once they obtain a Biblical perspective of how to embrace and practice it. I have seen God heal relationships and people overcome painful pasts, terrible strongholds, and years of unforgiveness through Biblical counseling. I know these results are certainly not mine but fruits from the Lord. I am only a willing instrument to be used in His plan.
Counseling has it challenges, as it does not always follow the path I might chart. It sometimes takes twists and unexpected turns. I am humbled that God can use me and that He provides all I need during the process. He definitely qualifies the called. We don’t ever have to concern ourselves with that. I am humbled when others share their life with me. Counseling allows me to know others as special friends as we navigate life’s journey together. I am moved that if I am transparent, God can also use my past mistakes and sins to speak hope to those suffering from their own sin.
I must confess that when I began to learn about the Biblical counseling process, I wondered how it would work alongside secular counseling or if it would provide all that people needed. I have witnessed the power of God’s plan for counseling and know firsthand the effectiveness and sufficiency of using God’s Word in addressing life’s issues and trials. I have grown and will continue to grow as I serve in this way. I have been so blessed by our pastors who have mentored me and provided so much through their example. I am forever grateful.
Speed forward to now. God’s timing is perfect. While I did not get my secular counseling degree early in my life, I am most thankful that God’s plan for my life saved the best for now. As I prepare to go to my 5th year at the Faith Biblical Counseling Conference, I would encourage you to consider attending. You will not be disappointed. You may be a little tired when it is over, but the blessings will far outweigh your fatigue by what you will receive as you learn much about yourself, God’s Word, and how God may be calling you to serve. I pray that 2018 will bring our church and all of us opportunities to reach out to others in love as we strive to glorify our Wonderful Counselor, Lord and Savior.
Debbie has been married to her husband, Max, for 29 years. She is the mom of two grown sons. She works with the Bethany Counseling Team and enjoys helping people get connected at Bethany. She is also involved in the Ladies’ Bible Studies at Bethany and volunteers with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Debbie enjoys being active and spending time with the Lord, family and friends.