Counseling Connections for Change, Inc.

A 501(c)(3), nonprofit Christian Counseling Center
We Believe Mental Health Matters!

Be Love2018-10-10T10:38:54+00:00

Be Love

Footprints in the Sand, by Mary Stevenson

My grandfather, who I suspect struggled with Depression even though it was never labeled, was one of the most resilient men I’d known, and this was his favorite poem. A graduate of LSU, and a civil engineer by trade, he was well revered by his colleagues, family and friends. He was, by social standards, a success. My grandfather managed his mental health by trusting in God’s ability to carry him through the difficult times. He knew the answer was not in his own abilities to carry the burdens of life, but in his willingness to be carried by a God who truly loves, comforts, and provides.

You see, during my mental illness, my family was ill-equipped, but God wasn’t. The legacy of hope that had been transferred through our family history was one of knowledge rooted in our Christian faith. It was grounded in truth, not the lies that my feelings dictated. Feelings fluctuate, but truth sustains us. During that season, my life was forever changed. Hell was a reality I would likely battle again, but I now knew personally that it could be defeated, for “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. My true love, Jesus, saved me, and I am forever grateful.

Friends, mental health and God go together. He wants to be at the center of all our relationships regardless of the types (husband-wife, parent-child, coworkers, or friends) because He loves us. Families are falling apart and God never intended a counseling center to be the only resource for His hurting children. He wants you to impact change, through love.
John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.”

My True Love Saved Me!
by Dawn Lawless

HELL IS REAL, and I make no apologies for my language. Why? I truly believe mental illness (seasonal or chronic) has to be the closest earthly experience of what we can fathom Hell to be. I know Hell is real. I’ve lived it, and I’ve witnessed it hundreds of times over the years in my practice as individuals and families have been broken by lies. Today, I will talk openly about mental illness, not as a weakness, but as an illness. I will shout it if necessary, but hear me. Mental health is real, and ALL of us and our relationships are affected by it!

Building on our theme from last month’s call to action-BE COURAGEOUS, I want to share a story about the love of my life. Some may judge, others may pity, but my prayer is that most will know that connection through love is the ultimate goal.

My lowest point in life, and I’ve had plenty, was right after the birth of our first child. Clinically, this was called Postpartum Depression, but for me, in that season, it was simply called Hell. Somewhat experienced as a clinical social worker, I knew the signs. I knew the diagnosis, and I knew I needed help, but I was lost. My brain chemistry was so out of balance, and every emotion was crashing over me like a tidal wave. I could not escape the thoughts that seemed to be holding me under. I rejected my loved ones, who tried to support me through my illness, but they had no idea what to do. We didn’t talk about mental illness (even though I’d been to graduate school and made a career in the field). They weren’t equipped to navigate the available resources or the necessary medication options, and I was drowning in my own shame. All of my fears (those built on lies) were thrashing me from the inside out as I realized the incredible responsibility of having another human life fully dependent on me. I broke.

Sitting in a pool of tears, questioning whether I should continue living, and wondering why God would allow this, I prayed for relief. Then He showed up. It was a simple gesture of love, the only one that I could accept in that special moment. He knew exactly what I needed and He provided. He is the love of my life. There is nobody on earth who can do what He can do-not my husband, not my mother, not my best friends, and most definitely not my children. It was him alone. He saved me, and He continues to carry me.

CALL TO ACTION

You can impact change, and you are needed! Lives are being destroyed because of the social stigma related to mental illness, and it will take each of us working together to overcome this stigma. If this were cancer, you wouldn’t just say, “Get over it!” Yet, that is exactly what we do each time we deny the importance of our brains and our mental health. Courageously, we are asking you to stand up against the stigma by taking these few action steps toward a healthier community.

  • PRAY for the mental health of our community.

  • TALK about mental health with your family and friends.

  • COMMIT to getting involved to be the change.

  • SHARE this newsletter with 3 people you know who may be passionate about the mental health of our community.

  • DONATE $25/month to support our counseling ministry.

***To get involved and learn how you can BE THE CHANGE this year, contact us at  charlotte@counselingconnect ions.org. 

To connect with Dawn Lawless, LCSW, LSOTP directly, email her at dawn@counselingconnections.org

Become an Ambassador for Change

For $25 a month, your financial support will help change the lives of some of our most vulnerable neighbors. With your help, we will continue to care for the mental health needs of the children and families we serve. Thank you for Being the Change!

Please consider becoming an AMBASSADOR FOR CHANGE!!! Simply text 281-533-8446 with the amount you would like to give and you will be provided with a secure URL or visit http://www.counselingconnections.org.

Testimony of Courage

Somebody once told me that anger and passion were true signs that there might still be love in the relationship. I wasn’t convinced! I couldn’t understand how I moved from such a place of hope as a newlywed to such a place of despair just three years into my marriage. I suppose I should be thankful that no one told me truly how hard a new relationship would be because honestly, I’m not sure I would have signed up for it. Or maybe they did try to tell us, and we just didn’t listen.

We were older when we met and eventually decided to join our lives. We had been in the workforce, completed college courses, attended church, and had a solid support system. But navigating an intimate relationship stirred up emotions neither of us we’re prepared for. At first our conflicts were minor. They centered around issues like who was responsible for taking out the trash, or doing the dishes, but it didn’t take long for those small disagreements to turn into animosity and resentment. I can still recall sitting alone on our couch praying to God that he would somehow take this away. I didn’t care if it meant divorce, and I didn’t care about any of the consequences that would have come with that decision.

I knew my husband was experiencing the same, so when we spent our first night apart, both of us knew we needed to get help. We are both Believers in Christ, we both knew logically that God ordained our marriage and had a plan for us, but when those conflicts arose, all logic left the room. We were turned into stark enemies, who wanted nothing but distance from the battle. He ran, I fought, I ran, and he fought. It was a vicious pattern we couldn’t seem to get out of, and with each fight, our distance grew greater. Our feelings of love were gone, so when our friends recommended we seek counseling, we had pretty much concluded that it was a formality simply to appease others. Honestly, in retrospect, we entered counseling as a way to justify a divorce claiming, “We had given it all we had.”

I was referred to Counseling Connections by a friend who had attended individual counseling there, so I wasn’t sure they’d even be able to help, but when I called and asked for marriage counseling, I was greeted by a professional, who seemed to really care about our needs, and they even accepted our insurance, so I figured, “Why not?” We scheduled our first appointment, and completed the paperwork.

When we first arrived, we were a little surprised that the space was not a professional office building. Instead, it was a small house situated on a small piece of property just off the busy highway. We were both a little apprehensive when we first entered the counseling room. Thankfully, our therapist picked up on our fears, and immediately validated our concerns. She made us feel welcome, and her warm attitude put us at ease. There was no judgment, and she never took sides. She listened to us. BOTH of us were hurting, and she helped us hear one another. She reminded us that the vows we took 3 years before were still relevant today, and that with some education, compassion, and most importantly Holy Spirit intervention, we could experience a healthy and loving relationship again.

Those first 60 minutes provided us with a such a powerful level of relief, and we are forever thankful. We scheduled a second session. We were educated on an option and encouraged to participate in a marriage assessment called SYMBIS, which stands for Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. We learned so much during that assessment that it was difficult not to regret not having heard about it sooner. Finally, we felt we understood those triggers that led to all of the conflicts, and for once we had strategies to deal with them. We now have hope in our marriage!

February Newsletter SYMBIS

Upcoming Events

Order Tickets for Parents’ Night Out Here
Save the Date!!!
Mental Health Matters
Thursday, April 27
6 – 9 PM

Reflection Bay Event Center

Join us for a fun evening with emcee Johnny B. from 89.3 KSBJ.

Sponsorship details coming soon!!!

Our mailing address is:

Counseling Connections for Change, Inc.

2549 Roy Road

Pearland, TX77581

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