In the past two weeks Suzie and I had little contact, mostly text messages. The other day she called because she was not doing well. I was glad she called and was hoping we could make some progress, or that she would want to start working again. But the only thing she would like is a quick deliverance prayer. She has had deliverance in the past, and it didn’t work. But every time I mention something about a process she does not want to hear it. Every suggestion of starting somewhere does not come close to landing.
I am sad that it is like this, but don’t think I can do anything else at the moment.
Thank you very much for coaching me in this process and giving me great advice and tools. I really appreciate that! I have definitely learned a lot in the whole process and am sure there will be other Suzies coming. Thank you!
* * *
Well, Sally, it is a tough place to be in. I am sorry it turned out that way. I am no stranger to this place in life.
-As bizarre as it sounds, much of the time the prayer minister is much more vested in the process than the person in pain. It should not be that way, but it is. And I have learned to look for the signs of low engagement and factor that into my equation. When someone repeatedly, easily cancels appointments, or has no willingness to do work in between sessions with me, that is a marker. It seems really harsh to walk away from someone who is in pain, but at the end of the day, they have enough wholeness to make choices. Because there is a staggeringly large number of people with wounds, I sadly, but pragmatically, walk away from those who will not invest in their own journey, and I work instead with those who will.
-On another level, this is in part the product of the modern church. For 30 years the message has been microwave Christianity. You can get “there” quickly. And some of the time it is true. Some of my healing has come in a single massive lurch. A lot of it came through deliberate, hard, relentless walking out of a process that had more twists in it than a pretzel made by an octopus with Parkinson’s. So you are up against the “instant culture,” and this will always be a seduction to those who are worn down by the process.
-And, in spite of the fact that this comment will raise some hackles, I am simply going to say that Givers and Rulers tend to resist coaching on all levels more than other tribes. I do almost no business consultations for those two gifts because they are really smart and figure things out themselves. In medical situations, these two are going to overrule the doctor or change doctors relentlessly. And in counseling, they start, then stop. Can’t tell you quite why, since they have as much pain as anyone else, but this is a massive statistical pattern.
So what about you?
You know that you are not called to this as a primary vocation. You were drawn into this one out of compassion. You still know a number of people who are DID. Some know it and some don’t. You need to make a decision based on your design and this season of your life, as to whether you are going to get some more training on the topic, through working with another person, or step back and focus on other things.
Meanwhile, you need to detox. Disappointment in other people is a messy proposition. It can leave a deep, slow-festering infection you are not aware of, so you must get closure on this chapter in a clean way. I suggest you NOT go over the human side of the situation looking at the pros and cons.
What I do is to look away from the people and focus on God. How did He meet you in the process? How are you different? What were the intimacy moments along the way? What did you learn about your own design?
A solid celebration service does a lot to sanctify a bruise.
Now, from your mentor, let me say Well Done!
The blog was somewhat sanitized. I know you were in over your head, and you ate a bunch of adrenaline over some of the assignments. In my world, courage is very special. You did well with coaching Suzie. You did superbly at being life giving while you were still very much in process in your own life. Most of what you did, you had never done before. That means that week after week, you were challenged. But you rose and risked.
I am proud of you.
Copyright April 2015 by Arthur Burk
From the Lab