|Sometimes the counselor needs counsel. Or just understanding.|
Wow...has it really been 3 months since I blogged? I started this blog in 2011 (I think), as a platform for my writing about eating disorders, and in hopes of getting my first book, "Redeemed from the Pit: Biblical Repentance and Restoration from the Bondage of Eating Disorders" picked up by a traditional publisher. It worked - Calvary Press released RFTP in October of that year, and I still get e-mails from women all over the world seeking help. (I try to keep up with them as much as possible.)
I completed my certification as a biblical counselor the following month, just in time for the counseling ministry at my church to fall apart and the Associate Pastor to move to Canada.
Oh well. I've always considered myself more of a writer than a counselor anyway. (For those of you who don't know me personally, I am a courtroom and medical interpreter by profession so I keep busy. As of now, I am the only certified Bulgarian<=>English interpreter on the East Coast. My dream is to interpret for a biblical counseling conference someday, if ACBC ever brings biblical counseling to Bulgaria.)
But I digress. Why have I not been writing? Well, the truth is, I HAVE. This spring, articles I wrote about overcoming eating disorders in the power of Christ were published in both Albania and Bulgaria, as well as a second article about using social networking to further the Gospel. I can barely keep up with the e-mails and Facebook messages I receive from women in both countries, and I have been trying (thus far unsuccessfully) to get "Redeemed from the Pit" translated.
Recently, I was honored to write the Foreword for a booklet Dr. Mark Shaw is publishing on eating disorders (His Truth in Love Ministries). I was a contributor to Nancy Kennedy's fourth "Miracles and Moments of Grace" series, "Inspirational Stories of Survival". And, this month I completed my second book, "Plugged In: Proclaiming Christ in the Internet Age", which is in second-draft form at the publisher's. (More on that as release date gets closer.)
I have not updated this blog because I have not known what to say, really.....apart from answering the desperate e-mails and Facebook messages I regularly receive, my life has so little to do with eating disorders. And, increasingly little to do with biblical counseling (although I am currently counseling one young woman). For several years, including after completing my biblical counseling training, I have been increasingly apathetic towards theology, and dissatisfied and disillusioned with my family situation.
This summer, my family and I traveled to Bulgaria and Albania for the first time together in 6 years. We had been planning this "Balkan Road Trip" for 3 years, with the main purpose being to visit my husband's family in Bulgaria (and naturally to attempt sharing the Gospel with them, as we have in the past). I have "family in Christ" in Albania, and have developed close relationships with several students and their families. For years, I was dreaming about the day I would introduce my husband to them. They, also, were eagerly anticipating meeting my family and husband.
The "vacation" did not go as planned, despite the cheerful, happy pictures I managed to upload to Facebook. (Ever notice how we can make our Christmas card family pictures and Facebook albums tell a much rosier story than reality?) What I had seen coming - known was inevitable - hit the proverbial fan on the first afternoon of our trip. Maybe someday I will be able to write about it. But not yet.
Anyway, as incongruous as it sounds for a certified biblical counselor, my husband and I are now in counseling. With a wonderful ACBC counselor (who is a pastor). For our marriage. Which I no longer believed could be saved. And, one Wednesday night in a hotel room in Albania - during a week that was supposed to be a "dream come true" for me - I threw in the towel, and that became my decision. After years, and years, and YEARS of verbal abuse. The Holy Spirit has already begun to work. If our counselor is right, and our marriage begins to "sing", it will be a truly amazing testimony of God's grace....and I will happily write a blog for the Biblical Counseling Coalition about the Happily Ever After of allowing God to meet us in a new "pit" and pull us out.
Today, however, is not that day.
I am still too angry, double-minded and emotionally raw to give you a success story of being transformed by the power of God's Word. Right now, that's all it is....just words, like the ones I crank out in my book manuscript.
So, that's where I am at right now.....busy as always; writing where possible; struggling to find the will to save my marriage. I will not be writing about that here, as a blog is much too public and personal to write about one's marriage struggles, but I do hope someday to have a grace-filled testimony to share. Thank you for your prayers, patience and understanding as I try to move forward. As Martha Peace wrote in one of her books, learning to obey and glorify God is more important than whether we ever are published or not. I don't really know what He is doing right now or why He allowed this, but I am trying to trust Him.