I spend a lot of time in my car these days and most of that time is spent driving to and from therapy. If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you’ve probably realized that I’m in desperate need of therapy. “What kind?” you may be asking. Well, there’s the obvious physical therapy for my hip injury. Then there’s the emotional therapy to help work through the day-to-day journey of this thing called life. And finally there’s the spiritual therapy that helps to heal the wounds of the past so that I can enjoy my future.
Physical therapy is essentially the use of physical methods (rather than medication or surgery) to heal an injury. It’s physical rehabilitation. My physical therapist wants to help eliminate my hip pain and he works wholeheartedly to do so. It’s a lot of work for both him and I. He has to think of methods that will solve the problem and I have to commit to the process. It takes a lot of time and energy. There is pain and there are tears. We both shake our heads in frustration at times. But we share and believe in a common goal: to restore my body to its pre-injury functionality. Or at least get as close as we can
Emotional therapy means something different to every person. I use emotional therapy to help me work with through present circumstances. It’s mostly talk therapy. My therapist listens while I talk. She offers suggestions here and there, but mostly she just provides direction. As I talk and reflect, I usually come up with some sort of resolution or epiphany. We figure out alternatives and action plans, then she holds me accountable to my commitments. We don’t seek to eliminate the highs and lows that life brings, but we work together as a team to restore balance in my life.
Spiritual therapy is not really a common term. In fact, I might have just invented it myself. But I think spiritual therapy is something we’re all seeking, whether we know it or not. Physical and emotional therapy are things that enable us to better function in the present and future. Spiritual therapy takes things to a new level; it allows for the healing of our hearts, which frees us from our past. It’s the most elusive but the most valuable. My time at Mercy Ministries was a period of intense spiritual therapy for me, but it is something that must remain an important part of my daily routine. Currently, my spiritual therapy includes Bible study, prayer, journaling, and involvement in our local Celebrate Recovery ministry. I surrender my life to Jesus and together we work towards freedom.
…On the Road…
On one of my therapy road trips I got to thinking. There really isn’t much difference between the different kinds of therapy that we find ourselves needing throughout our life journey. And I only listed a few. As I reflected on my experience, I came up with some therapy criteria:
- Therapy involves more than one person. Whether you need a physical therapist, a “licensed clinical professional counselor,” or Jesus…you can’t give yourself therapy.
- The goal of therapy is restoration. Whether you’re seeking physical healing, emotional balance, or healing from a past experience…we’re hoping to restore something that we lost along the way.
- Therapy requires commitment. You have to carve time out of your life and dedicate it to seeking healing and freedom from past damage. It’s going to require time and energy. Make it a priority.
- Therapy is something that must be maintained. Keep doing your exercises. Keep talking through your struggles to implement solutions. Keep studying God’s Word, praying, and journaling. If we don’t actively engage in these therapeutic practices, our healing will not be complete and lasting.
I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t see these road trips as an inconvenience to my everyday life. They enhance my life. My life is better when I am engaging in the therapeutic process. Participating in therapy means that you are an active participant in life itself. You’re not sitting on the sidelines; you’re playing the game. You’re fighting. And that’s a good thing.