Your Focus Determines Your Direction
September 18, 2012
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Dare to Hope

Calvin and June* were madly in love. It mattered little that neither graduated from high school or could hold a job for more than a few months. They were together, living in a room in her parent’s home.

Fast forward ten years, they are now living in a two-bedroom apartment with two kids. Calvin’s work is sporadic. June’s job cleaning the laundry mat is  consistent but doesn’t cover the bills. They barely speak to each other unless they’ve been drinking—then it’s a steady flow of acidic contempt.

Searching for help, June called a local church and spoke with the pastor for a long time. She started to attend services but the tensions at home escalated. The pastor recommended CHARIS Counseling Associates.

Calvin and June were both apprehensive when they showed up for the initial appointment. Within a few minutes, they unfolded their painful story of anger,  disappointment and pain. Both wondered out loud if their relationship would survive.  They were reluctant to even hope their relationship had a chance.

An amazing transformation occurred as they related their story. The counselor’s simple gift of understanding and grace not only unlocked their story but also gave them something essential. They dared to hope that their marriage could be different. One of the powerful effects of empathy—compassionate  understanding of another person—is hope.

God knows this. In the book of Hebrews, right between God telling us to hold firmly to the faith and to approach the throne of grace with confidence, He  gives the reason for such bold behavior—We have a Great High Priest who is able to sympathize with our weakness. Jesus knows just how difficult life is because He faced temptations and never gave in (Hebrews 4:14-16). He understands us, even better than we understand ourselves. He knows we need His grace.

Since 1997, the counselors at CHARIS have extended God’s grace to those with all sorts of struggles. Many of the clients are reluctant to even hope for better relationships or changed lives. Those of us at CHARIS are ready to help them and you find answers, freedom and confidence for the future. We are dedicated to helping individuals, couples and families find hope, experience peace and rediscover joy. As an innovative, collaborative and compassionate group of Christian professionals, we want each person to experience the highest quality of affordable counseling, support services and resources.

*Their names, details and image changed to protect their confidentiality.

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Bart Fowler
Bart Fowler
Dr. Fowler is a licensed psychologist and the executive director of CHARIS Counseling Associates. He is devoted to helping people thrive instead of just survive so they may live out the fullness of what God intends for their lives. He may be reached at 360-891-2000 x109.