Have you ever felt taken out by a person or a circumstance and felt like all hope was lost? Maybe thats where youâre at today? This reminds me of a man in the Bible named Peter. Peter was the kind of guy who went all out for Jesus. He left his family and fishing career and was the guy who walked on water for at least a minute. Peter was rewarded by seeing miracles, being one of the 12 disciples and even an intimate part of Jesusâ most trusted inner circle of three. They ate together, traveled and ministered together and talked about issues like who would be the greatest. Peterâs dream of restoring Israel back to her former glory was happening and he was at the center of it all. He even told Jesus that even if everyone else deserted Him, he would not. For Peter, life was great.
And then Judas betrays Jesus and the life that he knows is jeopardized. But Peter is fierce and doesnât go down without a fight. He brandishes his sword and defends his Jesus and the dream life he has been living. What happens next was the beginning of the end for Peter and the life he knew. Jesus tells Peter to put the sword away then heals the man Peter wounded. Soon after, the son of God who cast out demons and raised the dead was taken prisoner.
This was too much for Peter and he fled. He fled because everything he thought to be true had just been wrecked. Peter lingered at a distance and denied knowing Jesus three times as Jesus was being judged. He had lost his identity because his identity was in the dream of who he wanted Jesus to be and not who Jesus really was. And then Jesus was crucified and the finality of his loss was made certain. This was Peterâs darkest hour.
But then the resurrection and hope was restored! Jesus met up with Peter as the risen King. He then asked Peter 3 times âDo you love me?â The conversation reached the point where Peter was really hurt and said âYou know I love you.â Jesus had to acknowledge the depth of shame and pain Peter felt in his failure and lost identity to prepare Peter to receive a new one. This would be Peterâs come back. Then Jesus said âgo and feed my sheepâ. This is the equivalent of Jesus saying your shame and failures do not disqualify you from your calling. I am validating you as a loved child of God who is qualified by what I have done. The focus has now shifted from Peterâs identity being in his beliefs and abilities to Jesus and who He says Peter is.
â˘ How have you experienced a set back or felt like a failure?
â˘ Pray and ask God to show you how he wants to take you from Set Back to Come Back?
Shawn Maguire is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has served marriages, families and individuals for almost 25 years. He is the owner of New Vision Counseling, a place where therapists integrate. their faith with cutting edge counseling techniques to offer hope and healing in any circumstance of life. You can find out more about Shawn and his team at NewVisionCounseling.org or follow him on facebook and Instagram at NewVisionCounseling
So many of us spend our days feeling like we work so hard at making this life work but seem to keep falling short. We work all day and what do we look forward to … something on TV? Our free time is spent seeking pleasures from eating out to shopping for a new outfit. Many of us seek our joy from watching sports or accomplishing projects around the house. And then there are those who wait all year for that amazing vacation to fill their tank. How is this working? Well, according to one study one in six Americans take some kind of psychiatric drugâmostly antidepressants. Another study found that approximately forty million Americans have some form of Anxiety. Sadly, all this effort isnât working.
There has got to be more; right? And thank God, there is. I could take you down a hundred different paths but today lets go down one that our âMe, me, meâ society doesnât celebrate like it once did. A path leads you to more value and significance. It can help you come out of depression. And, you can begin feeling good about you and the life you are living instead of worrying about the life you are not.
You see, you were made to be a giver of life and light and not just a consumer of it. What if instead of believing the lie of the media that we should desire something because it holds a promise for us we moved to a Godly approach? What if we stopped evaluating our happiness and satisfaction from what I get and how well others serve me to what I can give and how I can serve others? Sound too simple to be life changing? Fortunately for all of us, its not.
Consider that last time you focused on how someone let you down. Did you feel better afterwards? What about when your kids interrupt your tv shows? Or when someone at work isnât doing there part (which is typical for most places)? Does focusing on how your needs or expectations are not being met serve you well? Ok, here is my last example. Think about your last birthday and if you felt like people valued you enough? Were their gifts thoughtful and did they show they really know you and what you like? Now, think about times when you have served and given others. How did you feel then? You likely felt some level of joy and value, like you had a bigger purpose.
You see, when we focus on us we place spoken or unspoken expectations on others and our circumstances to meet our needs. This places us at the constant mercy of people and events outside our control. Thus we live in states of worrying if we will be happy and satisfied. When these needs go unmet we can get sad or even depressed. But, if we focus on how we can bless and serve others our focus changes. We can control how we help others at work who donât deserve it. We can make every birthday great by getting our friends and family gifts and seeking to bless others on our special day. And as we focus on blessing others and invest our time in serving their needs we will live in a constant state of reaping a Godly harvest. And thus begin living a life worth celebrating. What are three ways you can focus on serving others today?
Shawn Maguire is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has over two decades of experience helping people heal from their past wounds and creating lives worth celebrating. He is the owner of New Vision Counseling where he works with a team of highly trained and compassionate therapists whose mission is to change the world one by caring for one person at a time.
Brian and Janelle came to counseling as many couples do wanting a quick fix. They struggled with issues in communication and lack of connection. They came off and on for a few years. They would come in crisis, and then when the fires were put out they would stop coming. Unfortunately, they didnât invest enough time to go past putting out fires onto the deep work of true and lasting change. That all changed the last time they came in. Janelle exclaimed at the beginning of session, âIf you donât change I am done. You are going to finish building this massive house and you will be all alone because the kids and I will be gone.â This got Brianâs attention, so he began to invest. You see, Brian was a highly successful salesman and knew how to get people to see things his way. Unfortunately, this technique does not work well in building a marriage that lasts a lifetime. He began coming two to three times per week for individual counseling, but he still didnât see where he was going wrong. Janelle was getting more frustrated and he was getting more desperate to save his marriage. The solution; invite all the people in your life that love you and your wife and are willing to help you in this journey. At the next session, I created a panoramic mirror with all of his friends. It was a really big mirror because he had way more friends than I anticipated. Why a mirror you may ask? A mirror gives you the opportunity to see what needs to change. Can you imagine leaving your house in the morning without looking at yourself in the mirror? No way! Well, what I have discovered is that many of us have journeyed through marriage without ever looking in the mirror (the Bible, friends and family, prayer, etc.) to see who we really are and what needs to change. The session was really intense. I helped Janelle tell her story of how much she was hurting. I helped their friends see clearly what was happening without Brian selling them on his side of the story. Some of the women began to cry and one of the guys grew increasingly angry. He simply couldnât understand how Brian could be so insensitive. After everyone was done asking questions and confronting Brian in mostly loving ways, something felt different. Brian shed one, maybe two tears, but there was a crack. A crack in the image of the Christian husband he was portraying to the world that was different from the husband he really was at home. Thankfully, the crack grew as he began seeing how callous and hurtful he had been to Janelle. This created a sense of repentance and flowed into humility. Now, he began to change deeply. Through many tears and several counseling sessions he was following Christ instead of trying to get Janelle to follow him. Where are they at today? At this post they are living in their big house. The house is now used to share Godâs love with couples that they mentor, and to provide a place to stay for those who are in need. I praise God for their story and the inspiration they have had on my life and countless others. Faith Forward, Shawn Maguire, LPC
Ready to get started?
I would love to meet with you, hear your unique story, and develop a personalized plan towards living a life truly worth celebrating.