It's a nasty word. At least we often view it that way. It goes against every grain of our American "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" thinking. It means admitting we can't do it on our own. It often takes hit to our pride. It's a struggle to admit it's needed, especially around other Christians. We often have this feeling that if we just........ (pray, love Jesus, suck it up, were stronger....you fill in the blank) enough then we wouldn't need it.
The word is counseling.
noun: counselling; noun: counseling
the provision of assistance and guidance in resolving personal, social, or psychological problems and difficulties, esp. by a professional.
So I'm coming out to be real and say, my family needs and utilizes counseling, A LOT. Every single member of this family, minus one, has gone through some sort of counseling in the last year and a 1/2. Tony and I even do a form of it (even though we don't call it that, partially due to the reasoning listed above). We meet with a couple once a month and talk. We have a safe place and we share honest and hard feelings with them. It's a good break from the kids and it's an even better way for us to process life.
It's hard to admit you need help, it's hard to admit you can't do it on your own. However, I have seen so much improvement when we as the parents say, "I get it. This is hard. Let's find a way to help you talk about this." My kids are processing feelings and emotions better. Behaviors and attitudes are stabling out.
We still have a long way to go on so many things we are all trying to process, but God is faithful and he has not abandoned us in this process. We are no less loved because we "didn't love him enough to not be able to do this on our own." He doesn't view us as less of his because "we didn't pray hard enough for all this hurt to go away." (Yes, that was meant completely tongue-in-cheek.) He still values, loves and cherishes.