Editors note: This post is written by MicKenzie Crowley who counsels for Biblical Counseling Center. In this series, we are featuring articles written by the women of the Biblical Counseling Center, talking about how God has shaped them for their ministry of biblical counseling.
MicKenzie shares her story of how loving guidance helped her find hope and healing. This experience helped her determine to pursue becoming a counselor to help others. Even though she is young as a counselor, those she counsel find her wise and compassionate as she seeks to walk with others based upon many of the same principles she has learned through seeing God’s faithfulness in her own life.
I Was in the Middle of the Hard Part 
Have you ever been so discouraged that you couldn’t imagine actual change happening? Sheer determination to make it through? Yes. You can imagine that. But you can’t imagine ACTUAL CHANGE taking place.
That’s where I was. Not that long ago really. I could imagine pressing through by sheer determination; putting one foot in front of the other. But I couldn’t actually imagine a real change in my experience. Thinking about my future from that perspective left me in a position of extreme discouragement. I was exhausted, afraid, and desperate for some hope.
And Then Hope was Spoken over Me
In the midst of that season I sought out wise counsel. The difficulty I was experiencing didn’t have a great explanation and it didn’t really make sense as I sought to try and understand it through a Biblical perspective. In frustration, I brought my complaint to a counselor, explaining that it would be so helpful to be able to read a book that explained what I was experiencing in a way that didn’t conflict with everything I believed about God. The hopeful words he spoke in the midst of my frustration changed my perspective: “maybe someday you can write the book”. 
In my discouragement I was being told that my weakness could be redeemed by God. Instead of my weakness stopping me, it could become what God used to show His power.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Their Words Made a Difference
This is just one small example. I would like to stand up and SHOUT to the world that I have had MANY people who intentionally, consistently, or just in passing, have spoken truth over and into my life. People did this during incredibly difficult seasons and happy celebratory seasons. All of it made a difference because they spoke truth from God’s Word, helping me to understand and change through the power of God.
When false beliefs are strong and unwilling to bend, it is truth from God that sets us free. We need people who know and have experienced transforming change through Christ to stand in the gap for us, helping us to understand and believe what we don’t yet understand and cannot believe on our own.
And Now I Get to Speak Hope
Being counseled, mentored, confronted, and listened to by older and wiser people in my life, is what God used to ultimately change my life. I watched the way people interacted with me, the way they listened, and I heard the compassion in their voices, saw it in their faces as they explained the truth to me. Their motivation was kindness and love because they had experienced kindness and love through Christ. Their words helped me look toward Jesus as my hope, because they were speaking truth from God’s Word.
I am able to sit in the counseling room because I have been counseled through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and I have experienced encouragement and help through the words of hope that were spoken over me.  I can honestly say that every day I experience my own weakness, and yet in that weakness God’s power is on display. Today, it is my privilege to be able to speak hope into the lives of people that I meet with.
I enjoy working with students and adults, and specifically have a heart to help women and younger students to thrive and grow in their current season of life. There is hope for anyone in any circumstance through God and His Word. For fun, I love to try new kinds of exercise classes, work on DIY house projects, and spend as much time as possible with my best friend/husband, Petey. Learn More
 Stephen Ganschow is the Pastor of Counseling Ministries at Bethel Church. https://bethelweb.org/
 Inspired by Krista Lambert’s blog post https://biblicalcounselingcenter.org/finding-comfort-beyond-my-stereotype/