By Abby Elam Counseling Center Director


For many 2020 and 2021 have been marked by grief and loss, and our counseling center suffered alongside the world. We began this year trying to figure out how to continue to help others with their burdens and sufferings while dealing with our own gaping wound. It has been a slow process, one with grief and laughter, guilt and joy and lot of recalling the gentleness and wisdom of the one who was a shepherd to us here on earth.

This year as counselors we sat with our clients (our friends as we like to call them), truly feeling their hurts, fears and doubts alongside them and when we said “I get it” it was truer than it had ever been before. Not because in the past we were inauthentic with those words, but because this year we were experiencing those same fears, doubts, and heartaches at the same moment in time. Surprisingly this is what began to heal us and our clients. You see, when grief is shared something incredible happens, grief is transformed and lessened. You become bonded, you feel safe and no longer alone. Authenticity and gratitude begin to flow out of you in spite of the pain. So, this year in the midst of so much sorrow for so many we still witnessed and experienced great healing.

The Lord came and gently administered a healing balm to our wounds and taught us how to love while we hurt. And by the grace of God alone we yet again had the honor of being in the room for miracles big and small. Miracles like the moment when someone was finally released from years of hurt and bitterness from an abuser. Or when yet another marriage or family unit found restoration. Or when others were able to escape the chains of anxiety and depression to find self-awareness and healthy ways to cope with the overwhelming emotions that come their way. And yes, when another person lost a loved one to cancer, COVID-19, suicide or any other tragic loss, we had the privilege of sitting in their grief with them as they found the strength to move forward.

At The Joy House Counseling Center, we truly believe with all that is in us that we are just the willing vessels that God uses to listen, to care, and to speak truth and love to those who seek it. Everything we do and say is with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in mind and heart. As another year comes to an end and we reflect on all that we have heard and prayed for, we are filled with humble gratitude at the opportunity to have served our God and our community in this way once again. Please join us in praying for another year of chain breaking, wound healing, and miracle working.