I don’t know what you think of when you hear the words “Christian counselling”, “healing” or “deliverance”.

When I first heard of such terms, I actually imagined a scene from The Exorcist!

Since there are many ideas about what Christian counselling is, I thought I would offer what my experience of it looked like.

In my seven sessions with counsellors from Ellel Ministries Singapore, we focused on reframing my thoughts about my identity and my family. I also learned to deal with my suicidal thoughts.

My counsellors did this by praying through God’s word with me. Here are the anchoring verses:

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.” (Acts 17:24-29, ESV)

During the first session, my counsellor introduced me to this verse and asked me if I believe in God’s sovereignty. I said yes.

She then asked me if I believe that God gives breath and life to all mankind. I said He does.

Then she told me to take some time to meditate on the verse.

Later, my counsellor said that since God made mankind and the world and everything in it, and gave us the breath of life, our lives are given by God.

She prayed over me, that I would cherish this life and the very breath that is given by God our Creator.

My counsellor said that the very first step in counselling me is to help me see life as God’s gift, because if I do not have the will to live, everything else is futile.

For such a time as this

In subsequent sessions, we meditated on the other verses like: “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place” (Acts 17:26, ESV).

My counsellor explained to me that we are all descendants of Adam, and we are put in our families, in these times, in these circumstances and even this location to glorify God.

That is God’s will for us.

My counsellor asked me if I can accept the family that I was born in, as well as the circumstances of my life. 

That includes the country I am born in, the era – even the government I am under and world circumstances I find myself in today.

Finally, my counsellor quoted from the verses, saying that all these were so that we should seek God and perhaps find our way to Him.

All these come under the will of God for the life that He gave me. And that is ultimately so that I can have eternal life – to know God and His Son Jesus Christ (John 17:3).

This verse spoke to me deeply, reminding me that God is not far from us. We are His offspring, and in Him we live and move and have our being.

Learning to love the life I was given

Although no fire fell from heaven and there were no outward signs of deliverance, anchoring and meditating on Acts 17:24-29 helped me to see the purpose of my life from God’s Word.

I gained clarity on why I was given life and the deeper purpose behind my circumstances.

It is to know God and to become more like Him as His offspring.

God has worked through these circumstances to bless me with the opportunity to seek Him and find my way to Him.

When I had accepted this truth, I said a heartfelt prayer to God to say sorry for wanting to end the life that He has given me.

I asked Him to help me to cherish every breath that He gives me, and to accept and do my best in all the life circumstances that I am put in, because this is the will of God for me, and I know in my being that He is a good, good Father.

I also accepted my family and the fact I had depression.

While I am not saying that a dysfunctional family or depression are good things, I now understand and accept that even though these things happened to me – God has worked through these circumstances to bless me with the opportunity to seek Him and find my way to Him.

Echoing Paul in Philippians 3:8, I now count the good and also bad things of my life as unimportant things, for they pale in comparison to coming to know Christ.

I am glad I went for Christian counselling.

While there is a place for practices such as mediation, mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy (I also go for secular counselling), I find that meditating on God’s Word, holding His Word in my heart and replacing my negative thoughts with God’s Word works best for me.

No matter what circumstances you are in, I pray that God’s Word will transform your life.

Indeed, they are the very words of the living God Himself who gave us life.

  1. Having read this story, what are some truths you need to affirm in your own life?
  2. Who are some people you have in your life whom you can speak to in tough times? 
  3. What other resources can you lean on for help when you face challenges? 
  4. Take a moment to pray God’s truths and promises over yourself.