It is not uncommon in conversation with other believers, for me to say I am “on fire for the Lord”. Now I don’t mean that in a Christian-ese sort of way or certainly not in the same way some white modern-day Evangelicals would see advancing their political platform as evidence of being on fire for the Lord. Conversely, being on fire for the Lord to me means standing for the same things – and the same people: the marginalized, vulnerable, and disengaged – that Jesus did when he walked this earth. In the words of my favorite Psalm, being on fire for the Lord means defending truth, humility, and justice.
In your majesty, ride out to victory,
defending truth, humility, and justice.
Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds! — Psalm 45:4 (NLT)
When it comes to counseling – which is really about defending truth, humility, and justice in self, I am on fire – like super passionate, all-in, believe in it so deeply – for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). For those of us who struggle with emotional regulation, DBT offers the skills training and tools for individuals to learn mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interactive skills to promote decision making out of a wise mind that takes into account both emotions and logical thinking, improves the ability to sit with stress awhile and both manage and communicate feelings that rise out of mindful self-awareness (truth), reaching into the tool box (humility), and having a healthy voice for your needs (justice).
As I wait for my NJ State LAC (Licensed Associate Counselor) license to be approved – likely in September, I am living with a tension now about how to proceed as I lie in waiting to do what I most desire doing and consider the dialectic at the other end of the spectrum – the financial pressure of needing a job soon. My approach is one of prayer – reminding myself of God’s faithfulness in leading me thus far, and mindfulness to intentionally find a balance that honors the value in both ends of the dialectic for now, keeping me in wise mind and using tools to regulate the emotions, doubts, fears that creep in.
My niece texted me this morning to say she had just watched this incredible 9-year old blow away the judges and audience at America’s Got Talent with a rendition of “This Girl is on Fire”, a random and unusual text from her so of course I had to look. It was a gift from God that inspired all I need to be reminded me of today to stick with my values and my gut … THIS GIRL is on fire for the Lord and for emotion regulation therapies, and that’s just who I am. Loved the end note from one of the judges who pushed the gold buzzer – it was like affirmation reigning down from the Lord when he said, “You are the chosen one!” Yes indeed, we are God’s chosen ones and He has a purpose and plan for each of us.
What are you on fire for?