I have received many benefits from my Grace Fellowship International training, and it has enriched my life and the lives of those I have counseled. I grew personally through learning more about the rejection syndrome and the things that can play into it. Because of what I learned, I personally started working on strongholds that had been in place most of my life because of developmental trauma. I also was helped by learning about identity and how exchanging the self-life (the wrong things we build our identity on instead of our identity in Christ) for Christ’s life can resolve the frustration and anxiety that were created because of the tension of living out of the wrong identity. I did not even realize I was doing it since “doing in order to be” was what I had been doing my whole life. Once I fully understood identification and surrender, it made a huge difference in my life and in the lives of my family. I was then able to begin counseling people from a Christ led position – closely listening to the Holy Spirit while working on keeping myself out of the way. This, of course, is a “pick up your cross daily” type of thing, but what I learned at G.F.I. helped so much in increasing my ability to live with hope and joy, and from that position, to walk with others who are struggling to find that same peace.
I have used the ministry model mostly through informal counseling with friends, family and church members who have come to me for help, though I have also done quite a few formal counseling sessions. I find that this model is easy to use and that I am much more comfortable walking beside people in their lives than coming from a perspective of the expert with all of the answers. This is what is taught in the G.F.I. model, so it works very well. Ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who is the counselor, and I am just there to facilitate that connection and help point them to biblical truth. I have used this model in a variety of situations and presenting problems:
- a man struggling with adoption issues,
- a woman struggling with singleness,
- a woman going through a divorce,
- many childhood traumas,
- and many other diverse situations.
Because the GFI ministry model is based on discipleship and reinforcing biblical truth, it is so helpful to everyone, including the people ministering. It is good to be reminded of our identification and identity in Christ on a frequent basis.
I would love to bring this ministry model to my church and offer it as a way to help those who are in conflict, or are suffering. I am hoping that when I can move from full time secular work to more part time, then I can put that dream of mine into motion. I feel led to pursue a focus on grief, crisis and trauma–specifically developmental trauma as that is my personal experience– and God has put that on my heart. I believe that I am being called to fulfill 2 Corinthians 1:4 “(God) who comforts us in all our suffering, so that we may be able to comfort others in all their suffering, as we ourselves are being comforted by God.” I think the G.F.I. model works well to help those going through all suffering by helping them to understand their true identity and standing in Christ.