Josie had a perfect balance of listening to what I had to say and directing me towards scripture. She also cared enough to give me a spiritual kick in the pants when needed. She helped me to identify the root causes of my problems as well as wrong attitudes and bad doctrine. Through scripture, she showed me what God says about these issues. She always pointed me back to Jesus, and how important it is to intentionally spend time with him every day. It takes a special skill set to be able to show someone the error of their ways without being judgmental. She is encouraging like a sister. She constantly reminded me that God has given us all the tools we need to deal with whatever situation we face. I feel that the counseling has enabled me to be able to grow as a Christian, free me from many of my fears, and be able to turn my attention back to Jesus. When this happens, it is impossible to be stuck in the pit of despair for long.
Ephesians 4:22-24 states that we need to ”take off the old, renew in the spirit and put on the new.”
We have been married for 37 years. As many couples have also experienced, we have had many up and downs, conflicts, births, deaths, sicknesses, moves, job changes, raising toddlers to teens, weddings, grandbabies, caring for aging parents, losing both parents in the same year, and the list goes on. What we realized is that we are all going to have problems, and we all have sin as we live in a fallen world. What is important to do is to identify the sin, confess the sin, and do it no more by taking off the old and putting on a new way of thinking, and most importantly forgive the sin and the person as Christ forgave us. This whole process will allow healing, growth, and for each of us to love one another as Christ has commanded us to do. We cannot thank Steve and The Grace Center enough for helping us through this most difficult time in our lives and marriage. We are deeply thankful and grateful for the time and love that Steve Clifton and The Grace Center poured into us.
We are so appreciative of the spiritual guidance given to us by The Grace Center. Our counselor helped us, using God’s Word, to navigate through and overcome our family problems. We definitely live in a difficult world, but we know that in this world we must be firm in the love of Christ and his promises. Our counselor’s advice and prayers strengthened us. We were truly blessed to know him, and we love the way that God uses him to help people in need to know the truth through the Word of God.
I would definitely recommend The Grace Center for counseling. My experience with my counselor was so very helpful. Meeting times were convenient, and it was so helpful to even have a meal together. The sudden loss of my husband was so hard, and my counselor walked me through this difficult time in my life, while taking me through scripture and prayer. She was especially helpful since she has walked on the same path.
Some specific scriptures that were helpful to me were Psalms 5, 16, 23, 34, 40, 42, 46, 55, 62, and 151; Isaiah 41:20; John 14:1-6, 27; Philippians 4:4-9; Hebrews 4:15-16; James 1:2-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; and others. I have prayed the Lord’s Prayer at times over and over when I did not know what to pray or during times when I could not sleep. I learned that I did not have to tell everybody everything and answer so many questions. I need to try to remember to eat right, try to get some exercise, and get some sleep, if I could. God knows what we need before we ask. I am trying to focus on Him, not on my problems and trust that He will provide my needs and lead me, even during a pandemic. Also, I realize it is hard sometimes for others to know what to say to me or may even say the wrong thing. I try to keep that in mind. But I know that He will hold me fast!
My counselor was no nonsense but at the same time her compassion was very evident. She gave me great class and homework assignments that focused on my special hang-ups. She reminded me of the Biblical and Christian resources to keep me focused on solutions rather than the former strongholds of past mistakes and choices.
The biblical counseling I received at First Baptist Jacksonville was and continues to be a tremendous blessing to me. My weary heart was tenderly shepherded by their faithful prayers, patience, and careful navigation through the trial of which brought me to them. I am immensely grateful for how the Lord used this ministry to bring me further clarity, encouragement, and healing. I wholeheartedly recommend their faithful counsel to others.