Thoughts for a More Joyful Life.

Being successful at anything requires Practice.

Families who practice caring for each other’s hearts find spending time together a place of calming restoration.

Recently I had a conversation with one of our Board members who asked me. What exactly is our success rate is here at the Ranch of Hope Counseling, a five day Christian Counseling Intensive retreat center. I smiled as I gave him our statistics after 7 years of accumulating data from our clients,” 86%” I said. Then I quickly added, “100% of those who continue to practice the tools we give them and continue to care about the hearts of the most important ones in their lives”. Dr. Richard Dobbin, a founder of Christian Counseling, and one of our mentors taught us people only come for help when the “pain of change is less than the pain of remaining the same”.   What an incredibly apt way of putting it. Each of us will remain doing the same things until our life becomes so painful we are not willing to live in that pain any longer. What is so sad is that often the person in pain has reached what we call “click over” by that point.  So instead of healing the source of the pain and finding new ways to continue in the relationship, the person leaves and never heals the connection. Here at The Ranch of Hope when a client, marriage or family contacts us our goal is not only give them the tools to overcome the current situation. We want to get all those old wounds on the heart healed as well. What most of us don’t realize is how much effect those old wounds on our heart have in our interpretation of the events in our lives currently. You see old wounds have the ability to cause us to see the events in our lives currently through distorted eyes. The example I often use when explaining this to a potential client is” It’s like when you were a child if every time your mom and dad had a disagreement if your mom slammed the door and left, sometimes for days or even for weeks.  As an adult if that childhood wound was not healed you would have a very strong reaction every time you heard a door slam. You may not be able to pinpoint it back to your childhood but you would react very differently than someone who had never experienced an event like that. When Jesus said He “came to heal the brokenhearted and to set the captive free”, I believe it was situations just like these He was speaking of. The enemy of our soul wants desperately to take every painful event of our lives and use them to cause us to “see the world as a painful place as opposed to a pleasurable place” ( Dr. Richard Dobbins again). But Christ though the power of His Holy Spirit within me wants to set me on a new course, one of hope and healing and restoration. The best part is He is Willing and He is Able. What does it require of me? Practice!  Though the power of Jesus while our clients are here we can get those old wounds healed. We can teach them new tools to successfully negotiate through conflict in the future. But we can’t go home with them and hold them to a regimen of continuing to use those tools. Yet, I know by the power of Jesus Christ any family, individual, or marriage can overcome the problems and find 100% success in their relationships; though healing, learning the needed tools and practice. Many people in our instant society want and instant fix but remaining true to the course and practicing healthy tools and Godly precepts will give them the ability to overcome.

by Hope Taylor

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