I have been at my new job for a little over two weeks. It was an incredible blessing to have the job prior to finishing my degree or acquiring my associate’s license. It seems that I either made an impression on the staff at my summer practicum or I have them fooled as to my competence. It made me feel good that my passion for helping children did not go unnoticed; however, I’ve been plagued as to whether or not I can do the job. The problem with being built up or having such high expectations placed on you is that it is more than humbling. The reality is; I feel clueless. Asbury has more than spent time and effort to prepare me, but when it comes down to intervening for someone’s life (because that’s what I have sitting in front of me in session), I feel empty—nothing to offer.
This encounter ended with hospitalization. Without it, it would have ended with the loss of life in despair. I don’t know that it won’t end that way, but I was able to be a short means of grace. I was able to be a support while their world of pain left them shaken. In the end, they got help and I felt a sense of confirmation. Confirmation that, perhaps, there is some skill and confidence that undermines this latent fear of failure. Well, that, and the reality that emptiness is really the very quality that makes for good counseling. It is awareness that empathy, compassion, and openness reaches out and supports the other sitting in front of me.