You Can Hope Again Counselling

Individual,family and marriage therapy, recovery from trauma, grief, anxiety and depression, PTSD

Blog

Father, how can You ask me to forgive?

Posted on 9 August, 2017 at 0:30 Comments comments (0)


This thought from C.S. Lewis seems to ask too much of us. If we are to be who God created us to be, then we must make that difficult voyage from how others have hurt us to forgive them. Our Father asks tough things from His children. He asked even tougher things of His Son in calling Him to forgive those responsible for His death. Let those words of passionate love spoken from a man enduring agonizing suffering on the cross for sinful humanity be etched upon our memory. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 KJV).


True love means the willingness to forgive others for how they have hurt you. But we must go there to be the people God is creating us to be. If we stop mid-stream and harbor unforgiveness, we hurt not only ourselves but all those around us. I share some thoughts about how tough that journey can be.


I prayed yesterday about the thoughts I shared about our old microwave.


I thought even though the piece was serious that the humor of it came out of the situation, but Karen had a different perspective. She said it revealed a feeling of being beleaguered and a lot of pent up frustration and anger. I would have far preferred to keep my pain silent, but to do so would be to fail our Father and you as my readers. I am called to be real with you regardless of how difficult that is. Showing you the parts of my character God is still working on is uncomfortable, but for my writing on matters of Christian maturity to be as meaningful as it should be, I need to show you some of the imperfections in me. The truth is a dear friend I trusted hurt me by the things she said to me in a private message. I had invested a lot of my time helping her, but this is the reality of life. You will always have people who hurt you by the things they do and say. I only need cite the malicious hate of others displayed on social media platforms such as Facebook. I know a dearly beloved friend who makes limited appearances on Facebook because of the poisonous venom of others attacking her for her faith. Why do people do cruel things like this? It’s because they like all of us are on a journey of being perfected in love. You will always encounter people who find it too much hard work to deal with their issues. Instead of doing this they will seek to make you feel guilty for the situation they created through their own disobedience to God.


The important thing to remember is to keep loving them as Christ calls you to, and pray for them. This is the true test of love – caring when the hurt within you says not to, when the pain gets entrenched so deep inside you, that it would seem easier to bury it, to not look at it, and to say you’re weak for allowing the thoughts of a friend to affect you so much. The training from our past says to have a tougher skin, but these are all lies. Being wounded is not the sin. Carrying that within your heart, and letting it ruin your life is.


When you are deeply hurt knowing God specializes in fixing the brokenness in others can be so tough to remember. In my marriage to Karen, I can either have a marriage or insist on my right to be right. God calls us as Christians to a higher standard of forgiveness. If God is so willing to forgive the sin in us why aren’t we as willing to forgive others for theirs? I know. The wounds those you trust inflict upon you can run so deep. It seems impossible to forgive. For some of us, that journey takes longer than others. God knows your hurt more than anyone else. He is there waiting to hear you say. “Father, I choose to forgive those who have harmed me. I ask You to carry out that forgiveness in my heart.” Let all the hate out, and let God in. Allow Him to love on you. Give Him the permission to take the healing balm of His Son’s love, and pour it all over you. Let the tears come, and the healing rain flow.


I said to Karen, “Darling, it would be easier for me if I didn’t care about people so much.” She looked at me with tenderness as she said, “Darling, that’s what makes you such an effective therapist. You show a willingness to be vulnerable. Never lose that. You can’t help others if you only give a part of yourself.”


Karen speaks the truths I need to hear. Perhaps, what I share will help others out there who are struggling with forgiving the terrible harm inflicted upon you.


I pray these thoughts have helped you in some way.


Keep loving others. It’s the greatest gift you have to offer wounded lives. In giving love from the heart of Christ’s compassion within you, rivers of inner healing can flow into their lives and yours.


Let Christ’s love and forgiveness for the inexcusable be at the heart of who you are.


Kevin and Karen Osborne are psychotherapists and pastoral counselors. Kevin is going to be a chaplain. He also feels called to be a professor of Psychology specializing in Pastoral Theology. Karen is the Director of a women’s abuse shelter. She enjoys doing cross-stitch while I like writing and singing songs. Karen makes me laugh when she sings the kitty bed-time song saying, “It’s that time. It’s the bestest kitty time of the day!” Kevin enjoys teasing the kitties and making them do kitty dances with music. Their kitty, Catherine, loves it when kitty daddeh sings All Things Bright and Beautiful. Kevin likes doing impressions. He tells children’s stories and helps others with their problems using his hand puppets, Dr. Teddy, who is a therapy teddy bear, and Mike the Moose from Matheson. This is a small town in northern Ontario, Canada, an hour’s drive south of the city of Timmins. Dr. Teddy and Mike the Moose from Matheson are consultants with us in our counselling practice.We are available to assist with worship and preaching to give busy ministers a much-needed break. We offer in-office, and phone counselling to anyone in the world.

Co-author on Mind’s Seat, a Christian inspirational blog

Who am I?

Posted on 5 July, 2017 at 0:55 Comments comments (0)


We deal with people who wonder what their purpose is in life. Their abuser has robbed them of their identity as human beings. They can feel ugly and question their value as people. They and others who have been hurt by ill-thought or deliberately cruel comments can end up wandering through life like a wave upon the ocean. The song Who am I? has a message for all of us to not feel we go through life all alone. I believe God carries us through life’s problems even when we fail to see it or believe it. As you listen to this song ask yourself this question: Who are you? I pray you’ll discover if only for the first time you are a beautiful creation of God, whom He loves with an everlasting love. If you need someone to talk with about where you are in life, and where you would like to be, or you know someone who could use our help, please send my wife Karen and I a message to [email protected] Our phone number is (705)316-0725. We will listen, and where we can we’ll help. NO ONE will EVER be turned away. Something can always be worked out. We didn’t become counselors to get rich. We trained many years to become counselors to help the hurting heal. Reach out for our helping hand to be with you through whatever you are going through. We’ll stand with you through it all because we believe our Father walks with us.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

Kevin and Karen Osborne are psychotherapists and pastoral counselors. Kevin is going to be a chaplain. He also feels called to be a professor of Psychology specializing in Pastoral Theology. Karen is the Director of a women's abuse shelter. She enjoys doing cross-stitch while I like writing and singing songs. Karen makes me laugh when she sings the kitty bed-time song saying, “It’s that time. It’s the bestest kitty time of the day!” Kevin enjoys teasing the kitties and making them do kitty dances with music. Their kitty, Catherine, loves it when kitty daddeh sings All Things Bright and Beautiful. Kevin likes doing impressions. He tells children’s stories and helps others with their problems using his hand puppets, Dr. Teddy, who is a therapy teddy bear, and Mike the Moose from Matheson. This is a small town in northern Ontario, Canada, an hour's drive south of the city of Timmins. Dr. Teddy and Mike the Moose from Matheson are consultants with us in our counselling practice.We are available to assist with worship and preaching to give busy ministers a much-needed break. We offer in-office, and phone counselling to anyone in the world.

Co-author on Mind’s Seat, a Christian inspirational blog




Why is there poverty?

Posted on 29 October, 2016 at 14:40 Comments comments (0)

I prayed asking our Father this question. “Why is there poverty when there is so much abundance?”

 

He said to me, “Kevin, the people I created have been asking that question since the beginning of their existence. It is because there is an attitude that it will always exist, so why bother doing anything about it. Poverty lives because there has not been a concerted effort to end it. I hear the suffering of millions of children, teenagers, men and women who are starving, whose hope is dying a little more each day. They will continue to lose hope and die in body and spirit unless humanity takes immediate action to work together to solve the problem of poverty.

 

Kevin, your underlying question is this. Why do I allow poverty? I ask another question. Why does humankind allow poverty? You have more than enough to feed everyone. There is far too much greed and the love of possessions. People need to learn more what it means to share, to give from what they have to others who are in need.

 

I cannot change the hearts of those who are hardened to My voice. There are many who are doing all they can to alleviate poverty. Without their love for the poor many millions of people would just give up on life. They would say enough is enough. I’m tired of struggling, of subsisting in poverty. People don’t have to actively commit suicide. They just stop believing life will get any better. They let their poverty kill them. They cry out to Me, ‘If only someone would give me a strong and caring hand up leading to realistic hope that’s all I would need. I would be willing to do my part to climb out of my poverty.’

 

I gave you sharp minds to come up with solutions to poverty. Why are more of you standing idly by doing nothing? This is a crucial issue that can only be addressed by people from all economic classes and backgrounds sitting down together to end poverty. Please stop saying there are more important issues to deal with. I ask you this. Can you look into the eyes of a poor child and say, ‘I can’t do anything to help you?’ What if you were poor. Wouldn’t you want someone to offer you and your family a hand up?

 

No one should have to decide between paying their rent or food, but not both. No mother should come to the point of saying to Me, ‘Father, please let my infant die. I can’t endure seeing the light of their hope go out. Take my little one home to be with You where there is no more suffering and pain. My precious child is down to skin and bones. Their stomach is bloated from malnutrition. Please end my child’s life now!’

 

I hear the heart cry of the mother in Ontario, who has to make a painful decision between having half of a sandwich or an apple, so her hungry child can eat. No mother should ever have to make that choice.

 

I hear the agony of a child digging through a garbage dump in Thailand for the hope of meat that has gone rotten to eat.

 

Kevin, you know a young man living in poverty in Kenya. He is trying his hardest to pull his family out of poverty. He is applying to universities in Kenya and other countries. None of them has given him a scholarship.

 

You have a friendship with a pastor in India. He needs healthy rice for orphan children. The children have to have blankets to protect them from mosquito bites, which if infected by them could cause diseases such as malaria. Each blanket is $6.00. He requires 30 blankets at a cost of $180.

 

You also know a pastor in Malawi who sees his family, congregation and the many children and adults he ministers often go without two meals in the day.

 

I see that homeless man on Park Avenue, New York, among the wealthy dying out in the bitter cold from hypothermia.

 

I see that teenager in Vancouver selling her body for a fix.

 

I see the alcoholic in Toronto who wants to end their addiction.

 

I see that abused person in London, England, who wants their living hell to end.

 

I see all the lonely people in the world asking anyone, someone to love them.

 

I hurt when all of My children with physical and developmental challenges living in poverty are abused physically, emotionally and sexually.

 

I feel the suffering of all those with disabilities who ask for that education, internship, and one door to a job, which pulls them out of their poverty.

 

I see, hear and know about everyone who is dying not just of poverty from hunger, but moreover that slow and agonizing death in their spirit.”

 

I asked our Lord this last question. “What can I and all of us do to help others out of their poverty of mind, body and spirit?” Our Father said, “Love, learn, listen and act. Love those I bring to you. Learn from the poor. They have many lessons to teach you. Listen to those who suffer, and those who have solutions to reduce and one day eliminate poverty. Put your solutions to it into practical action.

 

Apart you can do little. Together there is no limit to what you can do when My spirit of love lives within you.

 

Think of the joy you will feel when you see light in one soul, where before there was only darkness and despair.

 

You show you care by being there. When you do that My love, My hope like a fire spreads everywhere.

 

That is the path to end poverty.”

 

Kevin and Karen Osborne are Christian pastoral counsellors and psychotherapists. Kevin is studying to become a chaplain and professor of Psychology specializing in Pastoral Theology. We have started You Can Hope Again Counselling. Karen enjoys doing cross-stitch while I like writing and singing songs. Karen makes me laugh when she sings the kitty bed-time song saying, “It’s that time. It’s the bestest kitty time of the day!” Kevin enjoys teasing the kitties and making them do kitty dances with music. Their kitty, Catherine, loves it when kitty daddeh sings All Things Bright and Beautiful. Kevin likes doing impressions. He tells children’s stories and helps others with their problems using his hand puppet, Dr. Teddy, who is a therapy bear. He is a partner with us in our counselling practice.We are available to assist with worship and preaching to give busy pastors and ministers a much-needed break. We offer in-office, and phone counselling to anyone in the world.

 

Co-author on Mind’s Seat, a Christian inspirational blog

Let healing love come in

Posted on 18 October, 2016 at 11:45 Comments comments (0)


My prayer for you is that you would feel the all-embracing love of Christ. Let Him wrap His tender arms of love around you. Come away from the noise in your life to a time of peace. Oh, how we all need to take respites from the business of our lives! We need to take time to smell the beauty of a flower, hear the chirping of a bird, the trees rustling with the wind, the joy of a child’s laughter, the awakening of our inner child, who wants to play.


Christ that man of sorrows acquainted with suffering hears you right now. He is watching over you even if you think He’s not. He loves you with an everlasting love. He hears every one of your tears, your public and private pain. Let Christ love you. Let Him enfold you. Trust Him. Come to Him with all your doubts, questions, fears and anger. He can take it. He doesn’t want you to carry it any longer.

 

Christ loves you so much He was willing to die for you. Perhaps, some of you think it strange He would love you that much. You have never felt what true love is. You have only known abuse. You are angry at God He didn’t rescue you. For over 48 years I was in that dark place for all the cutting words of my schizophrenic father. “You’re lazy. You’re weak. You’re stupid. Your brother’s smarter than you’ll ever be. You'll always be a failure. Why are you so awkward you can’t tie your own shoes?”


At age 11 I made a vow I would find a way to murder my father. I would get him furious at me. He would come at me. I would stab him with a knife. I would twist it and give it an upper thrust until he was dead. I thank God I didn’t get the opportunity to kill my father. It would have destroyed my life.

 

God did hear my prayer at age five as I sat under the cool shade of a willow tree by our home. I made a promise to Him if He would save me from my abuse, I would grow up to help others heal from theirs. That prayer wouldn’t be answered for six miserable years.

 

My father nearly let me drown as a toddler in Georgian Bay in Thornbury, Ontario. In one lucid moment my father pulled me out of the water by the dock. At age five I saw my mother attempt to commit suicide by hanging from a belt over the awning of our bathroom door. I cried out, "Mom! Mom! Please don't die!" I felt helpless to save her. When my father saw her in another moment of sanity, he cut her down with a knife. I will never forget her choking, gasping for breath, sad to be alive, to not be freed from her lving hell.


I recall as if it was yesterday my brother and me running in a zig-zag pattern to avoid being shot by my father’s rifle from the hill above our home.


I wouldn’t ever have to see my father claiming he was Jesus Christ or hearing him say the F.B.I. was out to get him. My prayer at age five for my mother and brother to be freed from abuse was finally answered. It would be the end of seeing my mother beaten and brother emotionally abused by my father.


At age 11 my mother, brother and me escaped our abuse. My two sisters had left and got married. It would be the end of seeing my mother beaten and brother emotionally abused by my father.

 

For me to go on to the calling God has on my life I had to learn an important word – forgiveness. I had to let go of all of my hate not only for my father, but all who have hurt me physically and emotionally. I know this is not an easy word. I'm still learning what forgiveness truly means. It’s far easier to let the hate consume you, eat away at you like the parasite to love and joy that it is. Hate doesn’t accomplish one positive thing. Forgiveness frees you to love yourself and others. I’m not talking about a narcissistic love, but one where you stop hating yourself, end the false judgments of yourself. Please don’t believe the lies that come at you in the darkness, those times you are alone, while you are trying to sleep, in the seconds, minutes and hours of your life. Believe that you are a beautiful person inside and out. Let the truth of the perfect creation of God you are soak into you. Our Father doesn’t make junk. You are so precious to Him. You are the apple of His affection. He delights in you. He wants you to have a life of hope filled with joy and laughter.


When I let God's love into my heart He gave me the second greatest gift of my life -- my beautiful wife, Karen. God knew I needed her love, the healing of her caresses, a secret hiding place from the agaonizing pain I have experienced in my life. I needed someone who would love me, be a shelter for me when those haunting voices of abuse would tear away at me seeking to destroy me. God heard my prayer for a woman who would challenge me to be the best I could be, to run this race of faith with an abounding joy in my heart. God gave me more than I prayed for. He gave me a rose amongst all those stabbing thorns in my life, which were robbing me of the zest for living. God showed me through His and Karen's love that while weeping lasts for a night if we don't give up joy comes in the morning.

 

Let all the hate go so love, Christ’s love for you will pour into your soul. Let the healing rain cascade all over and inside of you. Let Him love you. Let Him heal you within. If you can’t forgive your abuser, I pray you would forgive yourself. You have done nothing wrong that warrants being hit, punched, raped, bruised in spirit and body. You are not to blame. Your abuser is. Your abuser needs professional help to stop abusing you. For that to happen your abuser needs to be willing to change.

 

You have a right to a life free from abuse. Don’t be a prisoner to it. Escape it. Call the police if you are being abused. Go to a shelter if the physical and emotional harm continues or stay with family or friends. This is a time you need people around you who will love you, who will hear your pain, where you can feel safer again. Get counselling to help you heal from all those blows to your body, mind and spirit.


Allow yourself the gift of a life free from ever being hit again. Give yourself permission to live again.


Let healing love come in.


Kevin and Karen Osborne are Christian pastoral counsellors and psychotherapists. Kevin is studying to become a  chaplain and professor of Psychology specializing in Pastoral Theology. We have started You Can Hope Again Counselling. Karen enjoys doing cross-stitch while I like writing and singing songs. Karen makes me laugh when she sings the kitty bed-time song saying, “It’s that time. It’s the bestest kitty time of the day!” Kevin enjoys teasing the kitties and making them do kitty dances with music. Their kitty, Catherine, loves it when kitty daddeh sings All Things Bright and Beautiful. Kevin likes doing impressions. He tells children’s stories and helps others with their problems using his hand puppet, Dr. Teddy, who is a therapy bear. He is a partner with us in our counselling practice.We are available to assist with worship and preaching to give busy pastors and ministers a much-needed break. We offer in-office, and phone counselling to anyone in the world.

 

Co-author on Mind’s Seat, a Christian inspirational blog


 


You are the Beloved of God

Posted on 27 September, 2016 at 11:50 Comments comments (0)




I have been reflecting on how we are the beloved of God. One of my favorite teachers on this subject is Father Henri Nouwen. Here was a man who dared to be vulnerable in his teaching, preaching and writing about his deep-rooted inner suffering, showing us how we can embrace and live the life of the beloved of God. Out of his many thoughts on this subject, this one stands out to share.

 

“Yes, there is that voice, the voice that speaks from above and from within and that whispers softly or declares loudly: “You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests.” It certainly is not easy to hear that voice in a world filled with voices that shout: You are no good, you are ugly; you are worthless; you are despicable, you are nobody—unless you can demonstrate the opposite.”

― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World

 

No matter what others say about you or seek for you to believe, it is my prayer you will feel how deeply beloved by God you are.

 

I will let Henri have the last words on the subject with a sermon he gave.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

 

Kevin and Karen Osborne are Christian pastoral counsellors and psychotherapists. Kevin is studying to become a psychologist and professor of Psychology. He feels called to also be a chaplain. We have started You Can Hope Again Counselling. Karen enjoys doing cross-stitch while I like writing and singing songs. Karen makes me laugh when she sings the kitty bed-time song saying, “It’s that time. It’s the bestest kitty time of the day!” Kevin enjoys teasing the kitties and making them do kitty dances with music. Their kitty, Catherine, loves it when kitty daddeh sings All Things Bright and Beautiful. Kevin likes doing impressions. He tells children’s stories and helps others with their problems using his hand puppet, Dr. Teddy, who is a therapy bear. He is a partner with us in our counselling practice.We are available to assist with worship and preaching to give busy pastors and ministers a much-needed break. We offer in-office, and phone counselling to anyone in the world.

 

Co-author on Mind’s Seat, a Christian inspirational blog