Hope For The Hurt Within
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Faith Integration - A Story From Ben Ben

In 1988, I was fourteen, living in Kent, a suburb southeast of Seattle. I began preaching that year on a Sunday evening rotation at a small church my dad helped found decades earlier. My mom played the organ. My dad was a deacon, and I took up preaching.

Throughout the early years of preaching at different events and venues, after the last song, someone would come with an open heart, asking for help. A young lady came one evening, who had been raped by multiple men in a side room of a dark bar. She came seeking internal relief. A young, teen girl came, who had been abandoned by her parents and given to ailing grandparents to care for her. She came angry and afraid. A man with two toddlers in his arms and an ache in his heart came in the confusion and tension of joblessness. A couple came in ever-widening conflict. Many came. I wanted to help, but I didn't know how.

I went to my mentor, a pastor in our church, for our weekly Wednesday meeting. I asked him how we could help. He replied, "I don't know. I have life experience, but I'm not trained to help. I wish I knew someone that we could send them to." I saw the gaping need. However, I also shared my mentor's sadness that we didn't have someone to turn to for help. I resolved in my spirit, "Someday, I'll be that person."

During a time of personal tragedy and loss in 2003, I left the small pulpit of the small church in Burien. I couldn't speak. I felt as though the grief would overtake me. Inside, I was falling apart. I felt the need to hide. So, I went to the biggest church I could find to be a face in the back row, around people but not with them. After the last song, I shuffled quietly to the exit and out to the car, to drive forty five minutes to my studio apartment, my personal ICU. Though I had a personal ICU, I didn't let anyone in for fear of further damage and loss, until years later.

There are many who suffer in silence and inner loneliness, holding vulnerable burdens within that no one really sees. Men, women, children, adolescents, couples and families can put on the brave face but hurt inside, not knowing where to turn.

At Renewed Heart Counseling, Lindsey and I believe that God sees, and God cares. If you would like Christian values, prayer and scripture included, as part of your therapy experience, we are happy to integrate faith into your care. At RHC, we believe that God is the healer, the Great Physician. Lindsey and I believe that we are extensions of God's grace and renewal, co-laboring with Christ in the restoration of those He loves. We do not force faith integration at all. If you do not wish integration, you are welcome here.

Renewed Heart Counseling was set up as a refuge for hurting hearts, a place in partnership with area pastors, churches and the community, as a soothing source to turn to. Our heart is to sit with you or someone you know, where it really hurts to hold the vulnerable burden together, assisting in freedom and relief. Lindsey and I have walked the valley of the shadow and approach the hearts of others with understanding and care.

After the last song, there is hope for the hurt within – Renewed Heart Counseling.

Client Testimonial:

It has been abundantly clear from the first session that I had with Ben that he is someone who is incredibly genuine and who cares very deeply about those that he counsels. He has a huge heart for people, especially those who are hurting or broken-hearted, and he truly wants to walk alongside people as they are going through difficult things and help them in carrying the burden. Ben knows the Bible unbelievably well and offers the option of having faith integrated as part of counseling. When it is integrated, he always has a passage (or a few!) to share that are applicable to what is being discussed.