What This Leader Gladly Spends $200 an Hour On

A few days ago, Jennie and I paid for a babysitter, got in the car and headed down GA-400 toward Atlanta.

It wasn’t a date night, because it was in the middle of the day.

It wasn’t a day time date or a shopping trip.

We went to counseling.

It’s something we started doing a couple of years ago, and it’s made a huge difference in our lives and in our marriage.

Our counselor is about 40 miles from us, but she’s awesome, so we make the drive.  

We pay the babysitter and the counselor out of our own pocket because we believe it’s important. Nobody makes us do it and we didn’t make the appointment because there was another crisis.  

Maybe it’s weird, but we want to go.

So it’s off to Atlanta for a double session.

I suppose there are closer options, but we’ve got a level of trust happening. I suppose there are cheaper options, but I’m not sure the best deal is the best thing.  

My personal opinion is you shouldn’t look for discount counseling or boob jobs. Seriously, that’s dang good advice right there, even if you read no further.

Counseling is a relatively new thing for me. We did a few sessions of pre-marital counseling before we got married. But those mandatory sessions didn’t adequately prepare us for much of anything.

Three years ago, I didn’t want the stigma of counseling anywhere near my carefully constructed persona.  

Professional counseling was for other people.  

If people in my church found out I was seeing a therapist, I’d lose credibility. And to be honest, I just didn’t want to deal with anything.  

It was easier for my introverted self to keep quiet about my issues and keep my friends at arms length. I tried to manage my sin, rather than deal with it.

Looking back, I wish I had gone to counseling five years earlier. Maybe ten.

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Michael Lukaszewski
After two decades as a student pastor, church planter, senior pastor and leadership consultant, Michael Lukaszewski now leads the team at Church Fuel, an organization dedicated to providing insanely practical resources to pastors. He and his wife have three children and live in the Atlanta area. Learn more at churchfuel.com.