I’ve spent the better part of the last 14 years in Christian Counseling. It is one of the greatest and deepest ways God has grown me. And much of that growth has come from a good deal of demolition. 

I have had four different Counselors over the years as well as a two Spiritual Mentors. Each of them has been used by God in very specific ways, in very unique seasons to shape and transform me into who I am today. While each of them are very different in their approach, they all share this in common – They are Masters of Demolition! The growth that has come…has come from destruction of one form or another. They each have masterfully managed to help me tear down faulty foundations, unnecessary additions, and lovingly partner with God to help rebuild me in profound ways.

The view from my current Counselors office is incredibly apropos – it’s a Skyscraper on Michigan Ave that is being torn down to the dirt! Gazing out his window at this process has lead me to reflect on Three Things that I have Learned about Counseling from watching Demolition.

1) Every building has issues.

Every building, even the newest and most beautiful buildings have issues inside. Faulty plumbing, hastily constructed walls, peeling paint and falling bricks. The same is true of you. This is just an inescapable truth. No matter how well put together you think you are, no matter how “good’ you look on the outside…there are always issues that need attending. This is as true of you as it is every other person you make eye contact with today. While the Blueprint of our Soul is perfectly designed by God, our bodies exist in a broken world. We are exposed to the elements of a world ravaged by sin. The sooner you can accept and identify your brokenness, the sooner your healing and renovation can begin.

2) Tearing Down is a part of Building Up.

The issue with the structural issues of my life is simply that…they are MY ISSUES. I’ve spent a lifetime with them. In many cases, I’ve built my life on and around them. They have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. And I simply cannot be objective about them. If I could…they wouldn’t be my issues. One of the most important steps in my transformation, and easily the scariest, is accepting that there are things that need to be torn down. That I need to let go of many of the things that got me this far. That it’s gonna get a lot messier before it gets better. That tearing down is a part of building up. And that God is building a new foundation for my life, fully rooted in Him.

3) The Dust never settles.

For my first couple of years of counseling I genuinely believed that the goal was to be fully fixed. Yes, I’ve got issues, but after a couple of sessions or a couple of months or a couple of years…I won’t! Maybe you’ve thought the same. But for anyone who’s ever owned a house…and lived in it for more than a couple of years, you know that there’s ALWAYS something to be worked on. The same is true of you and me. While I have genuinely grown and seen God do great healing in my life through counseling…I have yet to “arrive”. The deeper I go, the more I find. This can seem incredibly discouraging at first, but it’s actually a gift. The greater the awareness and acceptance of my brokenness, the greater dependence can grow in my life. The goal of this life with God is not “Arriving” but rather “Becoming” – becoming ALL of who God has created me to be! The dust never settles in this life. Heaven is the only “Dust Free” environment I will ever be a part of. So until then, I celebrate transformation and embrace the mess that comes with it.

These are just a few (three to be exact) of the things I’ve learned about Counseling from watching Demolition out my my counselors window. I’d love to hear about your journey? What have you learned? Is counseling a part of your Spiritual Transformation? How is God growing you up by lovingly tearing down?

  • This is awesome… I love counseling, I really really do.. The more I dig into with the Lord and my Christian counselors or spiritual mentors the more I get free from. I wish I could bottle it up and explain it to everyone, but I can’t.. I wish everyone went to counseling, it is SUCH a gift.. Meeting Jesus at 31, He had to begin to tear down lies, beliefs, fears, identity issues, self hatred, idols, I mean I could go one FOR EVA with all the “problems” that seemed to haunt me. He used everything from counselors, to deliverance ministries, to healing prayer, it was all a piece of the puzzle to becoming whole, not perfect, but whole IN HIm and for accepting His love and His identity of me. I was broken in a MILLION pieces and a MILLION places, God slowly took a bulldozer to my heart and began demolition and reconstruction. He is not done, as you mentioned probably never will be all the way done, but I will celebrate the freedom I have found and continue to be expectant of the freedom to come. I praise Him in advance for what He will do to free me from the bondage (and straight up old fashion SIN) that SO entangled me all my life. WHOA… it has been a lot more than I ever imagined.. Thanks for you article.. PS. I just moved to LA and would LOVE to find a counselor here, if you know of any, let me know.. I really want Dr. Henry Cloud to be my therapist, but I am guessing he is a little pricey. 🙂

    • Lindsay, GREAT to hear from you. It was fun meeting at Re:Write! Thanks for your honesty and commitment to the process of Transformation.
      And I love that you’re not “done” and that God is NEVER done with you!
      And welcome to L.A.!
      I too would love to have Dr. Cloud as my personal counselor. Until that day, I’ll spend $12.99 a session…on each of his books!

  • Nicole says:

    i started counseling in grad school when i started having flashbacks of childhood trauma in the middle of my statistics classes – noooo bueno!! But between counseling with a youth pastor’s wife and attending 722 with you and your wife weekly (hey ya’ll!!) I became a believer of the power of counseling. Since then i’ve had 3 other counselors, but am currently in a phase where all i feel is pain and it seems it will NEVER get better/easier. Personally, I’m tired of hurting and crying. A friend has tried to reassure me that at least this pain is a healing pain, but it all feels so similar. I can only hope and pray one day that i can arrive at the place where I am grateful for the demolition process and see it ALL as something made to work for my good. Please pray for me as I am not there….at all, lol


    btw – this piece is one of the most inspiring things i’ve read in a very long time. Thank you.

    • Nicole,
      Thanks for you honesty and authenticity.
      I hear ya. There are seasons when the pain seems like it will never end.
      There’s nothing I can say here to make it all go away…and I don’t even think that’s what you’re soul would most need, even if I could.
      I just taught about this last weekend at Soul City.
      Hope THIS is encouraging to you: http://www.jarrettstevens.com/real-talk-if-god-is-good-why-do-bad-things-happen/

      • Nicole says:

        Thank you so much for directing me to that message. I watched that and another & they have really helped to add perspective & shift my focus from the pain & problems to what God could possibly be doing during this time. I’ve told my friends recently, if you care, just point me to Jesus. Thank you Jarrett for pointing back to Jesus he Author & Finisher of my faith.

  • Rachel H. says:

    Ugh….Jarrett…The Dust Never Settles! I think that’s been one of the hardest realizations I’ve come to over the last year in counseling. “I’ve been doing this for 5 years. Can’t I be done now?” But you’re right – the deeper the awareness, the deeper the dependence, and I’m finding that truly is a gift. Thanks for re-sharing this! I missed it the first time!

    • So proud of you for doing the work!
      I can already see the fruit in your life.

  • Jason says:

    You said it Jarrett. Thanks for sharing! #DustNeverSettles

    • No doubt.
      Praying that the #DustNeverSettles on our lives and our growth!

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