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For Better Or For Worse



Happy New Year! Have you picked your New Year's resolution yet?


It’s that time again, where the masses embrace small talk and post all over the internet what they are going to finally change in their lives. However, "resolution" is a funny word to me. Especially in the context we use it in. The dictionary definition is: "a firm decision to do something". The word also comes from the adjective “resolute,” meaning purposeful, determined, and unwavering. I’m not sure about you, but nearly all of the New Year's resolutions I hear about are certainly not firm or unwavering. So why is it that we desire change and promise ourselves, “this year will be different”, for it only to crumble so easily? My completely unfiltered, truth-bearing answer is that it is likely because people do not actually desire to change more than they want to stay the same.

 

Staying the same is comfortable. Your world may be in chaos but at least you are used to it,  right? Change requires trekking the unknown, consistent failure, discipline, and self-reflection. The idea of change always sounds promising until the challenges arrive, right on queue, as they always have and always will. This is why, more often than not, New Year’s resolutions fail. So, maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to call them resolutions. Well, how do you change then? This is a question I too often hear from an eager individual perked up on a leather couch in front of me.


Very recently I and a client of mine, whom I have seen for a long time and has undergone significant change, laughed as we reflected on the version of herself that once existed. She looked up at me, feeling proud of herself, and said “why does counseling work?”. The easy answer is: because God says it will work. Proverbs repeatedly mentions the benefits and strength of having counsel. Psalms constantly reminds us that our Lord is the greatest counselor there is. The harder answer is that there is not one specific answer to why counseling works. It works differently for different people depending on specific problems and goals. However, I can say for certain that in my office two things are required for change no matter the client or circumstance:


A true unwavering desire to change, and self-accountability.


People, more often than not, seek counseling to change long patterns of behavior and/or maladaptive thinking. This change is a process with specific intention behind it. It requires you to grow in your ability to look at yourself for who you truly are. Dr. Jon Thompson tells us that “change is actually instant. It’s the decision to change that takes forever.”  


Change doesn’t always occur so tediously. There are occasions in our lives when psychological change happens quickly. These are the types of life events that are universally accepted as life altering. Getting married, having children, and finding Jesus are certainly the most common to grace my ears. As a counselor who spends significant time each week fostering change, it was always curious why these specific things often bring instant change into our mindsets and decision making. I have friends who have turned their lives around when an unexpected child entered their lives; I have seen hardened men go soft standing in the aisle on their wedding day; and I have seen ex-criminals preach the gospel with discernment and passion like no other. So why? Why does it happen? More importantly, why does it seem to happen quickly? While I don’t have a long-winded study or data to cite, I can tell you what I believe and why these events changed my life. These events create instant change because each one prompts you to start living your life for someone else.  


Whether your decisions are for your spouse and your relationship, your kids and their futures, or Jesus and what He asks of you, your decision making is inevitably going to be different. When we don’t have others in our lives to greatly impact our decision making, our choices are extremely selfish by nature. Selfish decisions are often short-term and/or temporary. You would not make choices for Jesus with the intention of ignoring Him after a week, or worry about your children’s education without thinking about their future. Change is extremely attainable, but you have to know what, or more importantly, who you are changing for. 


Now, there is good news and bad news…


You. Will. Fail. Failure is not something we should fear but rather something we should embrace as stepping stones for the change we want. My wife and I are four months away from the birth of our daughter and first child. The majority of advice we get from seasoned parents is that we cannot prepare enough and we will mostly learn through experience and failures. Funny enough, this was the same advice I received before marriage. Surely, just like me, no one else knew what followed after accepting Jesus into their hearts. It is very clear that we accept these stages of our lives knowing that failure is coming and we welcome the challenge knowing that we will grow. But when self determined change requires failure we run for the hills. If you want your New Year’s resolution to be unwavering, you must be prepared and willing to fail. Start thinking about how your decisions are affecting others in your life and what the changes mean long-term. If your reason for the change is some minor selfish thought, I can almost guarantee it will not be resolute. However, if you prepare for the long road just like you did with getting married, having kids, or accepting the Lord, any amount of change is possible.


 


We are so excited to enter a new year, energized to see how God continues to use us to minister to families in 2024. We have said it before, but it always bears repeating – we could not do this important work without you! THANK YOU to everyone who walks alongside us to serve our community. Our sincere thanks to our December partners:


  • Thank you, Greater Lee’s Summit Healthcare Foundation, for your 2nd installment of the generous grant to expand our clinical services. We are so grateful to partner with you to offer hope to the greater Lee’s Summit community.

  • We are so grateful to Rick & Jan Britton for the end-of-year extra blessing. Your gifts bring joy to our team and create stability for our clients. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  • To all of you who have continued to partner with us through your year-end gifts, we say THANK YOU! – Stephen & Natalia Ray, Tom & Debbie Reed, Kyle & Tiffney Hoffman, Michael Hirons, Dr. Kirk Opdahl – Dental Arts, Joe & Shannon Reynolds, Brent & Peggy Heid, Joel Morris, Lee & Debbie Miller, Ryan & Keri Horn, and Roger Lantz. So grateful to partner with you to reach our community.

  • A special thank you to Zarda Bar-B-Que for all the ways you have partnered with us. We are honored to join arms with you to bring peace to hurting families.

  • Thank you, EPR Properties, for your generosity to our mission. We are so excited to put your donation to work to bring hope to children and families throughout the Kansas City area. We are so grateful for your continued support.

  • We are humbled to have a new monthly partner – Shelly Schuman. Thank you for your heart to offer affordable counseling to those who need it the most. We value your support.


To all of our faithful monthly and recurring supporters — THANK YOU from our Peace Partnership team! – Stone AMP SEO, Jeff & Lacey Cherry, Zane & Melissa Morerod, Mark McDonald, Jondy & Heather Britton, Matt & Kristy Newton, Clayton & Pam Wooldridge, Mark & Cathy McGaughey, Greg & Jennifer Spears, Roger & Jennifer Madsen, Brent & Amanda Miller, Mike & Jan McGraw, Midwest Accident Reconstruction Services, Stan & Deb Oglesby, Willie & Adia Valdes, Linda Hartman, Dave & Rosie Bourland, Clean Heart Maids, Rudy & Stacy Blahnik, Mike & Tracy Pruitt, Sandra King, Diane Smith, Dan & Gigi Rippee, Andre & Rose Fantasma, Kevin Quinn, Genesis Counseling, Scott & Lydia Hurley, Jon & Naomi Thompson, John Otradovec, Tamara Stroud, Rick & Kathy Daulton, Church at Coffee Creek, John & Vicki Hefner, Jenny Glasgow, Teddy Koehler, Summit Springs Church, Brandon & Vanessa Blanchard, and Rick & Jan Britton.


We appreciate each and every one of you!


Interested in hearing more about our mission? Contact our Director of Development, Naomi Thompson, at: 816.272.0653 or naomi@peacecounseling.org to find out how you can join our team of Partners. To make a donation through our website, please click on the link below.





CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS OF OUR 4TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS RAFFLE!


🥳 And a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who purchased raffle tickets and made donations during this event.


🎁 YOU gave over $21,000 to help us provide affordable and free counseling to the individuals, children, and families in our community. What a fun way to close out the year! 🎊


Thank you to Demi Raveill, Luaine Nolte, Jay & Ronnee Schweizer, Tom & Georgiann Manz, J E Hefner Co, Ron Green, Shelly Schuman, Lee & Debbie Miller, David & Holly Fox, Mark & Cathy McGaughey, Joel Morris, Lance & Mandi Pollard, Alan Ramirez, Lance & Laura Holden, Alicia Large, Brandon & Vanessa Blanchard, Sarah Jones, Denise Israel, Seth Reising, Richard Davenport, Greg & Charlotte Shireman, Matt Splichal, Susie Newsam, Keith Dorrian, Beckie Fite, Jacob Sanders, Angi Rigot, Patrick Curtis, GenPower Electric, Lisa Goble, Jonathan Bradshaw, Tim Blanchard, Torrence Leathers, Kelby Schroeder, Cyndi Eskina, Briana Collins, Aaron Parra, Stacey Dahlman, Jeremy Bowen, Lona Bremer, Genesis Counseling, Joe Morrow, Lisa Larson, Gwen Hefner, Daniel Oliva, Tracy & Michelle Sloan, Amy Marnett, and Viki Whistle for your Christmas Raffle ticket purchases!


 



Have you or someone you know been helped by Peace Partnership or Genesis Counseling? If so, would you please consider paying it forward to help another find healing along their journey? We are asking anyone who is not currently partnering with us financially to consider donating $100/year for the next 3 years to help make a difference in someone else’s life. Collectively, we can help SO MANY PEOPLE! Please consider a gift today. Call the office for help getting your gift set up or choose a recurring donation on our website here. We are so grateful for your help changing lives!


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