I remember when I was 10. I ran around care-free and worried about absolutely nothing. The biggest problem at that age was having to go to bed early. (Imagine such torture!) Not once did a thought enter my mind about the logistics of planning or how to get from one place to another. I knew that I would be clothed, fed, and watered. I had forts to build, games to play, crayons to color with, and life to be lived. I looked at my parents—who were all-powerful, all-knowing, and mistake-free, of course—and knew that they would take care of everything. I knew that I was loved.
I knew that I had nothing to fear.
Then somewhere along the way, I came to the conclusion that I needed to start taking care of everything on my own. I needed to assume responsibility for my actions, become independent, and have my life together. (I also needed to look fabulous while doing it, thank you Hollywood.) I needed to play the part, make sure everyone was happy, get all A’s, and know what I was going to do with the rest of my life. (“But everyone else knows!”) I began to believe that I needed to “be good enough” in order to be loved and accepted. If I wasn’t “good enough,” then I was a failure. And failures don’t make it anywhere in life.
I basically needed to be perfect.
Where in the world does that “logic” come from? Unfortunately, this way of thinking comes from life—our experiences, our interactions, our family upbringings…and other subtle ways. Deception subtly creeps into our lives and tries to convince us that our worth comes not from who we are but from what we do. It slowly introduces ways of thinking that do not build us up, but aim to bring us down and to attack our very identity. And what is our identity? Sons and daughters of God. That’s it. Period. And I would like to propose that the source of these lies come from the devil himself, who is sneaky, conniving, and condemning. As scripture says, he is the “father of lies” and the “prince of darkness” (Jn 8:44).
But wait. Is the devil really alive and well and fighting to bring me down?
BUT, through our baptism, we have been sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and have become adopted sons and daughters of the Father. Saint Paul’s letter to the Galatians says, “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir” (4:6-7). We are sons and daughters of the Father who loves us. This means that the evil one has no power over us. As Saint Josemaría Escrivá said, “He did not say you would not be troubled, you would not be tempted, you would not be distressed, but He did say you would not be overcome.”
But so often these “lies” the devil throws at us just seem true. Why? Of course these twisted ways of thinking are going to seem true. He is the father of lies! He “poses as a counterfeit father.” But he is good at what he does. He distorts everything that comes from the mouth of the Father. But we must attune our eyes and ears and hearts and minds to our true Father in heaven, who loves us and desires are very good and speaks truth to us. He is the way and the truth and the life! (Jn 14:6). A wise classmate of mine once wrote, “The Son has overcome every deception that we have believed about the Father who has always (emphasis mine) loved us, who has always been present, who has always blessed us.”
During our lives as pastoral counselors, we will encounter men and women who are living their lives with “blurry vision,” so to speak. They align their lives and behavior according to things that just aren’t true. Dale and Juanita Ryan, authors of Recovery from Distorted Images of God, present multiple distortions of God and propose true views of God based in Scripture. Some of the distorted images of God include the God of Impossible Expectations, the Emotionally Distant God, the Disinterested God, the Abusive God, the Unreliable God, and the God Who Abandons. The authors counter these common distortions with Scriptural truths. One states, “God is my righteousness and He is gracious to me. His expectations have been met and I am declared approved. I am free to learn through success and failure.” Another is “God is my Counselor and Shepherd.” Such polar opposite titles but ones that offer comfort and peace.
Pastoral counselors must look into their own hearts and minds and realize which distortions they have bought into. We must take our distorted ways of thinking to Jesus who came to set us free. As Galatians 5:1 says, “For freedom Christ has set us free.” In order for us to minister to our clients and to bring them Christ’s freedom and healing, we have to let Him heal us first. As Catholic author and speaker Matt Fradd said, “You have to be the one who gets onto the mat.” We can only lower down our brothers and sisters through the roof for so long. There comes a time when we have to let God minister to us first. Scripture promises us that God will do this. God wants to deal with our mess. He wants to take on our crappy ways of thinking and our “pseudo identities” with which we have labeled ourselves for so long.
God loves us and has our best interest in mind. He wants us to have a ten-year old heart again that is perfectly content with building and playing and coloring. He wants us to be grounded in the truth that He is going to take care of everything. Everything. Saint Paul reminds us that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17). And freedom comes from living out our identity as sons and daughters of the Father. When we live as children of God, we do not lose our “grown up” identities. When we embrace childlike trust and surrender, God empowers us to go out and change the world. For He promises, “I will be with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20).
 Taken from Caty Tanaka, cited from “Unbound: A Model for Healing and Deliverance.”
 Same as above.