How Do I Feel About Myself?
“I am deeply lonely… I feel empty inside.” “I can’t be alone.” “I’m passive, drifting; I can’t even make ‘simple’ decisions.” “I’m angry.” “I’m hard-hearted and detached.” “My life is driven by a deep sense of shame.” “I’m struggling in my relationship with God.” “I desire to experience the peace that is supposed to pass all understanding.” “I would like to learn to seek others out rather than choose to isolate.” I would like to learn to relate to God as a loving Father.” “I would like to live out of the truth of who God says I am, rather than what I may believe about myself.” “What does it really mean to ‘love others as I love myself?’”
How Are My Relationships with Others?
“I fear relating honestly to others.” “I’m co-dependent… I live my life through others.” “I refuse to connect emotionally with others.” “I just can’t keep appropriate boundaries.” “I find it hard to be known and live behind a mask.” “I’m the victim of abusive relationships.” “I feel anger or hatred towards women or men.” “I have a fear of commitment.” “I want to connect with others from a place of relational health.” “I want to learn to say, ‘No.’” “Authenticity is a deep desire of mine, but it seems beyond my reach.” “I would like to learn to initiate relationships with others from a place a strength, rather than weakness.” “I want to find relational wholeness in my relationship with God so that I have something to offer others.”
How Are My Sexual Relationships?
“I act promiscuously.” “I use pornography.” “I can’t keep my own sexual boundaries with others.” “I’m a victim of abusive relationships.” “I read erotic literature and novels.” “I use or engage in prostitution.” “I have self-identified, unwanted, same sex attraction (unwanted homosexual or lesbian feelings).” “I’m married to or in a relationship with someone dealing with these sexual issues.” “I long to experience sexual intimacy as God intended.” “How can I learn to love again after having trust broken?” “I want to forgive my loved one.”
To become a voice of hope and a place of restoration for those in sexual and relational conflict throughout every community within Central Pennsylvania.
- We are a nonprofit counseling organization that provides Christ-centered education and support to individuals and families who struggle with or are impacted by sexual brokenness.
- We are an interdenominational ministry which offers counseling and support services to those overcoming sexual conflicts such as sexual compulsivity, sexual addiction, sexual abuse, and sexual identity issues, such as homosexuality.
- We strive to be a help to those who struggle with sexual conflicts, to help them to manage their sexuality to the glory of God through abstinence or through developing the ability to enter into and maintain an intimate, lifelong, monogamous, heterosexual marriage.
- We help participants grow in their ability to be relationally appropriate with members of the same, as well as the opposite, sex.
- We believe our purpose is to be a model of the practical experience of the grace of God to and within the Christian community.
To bring hope and restoration to individuals and families walking through sexual and relational conflicts by providing Christ-centered counseling, education, and support.
Support Day Seven Ministries
Day Seven Ministries is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that is supported by individuals, churches, and businesses throughout the area.
“There remains then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also rest from their own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” — Hebrews 4:9-11 (TNIV)
When Enos Daniel Martin, M.D., founded Day Seven Ministries over 20 years ago, he was looking for a name that communicated the need to “rest from our fruitless efforts to save ourselves” from the sins with which we struggle. The name Day Seven reflects the example of our Savior who rested on the seventh day of Creation. And, that is what we have been attempting to do for the past 20 years – help people find rest from their sexual and relational struggles.
Day Seven Ministries started when Dr. Martin was approached by Earl Miller, the leader of a self-help group in Allentown. Miller was looking for a location to hold a group in Lancaster. He was concerned for the people in the area who struggled with sexual issues but had no option but to drive to Allentown or Baltimore. Dr. Martin says, “I processed this with the ministers of my district, the Elizabethtown District. We decided to go beyond his request and establish an interdenominational Board to give direction to the ministry. This we subsequently did. We employed Earl as our first director.”
Originally located in Elizabethtown, PA, Day Seven Ministries now has its main office in Lancaster and branch offices in Camp Hill and Harrisburg with plans to open an additional branch in the Morgantown/Reading area in the near future. Recovery groups also operate throughout South-Central PA.
Bill began his current position as Executive Director with Day Seven Ministries in August of 2013. Before serving with us, Bill spent 22 years in pastoral ministry in California, Kentucky and New York. He graduated from Houghton College followed by Asbury Theological Seminary and later earned his spiritual direction credential from the Epiphany Institute in Pittsburgh. His current responsibilities at Day Seven include building relationships with pastors and community agencies, providing seminars for churches and community groups, and leadership and administrative responsibilities. He has a passion for helping others live up to their full calling and potential and loves to see people’s inner inspiration become real and concrete. Bill and his wife, Maria, have four children.
Dan is the Director of Counseling and Education. Prior to this Dan has served as Executive Director and previous to that Community Relations Director. Before serving with Day Seven Ministries, Dan spent 12 years in pastoral ministry with over eight of those years in ministry to youth and their families.Dan first became involved with Day Seven Ministries as a recovery group leader and completed his practicum and internship toward the completion of a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Counseling at Lancaster Bible College’s Graduate School. In addition to his studies at LBC, Dan completed classes towards a Masters of Divinity Degree at Asbury Theological Seminary. Dan and his wife, Heather, have three children, live in York Haven and attend Wyndamere Heights Evangelical Congregational Church.
Darren joined Day Seven Ministries in September 2004, after graduating from Lancaster Bible College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Life Ministry and a minor in counseling. Darren has completed his master’s degree in mental health counseling with Regions University, Montgomery, AL. With Day Seven, Darren counsels with men who struggle with sexual brokenness in a number of areas. He spent 23 years in the Air Force and is employed as a program manager at the Navy Depot in Mechanicsburg. He serves in a leadership position with the Camp Hill Church of Christ, Camp Hill, where he and his wife, Jennifer, attend. The Crowdens have a married daughter and twin grandsons.
Craig is a chaplain with Willow Valley Retirement Communities, and works part-time for Day Seven Ministries as an intake counselor. He is also the author of a memoir, “A Walk With God to Remember,” about his first wife, who died of leukemia. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, he has worked in campus ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and in church ministry with an Evangelical Free congregation. He is married to Diane and has two daughters adopted from China.
Gary L. Lord
Gary is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified school psychologist. He works part-time with Day Seven Ministries and full-time as a school psychologist for Reading School District. He is an active member of Lancaster Evangelical Free Church. His focus in counseling is, and has been for 25 years, relationships and problems with intimacy and anything that prevents individuals and couples from achieving healthy, effective, faithful, and fulfilling lives. In addition to his clinical work, Gary has done executive coaching and consulting with businesses and organizations, and he has taught and done research at universities and colleges. He has also taught and served in various leadership positions in the church. Gary and his wife, Temmy, live in Leola. Their two married children live in Seattle, Gary’s home state.
Bill has been a part-time therapist at Day Seven Ministries since 2003. He works with individuals dealing with sexual addiction, depression, and anxiety-related problems including obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. His particular area of interest involves helping trauma survivors rediscover and strengthen their sense of self. Bill received his Bachelor of Science degree in Bible and Professional Counseling in 2003 from Lancaster Bible College and his Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology in 2007 from Millersville University. He is a member of the American Counseling Association and attends Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lancaster. Bill and his wife, Carry, live in Lancaster with their two daughters.
Michael began his second stint serving Day Seven Ministries as a counselor in January, 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from the University of Arkansas and a Master’s of Science in Clinical Psychology from Millersville University. He is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, the American Counseling Association, and the Pennsylvania Psychology Association. He, his wife, and their two sons attend Cross Roads Brethren in Christ Church in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. He enjoys reading, playing basketball with his sons and hiking the Rocky Mountains. He is passionate about helping people to resolve painful pasts, relational difficulties, emotional dysfunction, and addictive ruts.
Shelby is studying Mental Health Counseling (master’s program) at Lancaster Bible College. She is currently working through her internship here at Day Seven Ministries. Upon graduation in 2014, she desires to pursue licensure and, one day, open a women’s center that offers counseling, parenting, career, and nutritional training, clothing, food, etc. Although Shelby and her husband Steve are originally from Oregon, they have lived in Pennsylvania for a little over 3 years with their two dogs. They both enjoy serving together as youth leaders at GraceLife Church in Annville.
Jessica received her B.A. in Psychology from Messiah College and Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Lancaster Bible College Graduate School. Before Day Seven, she was a therapist at New Life Counseling Services where she worked with women, children, and couples. Her area of focus includes working with individuals with issues such as sexual abuse history, self-injury, depression, anxiety, relational issues & identity issues. She has spoken at seminars on identity has conducted parenting seminars on talking to children about sex. Jessica has been actively involved in church-based ministries including marriage groups, womens groups, and children and youth ministries for over 10 years and is a member of the American Association for Christian Counselors. Jessica is married and has 3 young children.
Rebecca is a licensed social worker who received a Bachelors degree in psychology from Dallas Baptist University and a Masters in social work from Millersville University. She is a Lancaster county native and lives with her husband and 8-year old daughter in the Manheim area. As a life-long resident, she is interested in addressing the strengths and growth opportunities inherent to Lancaster county culture within the therapeutic process. Rebecca is passionate about promoting the integration of spiritual and emotional health, believing that one is not complete without the other. This focus translates into many areas including individual wellness, sexual health, relational and marital health, and a variety of mental health issues. She enthusiastically supports the mission of Day Seven in promoting heart wellness first, as it is “the wellspring of life”.
Renee is a a mother and grandmother to a daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren. She is also an animal lover, enjoy the outdoors, summer and winter sports and loves music. Renee’s undergraduate degrees in chemistry and biology equipped her with a pre-med background, and later she completed my first masters degree in Business Management (MBA). In her career as an emergency manager, she learned she was able to diffuse various crisis situations. She translated these skills of conflict resolution into her passion to assist people who are in crisis psychologically and emotionally. She started her counseling career ten years ago when she established a non-profit organization that focuses on the reduction of stressors in the lives of adults and youth. Renee completed a master’s degree in Marketplace Chaplaincy with a concentration in Christian Counseling. She also has additional graduate hours in Professional Psychology; and has completed three units in Clinical Pastoral Education, which will be used towards Board Certification in Chaplaincy. Renee uses an eclectic style—a Rogerian style of listening combined with Reality and Cognitive Behavioral therapeutic approaches. Other therapies are sometimes incorporated as needed for a person’s healing journey. A second passion she is pursuing is the establishment of transitional housing and counseling for women coming out of human trafficking.
Zach grew up about an hour from Lancaster and like many others his age, was unsure what direction to go after high school. Although he didn’t have a strong pull to a particular field of study, he felt that Lancaster Bible college was a good fit to continue his education. Through various experiences and opportunities, he felt that the counseling field was where he needed to be and serve. Zach interned with Day Seven for three years and finished graduate school in 2012, when he officially came on staff as a counselor. His passion for helping and hearing others has led him to enjoy what he does, in speaking truth and showing grace through individual counseling and recovery groups.
Day Seven Ministries offers professional, confidential, Christian counseling to individuals, couples, adolescents, and families affected by sexual and relational brokenness issues. Each counselor at Day Seven Ministries is a committed Christian who is equipped to integrate the Christian faith with psychotherapy techniques. We approach counseling from a solid Biblical perspective, because we believe that ultimate healing and true freedom comes through an active, growing relationship with Jesus Christ, and that this relationship affects change in all areas of life.
Although each counselor has a slightly different approach to the counseling process, our idea or theory can be described as:
- Biblically based and Christ-centered
- Family Systems
- Modified 12-step emphasis and integration recovery model approach
Our professional Christian counselors will address any issue related to sexuality, including sexual addiction, pornography, sexual abuse, homosexuality, same-sex attraction, gender confusion, emotionally dependent relationships, promiscuous sexual relationships, marital unfaithfulness and various other sexual relationships. We also provide counseling for individuals who have a sexually addicted spouse and family members who have a loved one who struggles with a sexual issue.
We counsel men, women, couples, families, and adolescents over age 14.
We believe that healing is facilitated through honesty within the context of safe relationships.
Recovery Groups at Day Seven Ministries offer a place where people can talk about their struggles,
find support, receive accountability, and be placed in contact with resources to information
that will aid them in their recovery.
Day Seven Ministries groups meet weekly and are often led by men and women who were once participants. Each group is slightly different; however, all groups focus on healing from
sexual brokenness issues. Listed below are the types of groups offered:
- Men’s Recovery – for men who struggle with sexual addiction, same sex attraction or other sexual and relational issues.
- Women’s Recovery – for women who struggle with sexual addiction, same sex attraction or other sexual and relational issues.
- Wives’ Recovery – for women whose spouses struggle with sexual brokenness issues.
Day Seven Ministries’ recovery groups operate on a quarterly basis and require an individual commitment
to that time frame. However, new participants are welcome at any time. An intake appointment is
necessary for group participation. This appointment allows us to match a new participant to
the appropriate group, discuss group guidelines and confidentiality, and protect the
safety of all group members.
Groups are currently available in Camp Hill, Harrisburg, Lancaster, and Mountville.
For more information or to schedule an Intake in preparation for participating in a Recovery Group,
call the Day Seven Ministries office at (717) 735-0690 or toll-free at (866) 301-3297.
Seminars & Workshops
Day Seven Ministries staff and counselors are available for a variety of speaking engagements that can be customized to your organization’s specific needs. Seminars and workshops cover
a variety of topics relating to sexual brokenness and healing. In the past, we have presented
seminars or workshops for churches, women’s and men’s Bible studies, youth groups, pregnancy
centers, group homes, camps, colleges, and nonprofit organizations.
Conference and Workshop Topics include but are not limited to:
“What is Day Seven all About and Why Do We Exist?”
This is a general talk in which the reality of sexual brokenness is shared along with Day Seven Ministries’
vision to be a voice of hope and a place of restoration for those in sexual and relational conflict
throughout each and every community within Central PA.
“Can’t We All Just Get Along?”
If we are all supposed to be Christians, why is there conflict within the body? What does it mean to truly
live together in community, not just skip out when the going gets rough? This workshop will explore
what the Bible says about how to handle conflict with our brothers and sisters in Christ
and what it teaches us about ourselves.
“Ministering Redemptively With Hope to People Who Struggle With Same Sex Attraction.”
In our culture, people struggling with SSA are often presented with two options: learn to embrace the
attraction or learn to live with condemnation. But, there is another way. The church is to be the
hands and feet of Jesus ministering to people in their brokenness. Through the church, the
hope of Christ and His redemptive power may be extended to those who feel hopeless and
powerless over their attraction.
“Honest Talks About Sex”
This series of interactive workshops is designed to help people talk openly about sex and sexuality
and its place in today’s culture. These workshops cover a variety of topics including a biblical
overview of sexuality, perspectives on gender and sexuality, cultural messages about sex,
and why God created sex. It also addresses issues such as homosexuality,
exual addiction, and masturbation.
“What Does The Bible Say About That?”
The Bible has a lot to say about sexuality, homosexuality, gender, and God’s design for us. This
workshop explores those truths and discusses them in the context of today’s culture and
the messages being’ portrayed through the media.
“Sexual Addiction: Bondage to Counterfeit Intimacy”
Through this seminar the belief that sex is the primary means through which intimacy is found is
countered with the reality that sexual behaviors may lead to addiction which leaves a person
unable to find true intimacy with another. An overview is also provided on the nature of
sexual addiction as well as the belief system of the sexual addict. The seminar concludes
with suggestions on how to respond to the sexually addicted.
“Emotionally Dependent Relationships and Same Sex Attraction in Women”
Women thrive on relationships, but what happens when those relationships go awry? This workshop
addresses the roots and causes of emotionally dependent relationships and same-sex attraction.
It also discusses differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships and how to guard
friendships from becoming unhealthy.
Dating & Marriage
“How To Turbo Boost Your Marriage”
A number of ways are shared to accelerate a marriage forward:
- Construct a dream
- Commitment to each other
- Enhancing or rediscovering chemistry
- Making conflict work for growth
“The Mystery of Marital Oneness”
This talk is about the sexual relationship God created for a man and woman to experience
in the context of marriage.
“Purposeful Dating in a Non-committal World”
This workshop explores healthy aspects of relationships, specifically within the context of dating.
Main points include true intimacy, conflict, and community.
“A Father’s Impact on His Son’s Masculinity”
“My daddy is bigger than your daddy!”
“Oh, yeah? Well, my daddy is stronger than your daddy!” When observing a young boy imitating the way
his dad walks or talks, it quickly becomes evident that fathers leave a powerful imprint on their sons.
This talk examines a child’s perception of his father and how this perception impacts who he desires
to be one day. In addition to this, we will examine what it means to be in the image of daddy and
why a son wants to be like him more than anything else.
“Parenting in a Porn-is-the-Norm Culture”
What is a parent to do when pornographic images are everywhere? The purpose of this seminar is to share
the reality of the culture they are parenting their children in as well as to present ideas as to
how parents can engage their children in conversations that will help them to navigate this
cultural minefield without resorting to a bunker mentality.
“What’s Facing the Teenager That’s Facing You?”
IPods, Facebook, cyber bullying, sexual norms, media and cultural influences…Do you know what your teen
is up against? Designed for parents and teenagers alike, this workshop gives parents a glimpse into
what today’s teenagers are facing, how to open conversations about those issues, and how to stay
culturally savvy in an ever-changing pop culture world.
Relationships & Identity
“Boundaries in Relationships”
Learn how, when, and why it is sometimes necessary to set boundaries in relationships. Discover
what a boundary is and how it can be used to guard and protect yourself and the relationships
that are important in your life.
“The Anatomy of a Healthy Relationship”
Learn the key ingredients for a healthy relationship, including:
- Intentionality and commitment
- Setting and respecting boundaries
- Building safety, trust, and intimacy
- Conflict resolution
- Freedom to dream
What is it? Who designs it? Why do you need it? How do you get it?
A definition and discussion on the basics of accountability relationships, God’s plan for us in
accountability relationships, and the process of putting accountability as a practical
discipline into our lives will all be presented in this workshop.
“What Am I Worth?”
Exploring How and Where We Gain Our Value
Many times we try to find our value and worth in all of the wrong places instead of looking to
our Creator. Learn what it means to be known in Christ and find our significance in Him.
To schedule a speaking engagement or for more information, call the Day Seven Ministries
office at (717) 735-0690.
“Can We Drop the ‘Buts’?”
Mention the word “grace” in a group of Christians and you are more than likely to receive one-of-two responses. One may be of profound gratitude with the realization there is nothing we do to earn or deserve to enter in to a relationship with God. The other response may say something similar and add, somewhere along the way, listen for it… “but.” Tullian Tchividjian in his book, “One Way Love,” writes the following:
Christians often speak about grace with a thousand qualifications. They add all sorts of buts and brakes. Listen for them! Our greatest concern, it seems, is that people will take advantage of grace and use it as a justification to live licentiously. Sadly, while attacks on morality typically come from outside the church, attacks on grace come from inside the church. The reason is somewhere along the way, we’ve come to believe that this whole enterprise is about behavior modification, and grace just doesn’t possess the teeth to scare us into changing, so we end up hearing more about what grace isn’t than we do about what grace is (p. 129).
In the same chapter where this quote is drawn from Tchividjian writes about Jesus’ encounter with Zaccheus, the tax collector everyone loved to hate. When Jesus went to Zaccheus’ home all the people grumbled and said, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner” (Luke 19:7). The people were jacked up. This was a scandal. Jesus chose, of all people, the most despised man in the city. And, by doing so, Jesus became the “object of scorn and ridicule himself” (p. 130).
Back in the day there was no social media. One can only imagine the posts and Tweets people would have written if there was. Grumbling. Anger. Ridicule. Judgment. And, then there is Jesus. When the sinners of his day encountered him they were transformed. The transformation occurred because they encountered grace not because they changed their behavior.
Do you know how deeply this “doctrine” of “grace-but” is ingrained in me? It is so ingrained I am questioning what I just wrote – and not what I just wrote but the ramifications! Grace is messy! When we embrace grace we lose the ability to draw these nicely delineated lines of who is in and who is out – apart from the fact it is absolutely ludicrous to even consider we could draw such lines.
People have been fired up lately over World Vision, “Noah,” “God is Not Dead,” and a host of other matters in which we seem to feel the need to draw lines in the sand. Christians upset because World Vision changed the policy regarding marriages…and then changed it back. Christians upset because “Noah” wasn’t biblical enough and Christians upset because “God is Not Dead” played on charicatures of atheists that are not accurate or the poor quality of Christian “entertainment.”
How might our posts and Tweets and face-to-face discussions (yes, rumor has it people still talk face-to-face) be different if we extended grace to one another? How might our heart towards those we do not agree with change if we could see them as broken and wounded people who are in desperate need of an encounter with God’s grace through the person of Jesus Christ – maybe for the first time or possibly a deeper awareness of what God’s grace is all about.
But (and here is a but worth keeping), maybe this starts with me…and with you. Maybe we all need to come to a greater recognition of the brokenness and wounds in our own lives resulting from sins we have committed and sins committed against us. Jesus’ encounters with the Samaritan woman at the well, the woman caught in the act of adultery, and Zaccheus are all pictures of people who were well-aware of their brokenness and sin. When they encountered, and experienced God’s grace they were transformed. And, we know from scripture the Samaritan woman and Zaccheus became conduits of the grace they had received and shared this grace with others.
So, what would it be like, before I posted or Tweeted, what would it be like before you posted or Tweeted, to pause and remember we are all broken and wounded people in desperate need of God’s grace and the people we are communicating with are also broken and wounded and in desperate need of God’s grace? It might possibly change our hearts, our minds, and what we write.
Clear the Clutter
The Day Seven Ministries office in Lancaster has recently been undergoing some renovations. At the end of what has been, for me, a stretch of two very full weeks where I have exceeded my threshold of activity, I was worn out. On this one particular day Bill Malay, the Executive Director of Day Seven Ministries, apologized for the clutter in the office. Hearing this I walked out of my office and said, “This kind of clutter, I can deal with. The clutter in here (pointing to my head) is what I would really like to get rid of. If only there were a way to take a Shop-Vac hose and stick over one of my ears and suck the clutter out!”
Can you relate to this? Have you had days, weeks, and maybe even months like this where you just wanted to be free from the clutter in your mind? At a recent Sunday morning worship service I heard a pastor talk about having “mind trash.” I thought, “That is a perfect way to describe it as well.” Mind trash or clutter isn’t necessarily about entertaining sinful thoughts, though it could be. The clutter in my mind is most often a result of a full calendar with little down time. (Yes, I am an introvert and I need down time to be refreshed and re-energized.)
Today, I am writing from a very different place. While there is still some clutter in my mind, it is nothing like it was 72 hours ago. Why? What made the difference? As I reflect back on the hours between Friday and Monday I recognize several things that made all the difference in the world. One had to do with who I chose to spend time with. My wife, Heather, has had a number of very intense weeks with her work as well. But this weekend we were able to share time together, whether it was having supper at Chick-Fil-A, putting away groceries, sitting together on the couch watching a little TV, or lacing up our running shoes to go for a run.
Another difference-making choice was to exercise. We are both currently training for a running event in Pittsburgh. Heather is running the half-marathon and I will be running the full marathon. While I am still feeling the effects in my legs from runs on Saturday and Sunday, I am feeling less-cluttered and am experiencing greater clarity in my mind and spirit.
Third, and ultimately most importantly, was our time of worship on Sunday. We gathered with others to praise God and worship Him in the midst of whatever our particular circumstances were at the time. As one of the pastors of the church led us into the time of worship through music and singing he reminded us that whatever we were going through, worship is an appropriate response, even when it may not make sense.
What clutter do you experience? What “mind trash” needs to be taken out? While you may not choose what I have chosen to clear the clutter, please know it can be done and this is not the way God has intended for us to live. He will, if we ask Him, work with us to clear the clutter.
The Return of Spring
I wanted to share this awesome section from John Eldredge’s book “Desire: The Journey We Must Take To Find The Life God Offers”
Winter tarries long at six thousand feet. Here in the Rocky Mountains, spring comes late and fitfully. We had snow again last week-the second week in May. I’ve come to accept that spring here is really a wrestling match between winter and summer. It makes for a long time of waiting. You see, the flowers are pretty much gone in September. The first of October, the aspens start turning gold and drop their leaves in a week or two. Come November, all is gray. Initially, I don’t mind. The coming of winter has its joys, and there are Thanksgiving and Christmastime to look forward to.
But after the new year, things begin to drag on. Through February and then March, the earth remains lifeless. The whole world lies shadowed in brown and gray tones, like an old photograph. Winter’s novelty is long past, and by April we are longing for some sign of life-some color, some hope. It’s too long.
And then, just this afternoon, I rounded the corner into our neighborhood, and suddenly, the world was green again. What had been rock and twig and dead mulch was a rich oriental carpet of green. I was shocked, stunned. How did it happen? As if in disbelief, I got out of my car and began to walk through the woods, touching every leaf. The birds are back as well, waking us in the morning with their glad songs. It happened suddenly. In the twinkling of an eye.
My surprise is telling. It seems natural to long for spring; it is another thing to be completely stunned by its return. I am truly and genuinely surprised, as if my reaction were, Really? What are you doing here? And then I realized, I thought I’d never see you again. I think in some deep place inside, I had accepted the fact that winter is what is really true . . . And so I am shocked by the return of spring. And I wonder, Can the same thing happen for my soul?
(Desire , 108-9)
How true this is! This is why part of our vision is to be “a voice of hope” – reminding people that the winter they are living with will not last forever, and that new life will come again when they turn to God in openness and honesty.
What Happens First?
Contact our office for more information or to schedule an appointment at 717.735.0690 or 866.301.DAY7, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We charge modest fees for our services and no one will be turned away due to an inability to pay. Your initial contact with Day Seven does not obligate you to our counseling services.
- 717.735.0690 or (Toll Free) 866.301.DAY7
- 802 Olde Hickory Road Lancaster, PA 17601
- 1213 Old Slate Hill Rd, Camp Hill PA 17011
Bethany Church of the Nazarene
1605 Parkway West Harrisburg, PA 17112