The concept behind Fieldstone Counseling’s name is perhaps the most important and meaningful part of our whole brand. It can be used as a way to illuminate the counseling process and inspire lasting resonance with our audience. Every other part of the brand identity is built upon this narrative.
Every healthy garden requires cultivated, nurturing soil—free from weeds and debris; tilled and softened for sowing. This labor makes the plow invaluable for anyone planting in fields. Imagine the steady rhythm of the back-and-forth journey the farmer makes—pass by pass, row by row, the travel of the plow sounding o a cadence of pebbles and roots emerging from the earth. There’s comfort in this predictable exercise and the promise of new growth in the coming season. For the farmer this routine becomes ritual. Within a pattern so reliable, envision the jarring effects of the plow’s unexpected and sudden stop! Sooner or later, the farmer is bound to encounter a stone so sizable that the plow will abruptly come to a halt—or perhaps more accurately, will encounter several of these stones. These fieldstones represent short term obstacles, without a doubt—and continuing on knowing the inevitability of more stones can be discouraging. But with the emergence and removal of these stones lies another opportunity: construction.
In most farmed places, these stones are the structural materials of homes, walls, and outbuildings. What a resource! Though no one could blame another for the discouragement and frustration of encountering obstructions in their work, the farmer can take these obstacles, save them, examine their quality, and use them to fortify a place of shelter and comfort.
The first parallel we can take from this analogy seems clear: the obstacles that we face in our short-term experience can be used by the Lord for our good and for His glory. In fact, this isn’t merely a possibility, it’s a promise! Scripture outlines that the Lord is at work in all things for the good of those who love Him.1
It’s easy for us to carry out the daily calling of our life without expectation of difficulty. We naturally fall into a regular cadence of the miscellany that our relationships, careers, marriages, etc. require—and when we encounter trials, they can too often seem to arise out of nothing. Our inclination is to dwell on the distress that these trials introduce. Of course the Lord sees this pain and is merciful to us—but we shouldn’t forget that He is at work in the moments of our pain. Our obstacles are His construction materials, though we might not be able to see the blueprints He is working from.
The second idea to address here is the nature of how fieldstones arise—they are overwhelmingly both frequently and naturally occurring. Think about it: there is absolutely nothing shameful or unusual about the farmer who encounters enough obstacles in his field to construct an entire building.
Our spiritual enemy would love for us to think a couple of things: firstly, that the amount of trials that we face indicates our low worth; secondly, that we’re probably the only person we know who’s experienced a specific obstacle in a certain way.
We are assured in scripture that trials are a guaranteed part of the human condition for every person.2 Should we then be ashamed that we’ve encountered a trial so moving that intentional counseling seems to be a wise decision? Of course not. The truth is that an overwhelming number of our Christian brothers and sisters will pursue counseling at one time or another, and that is very good.
Where fieldstones are both a constructive opportunity and a frequently appearing phenomenon, we know that they are also weighty—and thus not always a simple or easy thing to engage. At times they require the help of a trusted companion to move.
The hardships that we face are life-altering at their most simple and entirely debilitating at their most complex. Lest anyone feel that their unique experience will be brushed over in a rush to affirm the Lord’s glory in their trial, we want to ensure that Christ-like empathy is a central part of the counseling experience. Just as Jesus wept in compassion for His beleaguered friends,3 we will earnestly seek to come alongside hurting people to understand their hardship. 4 Together we can work through the burdens that seem too heavy to move alone.
Finally, we know that the things we build from fieldstones are long-lasting structures—it’s not atypical that the fieldstone home we encounter today is the product of a person’s labor from generations before. Every home requires upkeep, but the fieldstone building’s construction gives it durability.
In the same way, the Lord works in our hardships to give us enduring testimonies of His sovereignty in our times of trial—so that when those in our community experience trouble of their own, we can point them to His refuge. When the rain falls, and the flood comes, and the winds blow and beat on our house, it won’t fall—because our home was founded on the rock.5
↥1. See Romans 8:28 ESV—“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
↥2. In John 16, Jesus offers words of encouragement to His disciples, sharing in verse 33 (ESV): “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
↥3. The account of Jesus’ compassion for sisters Martha and Mary in John 11 is an archetypal model of wisdom paired with empathy; we aspire to emulate it in our own counsel.
↥4. Romans 12:15 ESV—“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
↥5. In Matthew 16:24–25 ESV Jesus teaches about the wise builder: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”