Counselor, speaker, and author, Jan Meyers is on the counseling team for Wounded Heart ministries. The purpose of the ministry is to provide counsel, encouragement, support, and referral. It exists for the pastor and ministry staff members who may have been forced to resign, or have been fired from the pastorate or ministry staff position.
As a licensed professional counselor, Jan addresses women's lives through the journey of their heart and she specializes in dealing with issues of sexual abuse, gender struggles, and marriage. She has worked with Barnabas Center in Charlotte, North Carolina and is also closely aligned with Ransomed Heart ministries, located in Colorado Springs.
Jan received her B.A. in psychology from Biola University and her M.A. in counseling from Colorado Christian University. She completed her professional internship under the supervision of Dr. Larry Crabb and Dr. Dan Allender and is the author of The Allure of Hope: God’s Pursuit of a Woman’s Heart and Listening to Love: Responding to the Startling Voice of God. Her work has also been published in The Mars Hill Review.
Having served previously in southern Africa, Jan is a consultant for several mission agencies and has been involved in training for cross-cultural living and ministry. She conducts “Allure of Hope” seminars for women around the US and overseas.
Jan Meyers “Unplugged”
During a ministry project with Jan, our team spent some time talking to her about hope, awakening the heart, and suffering. You can see more of Jan in one of the video resources on the right.
You focus on the heart and hope a lot in your book, why do we as a society struggle with the issue of having an open heart?
Jan Meyers: When I was growing up and felt this incredible whimsical freedom…I could climb trees and see for hundreds of miles and felt the wind in the canyons…literally summoning my heart, constantly stirring me. I experienced that first jolt, when my mom landed in the hospital with a serious manic depressive episode, at the time they didn’t know what it was…it’s those moments when the interruption comes and the safety of having an open heart is called into question. It happens for all of us…whenever that interruption comes we start to think it’s not safe to have an open heart any longer…in our culture we like to talk about that as being the point when we lose hope.
What do you think has caused our society to become bored?
Jan Meyers: We’ve so crowded our lives with all this stimulus that our hearts don’t have a chance to just rise up and find us in our dreaming. We would rather be bored than dream. Why? Because if we start to dream we have to hope. If we start to hope, then suddenly we have to contend with the God who has in his economy and in his wisdom and in his ways allowed us to be in the alleyway for now. That brings all kinds of questions with it.
How do you encourage people to keep their hearts awakened, even in difficult circumstances?
Jan Meyers: Staying with your heart’s awakening, again it’s a frightful process. It’s not easy and it takes a lot of courage…when Jesus said to his disciples, “take heart I have overcome the world”, really He was saying, “remember who you are”…staying with that is a little bit like perhaps getting into a river and it’s frightening because you don’t know around the bend whether the river is going to be fast…or if it’s going to be a slow moving river. It is an adventure…we can entrust our hearts to the one who is not only finding us, but is really taking us some place.
How do you motivate people to minister to one another in the midst of suffering?
Jan Meyers: I was teaching at a conference this last weekend—it was all about living from the new heart…one woman raised her hand and she said, “…how do I get this…how do I get it from my head to my heart?” I sat with that for a little while and I looked at her and said two things: time and suffering. And that means suffering together with other people. Having the courage to draw near to people in their divorces, in their loss of a loved one, in their addictions…and say, “I’ll be the place where you can just wrestle with that.” To give each other the freedom to just kind of find our way in this broken process together.