Sharing in a Good Thing

Sharing in a Good Thing

I am one of those people who likes to rave about the latest show I am binging (The Chosen), the latest podcast I’ve discovered (on Christianity Today), and the latest book I can’t put down (The Way of the Dragon and the Way of the Lamb by Strobel and Goggins).  I can’t help myself.  I get so excited when I am positively impacted by something I have read, heard, or seen – I just HAVE to share it with someone.  Half the enjoyment (for me anyways) is inviting someone else to enjoy the experience with me. That’s how I feel about spiritual direction.  

When I was working on my Masters’ degree at Talbot Theological Seminary, my program required that I invest time meeting with a spiritual director.  With some skepticism and wariness, I booked an appointment with a woman I didn’t know, but who was recommended by the seminary.  

We met in a small room with hardly any furniture – two Lazyboy recliners, a side table with a lamp, a Bible, and I think a box of Kleenex.  I’m pretty sure there was religious art on the wall, but I have no recollection of the art. There were not many cues to tell me what was about to happen. 

She read from a psalm and opened with prayer.  And then she asked me a question about how my seminary experience was going. This open-ended question led to an easy conversation between us.  As I was sharing, I was also having a second conversation in my head. I remember thinking: “I like her. She is actually listening. She is asking questions but not interrogating me. She gets my sarcasm.”  I sank into the chair and relaxed. 

I remember thinking that the questions she asked me were helpful. Even if I initially was stumped and didn’t know how to respond, I liked that the questions made my brain slow a bit and focus, so I could think and react and consider my response.  Her questions felt like doors being opened for me, and I could choose if I wanted to walk through the doors or not. I didn’t feel pressured.  She seemed unhurried, undistracted, and genuinely interested in what I thought, the questions I had for God, and how I felt about having these questions.  She created an environment where I felt safe to reveal my understanding of God without feeling tested or that I had to prove that my faith was genuine.

Even though I was studying the Bible, learning theology and church history, I was experiencing ebbs and flows in my relationship with God, and that I found these shifts to be confusing.  I wondered if my relationship with God was “good” or “good enough” and, frankly, if I was “good enough”.  Especially in light of all the new knowledge and insight I was acquiring in my classes, I felt perplexed that my relationship with the Lord didn’t seem to be deepening the way I expected. I wanted to know, “Is knowing more about God the path to feeling more loved by Him?” 

During my sessions with my spiritual director, I discovered how much I needed to have another person with me as I pondered and wondered about my relationship with the Lord.  I had the chance to talk and I felt heard by both my spiritual director, and – more importantly – by God.  I felt my soul whisper inside, “Finally, it’s my turn.”  I didn’t know it at the time, but I needed someone who could gently hold all my questions – and my feelings about even having these questions. In the course of those initial sessions, my spiritual director invited me to ponder scripture, to be quiet in the presence of God, to be completely honest with Him.  

As time went on and we continued to meet for spiritual direction, I enjoyed where there was no judgment, no presumption, no fixing, no well-intentioned-but-insufficient advice.  There were tears.  There slow readings of scripture.  We set aside a time for the two of us to take communion together.  Several sessions had more silence than talking.  This was all new and proved to be life-changing for me.  It opened a new experience of intimacy with the Lord that I didn’t know was available.  And I learned that yes, God reveals himself in the scripture, but knowing about Him is very different than knowing Him and allowing Him to know me.  

I hope to share more about my experiences in spiritual direction in future posts.

Given my positive experience in spiritual direction, I pursued training to serve others as a director.  And now I want others to enjoy the life-giving benefits of this spiritual practice. Especially if you have walked with Jesus for a while and may be wondering if “this is all there is?” I want to invite you to explore this opportunity and take it as an invitation. The trained spiritual directors available through South Bay Soul Care are available to you, whenever you are ready.  It would be our privilege to journey with you and share this joy with you. 


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