By Jennifer Drummond
Reflecting on my faith journey has been a wonderful process. As I look back on the twists and turns in my life, it often becomes clear(er) how God has woven certain people, experiences and themes together. Many times these have been in preparation for the next step along the path, although… not always. Regardless, there has been one particular practice that has helped me notice what God might be doing in my life: Spiritual Direction.
As a member of the founding Vestry of Christ the Redeemer, I was first introduced to the notion of Spiritual Direction by Susan Currie, a friend and fellow Vestry member. She invited our group to silence (not a natural state for meetings!), and led us in many deep listening exercises. That whole year was marked by attentiveness – to the Holy Spirit, to one another and to the quiet reaches of our inner selves. That attentive work set the stage for Christ the Redeemer to be born. It was one of the most remarkable groups I have ever been a part of, and that year was of unbelievable grace.
The following few years were full of transition (I’ll be sharing a bit about that at the upcoming Women’s Brunch). But the hunger for close encounters with the Holy Spirit had been awakened! I knew I wanted to continue; I just didn’t quite have the language, or know exactly what to do to foster that closeness with Jesus. That introduction to Spiritual Direction gave me a place to start.
I decided to find my own spiritual director. I began to notice common threads in my scripture reading (and my “fun” reading). Nature sung out to me. Friends spoke into me. It seemed everywhere I turned, I saw evidence of God – his presence, his goodness, his care for me. Soon I entered training to become a spiritual director (a two year process with the Anglican Diocese of New England under Mother Susan Skillen). I still have my own director, but am now meeting with several women and am constantly amazed to see God at work.
Spiritual Direction is an ancient Christian tradition (often called Spiritual Companioning), where two people agree to meet regularly – usually once a month, and often for nine months or one year. The goal of the meetings is not counseling, advice-giving, mentoring, prayer partners, or Bible study, but rather to listen. The Director listens to God and to the person, and perhaps asks questions, focusing on the Directee’s relationship with God: what is that like? What might God be doing, asking, inviting, showing? It is a holy, and sacred time, and a beautiful thing.
The upcoming Women’s Brunch (Saturday, January 28 at 9 a.m.) will continue this conversation. We will hear two stories that morning, and will also be talking about how we can develop our awareness of God’s presence, and how the practice of Spiritual Direction aids us in that work. It is a special time to gather, to witness to and with one another the glory of God at work in our lives, and I hope that you can join us.
•Evangelical Spiritual Directors on the North Shore (lists individuals and a brief bio so you can identify someone who might be a good fit) https://evangelicalspiritualdirectorsnetwork.com/home/directory/
•Wendy Dixon maintains a list of Spiritual Directors who work with folks at CtR, she can be reached at email@example.com and she’ll respond with the list of people who have agreed to have their names distributed.
•This is from the Diocese: http://www.ad-ne.org/ministries/spiritual-formation/ (thought it’s more about the training, than actual direction).
•This page has some basic definitions and books to read on the topic. http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/making-good-decisions/spiritual-direction
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