When I joined one of HopeNet’s first Spiritual Direction Groups, I was not exactly sure what I would be getting into. I knew that I had not found a deeper connection to people in my church’s programs, but was ready to grow in Christ and was open to learning about spiritual direction with a group of likeminded women. As the group progressed, I realized that I had hit a wall in my relationship with God and I hadn’t been able to see it before the group sessions. I decided I needed to explore this more through individual sessions with a spiritual director.
I started with just asking questions with my spiritual director. Why had God allowed abuse in my childhood? Why could I not connect well with others at my church? What was the next phase of my life going to look like? We were able to ask and explore those questions together, without any judgment, which was very important to me. I had often felt like I needed to put on a certain face at church and was not able to be myself. This was a time for me to be real and honest with another person, while seeking the presence of God.
While I did not get very many answers to my questions, I was comforted to have such a safe place to be able to voice them. Sometimes the act of voicing where we are can be enough to begin the healing process.
My spiritual director gave me things to read, think and journal about in the times between our meetings. This helped in a couple of ways. It encouraged me to spent time with the Lord, even if it was just asking Him my questions. It was also helpful to be accountable to someone for setting aside time to be with God, away from distractions, praying, reading the Word, and listening.
I think all Christians should talk with a good spiritual director. It helped me look at my relationship with God differently. I felt much closer to Him and was able to begin to know and feel how much He loved me. All Christians could benefit from spiritual direction, but especially those in service or ministry jobs who can easily feel depleted or discouraged. Even Jesus withdrew to be with His Father during his ministry on earth.