not alone: Challenge!

not alone series

I’ll admit, I just about skipped out on this post. Why? Well, because sometimes I feel like I blog so darn much (even if I space the posts out rather than post them when I write them) and because I don’t know what kind of challenge I’ve taken on. Have I joined a dating website? Nope. Have I gone out to a new place to meet people? Introvert = I. Don’t. Do. That. Have I joined a sports league to get out and be active? Nope. What kind of challenge have I taken on? Then, like a ton of bricks falling out of an airplane, it hit me: spiritual direction.

I had a spiritual director in college, and I’ve had exactly one since then that lasted for about…5 months. It has been a year and a half since I met with a spiritual director. It has always kind of been on the very, very bottom of my to do list, and it has held its rightful place at the bottom of said to do list for far too long. Last week the Holy Spirit knocked me upside the head, gave me a dose of courage and I reached out for spiritual direction. Less than 24 hours later I met with a priest friend of mine for some spiritual butt-kicking direction.

I honestly think that starting spiritual direction again is more of a challenge than any and all of the things I listed above. Combine all of them and I’d rather take that on than sit down with a priest, spill my guts, examine my soul, and have nearly everything I’ve believed about my life’s direction be questioned (in a good, holy, charitable way, of course). All of those things above? They are external. Spiritual direction is internal, and it can be downright terrifying. It is easy (at least for me) to truck along in my spiritual life and think that things are all good, that I’m doing what I should be and growing closer to God all the while. It is humbling (and dare I say necessary) to have some one come along and cut you down to size. I’m not saying that spiritual direction is horrible, but I’m the type of person who needs a strong spiritual director, someone who isn’t afraid to call me out when I’m feeding them a pile of bull (even if I don’t think it is a pile of bull).

to be a saintMy challenge is far from over. In fact, it is only just beginning. The challenge of spiritual direction is to dive deep. As my spiritual director and I joked, if it were in any other context the questions we discuss and the rate at which we discuss them would be totally unacceptable, but in spiritual direction we just go, and we go deep. The point of spiritual direction is to get to the heart, to look under the rug we’ve been sweeping our crud under and clean it. The point is to learn to hear God, to discern, to grow, to avoid spiritual stagnation, to be humbled, but above all, to become holy.

Thanks to Jen and Morgan for hosting, I can’t wait to read how you’ve been challenged/been challenging yourselves!

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