not alone: Challenge!
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
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).
My 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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Thanks! I’m only one meeting in, but it has definitely given me a lot to chew on! I definitely understand how difficult it can be to find a spiritual director who works well with you. Some people like being given a bunch of books or reading, but others need to talk things out and finding a SD who suits you can be a hard find! I’ll be praying for you either way, and if it is His will, you’ll find a great SD!
What a great challenge for yourself! I tried a couple times to see a spiritual director through one order/Shrine, and I got a lot of book recommendations, but not a whole lot of talking-out spiritual exploration. Then I did a special Lenten retreat and got to meet with a priest at a different order/Shrine, and he was much better; plus his weekly availability didn’t hurt. SD #1 was only available about every 6 weeks. I don’t know if I’ll pick up SD again, but it is so wonderful to hear that you are getting something out of it! Prayers and blessings!
I definitely did, though I don’t think he challenged me quite as often 😉
Haha, thanks! I needed the challenge and I need the behind kicking, I’m excited to see what God is up to and where He is leading me! I’ll be praying for you 🙂
You had an awesome spiritual director in college too!!! 😉 Great post and point!
Oy… this is a good one. Wow… we set out a challenge, and God seemed to up the ante for you! But, it’s sooooo important and so more important than the practical challenge we gave. I mean, yours IS practical and spiritual. Best of both worlds. 🙂 Hmm.. this may have been the inspiration for me to look into this myself.