An exciting thing happened to me this week.
But…before I get to it, I want to tell you a quirky little thing about me: I love anything related to spiritual formation. The term “spiritual formation” is based on the passage where Paul tells the Galatians that he longs to see “Christ formed in you” (Galatians 4:19).
Spiritual formation is not something we do. The Holy Spirit transforms our lives into the image of the Son, in His own timing and His own way. As we wait for His work, we trust and make space for Him to move. One way to create room is by spiritual disciplines or practices, such as daily prayer, Scripture reading, or worship.
Along the way, we also need intentional relationships. Many of us have valuable relationships with close friends or mentors. In addition, it’s possible to seek out a spiritual director to help us notice where God is moving and working in our lives. Spiritual directors provide space for listening and honest connection with God.
This is where my love for spiritual formation merges with my life in a practical way. Over the last few years, I’ve sensed a “tug” to offer this kind of purposeful relationship to other people. I’m thinking of becoming a certified spiritual director. A spiritual director meets with individuals but also offers direction to groups in settings such as retreats and workshops.
Honestly, I don’t know if this is the right thing for me. I can say I want to be a director but I haven’t had much of a chance to be a directee first. Most programs, whether graduate degree or certification, require one to sit under a director at some point in the course. (Creighton University even requires their applicants to have sat under a director for two years prior to applying.)
When I was in Colorado, I considered seeking out a spiritual director. I had connections to both directors and programs there. For various reasons, it never fell into place. When we moved to Kansas, I looked online for directors but didn’t come up with much. It caused me to question if this path was just something I was making up. Did God really put this “tug” in my life? Or did I create this idea because of the ties I had to certain individuals in another place?
I’ve tried to hold those questions loosely over the last few months. A rather large feat at times, I might add. I felt kind of disappointed about the whole thing.
This week, I got an e-mail with the words “spiritual direction” in the subject line. Looks like someone in my new church is working on her certificate (I didn’t even know there was a program nearby!) and needs directees to complete her practicum requirements. I, of course, volunteered in about three seconds.
I’m quite excited about it. I can’t wait to see what this opportunity reveals. Even if this experience shows that being a spiritual director is not for me, it’s another chance to see what God is up to as He continues to work on me, in me, and through me.
If you’re curious about spiritual formation, disciplines, or direction, here are a few resources that offer more detailed information:
"A Place for Spiritual Direction" article by Jamin Goggin
Sacred Companions:The Gift of Spiritual Friendship & Direction by David Benner
Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices that Transform Us by Adele Calhoun