A New Direction…

upward direction

Many, many moons ago one of my favorite nieces (Yes, you read that correctly and it is intentional.) recommended that I become a Spiritual Director. What is Spiritual Direction?

Here’s what Reverend Jeffrey S. Gaines says about it: “Spiritual direction can mean different things to different people. Some people understand it to be the art of listening carried out in the context of a trusting relationship. It is when one person is trained to be a competent guide who then “companions” another person, listening to that person’s life story with an ear for the movement of the Holy, of the Divine.”

I dismissed this notion at the beginning because the only training program for it, at the time, was 5 hours away from my home in a city I hate to navigate, thanks to its incessant, fast-paced and rude traffic snarls. I, instead, pursued a master’s in counseling.

As I did, it became evident that I’m not really cut out to be a counselor. Why? Because I can’t stop coaching and encouraging people. Counselors are supposed to ask pithy, open-ended questions and let the client find their own best solutions to their troubling issues. I don’t do that very well. I want to offer possible solutions at every turn and affirm, on a pretty personal level, that I can relate to what they’re experiencing.

I also have a tough time leaving my faith out of counseling as I should. I think that being a Christian is a 7-day-a-week mindset and I don’t like putting part of my personality (a rather integral part) in a back room somewhere! I can do it (I did go to college in the 70s where all I did was put my Christianity in a back room!)–It just feels like cheating, somehow.

In the intervening time between when the niece person suggested that I do this and now, multiple training programs have sprung up closer to my home and several people have been really disappointed to learn that I’m not counseling at Compassion Counseling Center; I only volunteer there as the most infernal thing possible–an administrator.

And my pastor and I are discussing some things we’d like to do for groups in our church and in our community–things that I probably need some training to do. My spasms of health adventures alsoneed to be considered. Thus, committing myself to the intensity of a counseling internship where people might actually expect you to be at appointments on time and without trips to the ER in the middle of the session is kind of a big problem. (Duh.)

Enter Spiritual Direction. It’s a gentler “walk” for us shrink-types and allows for the weirdness of my life, at least from what I’m reading so far. I’m not emphatically saying I’m about to do this–I’m “exploring the possibility” right now and will probably apply to a nearby program to see if I’m even a decent candidate for that.

So, will you do me a favor? Please pray that I make a good decision on this. If I’m meant to do it, please ask God to “put all the pieces in place” that allow me to do this properly. There are a LOT of pieces! And if you think you have a “word” from the Holy Spirit on this (in either direction!), please share that with me. It will help inform my decision.

I have such smart nieces. And now you know why they are my favorites.

Friday’s Post: Okay…maybe now I’ll talk about watches…maybe not.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 at 10:50 am and is filed under God stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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