This is a post in a blog series on spiritual direction. This week’s blogger is Becky Eldredge.
Over the last few weeks, we explored what spiritual direction is, how spiritual direction works within a busy person’s retreat, and how spiritual direction can help uncover the movement of God. This week let’s take a look at what might draw us to spiritual direction.
One of the first questions I ask someone at our first spiritual direction meeting is, What brought you here? There are a wide variety of answers, but here are a few recurring themes I hear.
I’m yearning for more, but don’t know where to start.
God’s pursuit of us can cause us to feel restless and sometimes create a gnawing sensation that leaves us hungry and searching for more. Sometimes this restlessness is stirring because we are just starting out on our faith journey and God is drawing us into relationship. It’s hard to know where to start sometimes, and a spiritual director can help us discern where to begin.
Other times, we are already on our faith journey and have been for some time. Suddenly what we’ve been doing in our prayer life does not seem to satiate the yearning inside. A spiritual director can listen to our current prayer routines and help us explore other ways of being in relationship with God by teaching different prayer methods.
I’m struggling to find God in…
Life has its ups and downs. Loss, tragedy, grief, transition, or suffering can at times lead us to a place of desolation, where it is hard to name, see, or feel God. At other times we may be in a dry season of prayer or perhaps even experiencing a crisis of faith. A spiritual director can accompany us during these times and invite us to notice God’s movements in ways we cannot always see on our own.
I’m not sure what to chose…
As humans we are constantly faced with decisions. Maybe we are discerning a vocation such as priesthood, marriage, religious life, or single life. Perhaps we are discerning out two good options for a career or how to answer the call God is growing inside of you. Ignatian trained spiritual directors are adept in the art of discernment and helping others explore the invitations in our lives by inviting people to notice the movement of the Holy Spirit and the spirit not-of-God.
People come to spiritual direction for many other reasons as well. As we mentioned earlier in this series, a spiritual director’s role is to listen and support a person’s growth in their relationship with God.
If God seems to have your attention about any of these reasons or something else, I invite you to explore the possibility of working with a spiritual director. After praying for God’s help in finding the right one, begin asking people you know if they know of spiritual directors in your area. Calling local retreat houses, parishes, or religious communities are other places to begin researching the right person to accompany you on your faith journey.
Becky Eldredge is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the book Busy Lives and Restless Souls. Becky helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. She currently lives with her husband and three children in Baton Rouge, LA. You can listen to Andy Otto’s interview with Becky here.
Go deeper? Here are some resources:
- Why Spiritual Direction is good for anyone who takes faith seriously
- Video: Joseph Tetlow, SJ talks about Ignatian prayer and why someone might want to have a spiritual director
- Philip Shano, SJ talks about how spiritual direction can make him more attentive to his interior life
- More about spiritual direction and retreats, and how to find a director