I began meeting with a spiritual director almost 6 years ago. The experience was, at the risk of overstating the point, life-changing.
At the time, I was in full-time college ministry, married, and had recently given birth to our first child. What had previously been a flourishing, vibrant relationship with God had begun to seem a bit stagnant and lifeless. I was experiencing what I call “treading water” in my spiritual life - I was going through the motions, but not actually moving anywhere.
I began asking mentors of mine - how do you keep growing spiritually? The common response I got was a surprise to me: spiritual direction.
Many people whose faith lives I respected had sought out ongoing guidance from a spiritual director. In spiritual direction, they received help in going deeper and further in their spiritual journey, and experienced growth in their relationship with God.
I made an appointment with a spiritual director, and within five minutes, I knew I was talking with the right person.
Maybe you’re in the same place as I was - wanting breakthrough in your relationship with God. Or maybe you’re just curious about spiritual direction and why I choose to receive it myself.
Here is a look at why I got a spiritual director.
1. I FELT SPIRITUALLY STUCK.
As I mentioned earlier, I felt like I was spiritually treading water. Prior to this season, most of my Christian faith had seemed vibrant and exciting. This is a common experience in the earlier stages of the spiritual journey - there is a honeymoon phase of following Jesus. Now that I was further along the journey, my previous ways of encountering God were starting to stale. Prayer times often felt empty and disengaged. Whatever had been fruitful in my life with God wasn’t working anymore. I needed help moving into something new.
2. LIFE TRANSITIONS HAD LEFT ME DISORIENTED.
With the birth of our son, life had been turned upside down. Our entire family was in a weird survival mode, figuring out how to care for a newborn and also do normal human things like eat and sleep. Months after his birth, we began to feel like life was stabilizing. But when it came to my spiritual rhythms, I was still disoriented. Before having a baby, I had pretty regular practices of daily prayer, Sabbath, and longer prayer retreats. After the baby, not so much. I needed help learning new spiritual rhythms that fit my new life reality.
3. MINISTRY WAS BECOMING LIFE-DRAINING.
Another major part of my life was ministry. When I first began my full-time work with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, it was a vocation that filled me with passion and vision. After a few years, I was getting tired and apathetic. Ministry challenges had me feeling discouraged, and I needed a sense of renewed calling and vision from God.
4. I WANTED WISDOM FROM A MENTOR.
I had reached the end of my own know-how regarding my spiritual growth. I recognized my need for someone with wisdom and experience to guide me into the next season of my spiritual journey. I wanted someone to help me discern the presence and voice of God, and help me know how to respond to God.
With my spiritual director, I began to experience major breakthrough in my spiritual life. Through our monthly times of meeting, I slowly discovered a new season in my faith. She helped me identify what God was doing, and guided me to spiritual practices and rhythms that fit God’s work and my life. She encouraged me in the growth that I had been wanting, and equipped me in the journey.
As I look back to 6 years ago, I believe getting a spiritual director was one of the best decisions I could have made for my spiritual growth. She continues to be one of the most important people in my life, and I am grateful for the ways God has used her in my life.
If you are considering getting a spiritual director, or have questions about how spiritual direction might be a good fit for you, I’d love to hear from you.
For more on spiritual direction, read How a Spiritual Director Can Help Your Spiritual Growth.
Where in your spiritual journey do you find yourself? How might a spiritual director guide you further in your relationship with God?
Sign up for my Weekly Notes!