While in therapy I certainly deal with spiritual matters, our practice offers a listening ministry called Spiritual Direction. I would like to introduce you to my wife, Renée, who is a trained Spiritual Director, and can tell you about it in her own words:
Along life’s journey, some of us have felt abandoned or betrayed by God or our faith communities. Churches often seem more self-serving than caring about people; they are often about maintaining power, and are full of people who are more interested in shoring up their egos than they are growing in their faith. Sometimes, we find that the people who should be concerned about shepherding our souls are more about winning and maintaining a superior self-image. In the process they hurt people. Deeply. The need to win and be “right” is not love.
It is also in our faith communities that we find ourselves repeating painful patterns from our families or other relationships. So, where is God in this mess? Why don’t I feel loved by God? How can I ever trust God after what’s happened?
In Spiritual Direction we can address these questions, and find – if not answers – then peace and a new lease on faith. As we develop relationships with whom we companion, spiritual directors also ask, what lights up your soul? What brings you joy? When do you feel wonder and awe? Answers to these simple questions could very well change the course of your life.
What is Spiritual Direction?
It may sound new to many of you, but it has been around for a long time. It is actually an ancient Christian practice. Today, it is also referred to as spiritual friendship, holy friendship, soul friendship, or spiritual companionship.
Spiritual direction is for someone who wants to deepen their walk with God, someone who seeks a more immediate and daily sense of God’s presence. Because “God comes to us disguised as our lives” (Paula D’Arcy) a spiritual director helps one notice daily events, otherwise unnoticed, that can be explored further. Thomas Keating tells us that “God gives us everything we need to be happy in the present moment, no matter what the evidence to the contrary may be. A good spiritual director helps us to sustain that trust.”
By participating in spiritual direction you have the opportunity to move closer to God, hear God for yourself, and to experience His presence and thereby live in a new level of peace and joy. Spiritual direction is often done in conjunction with therapy, and holds to the same confidentiality as therapy.
“The director’s role is one of coming alongside, rather than dictating a program. The relationship thus shares some features with the Celtic ideal of a soul friend or anamchara” (Armstrong & Gertz, Christianity Today, April 1, 2003)
I would be honored to walk with you on your sacred journey. You can contact me in a number of ways: through my website, rgrahamsd.com, call or text me at 813-785-6172, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.