Today is my anniversary of sorts. Thirty-five years ago today (01/16/83), I landed in Germany to begin my two year “apprenticeship”, sponsored by the MARK program thru Abilene Christian University, in the Church of Christ in Cologne. I came to serve and share what little I knew about God with others. How very little I knew… What was really happening was God was bringing me here as a service to me and to show Himself to me in a way that would render Him undeniable, completely reliable and strong to hold me through the storms of the Mission that is my life.
I could write a book about the oh so many ways God has “washed my feet, opened my eyes, and given my withered legs the strength to walk again”, not to mention His renewing of my mind. But, I am writing this specifically to let you know what He has done specifically though Selah’s Spiritual Direction (SD) program.
2015 was a time of great transition in our family and my ministry, and a Spiritual drought for me. My prayers felt useless and very dissatisfying, and reading in God’s word was challenging because the message seemed addressed to a different audience!! In the beginning of 2016 I was invited to go through Selah’s SD program, which I right away recognized as God’s very personal invitation to me to go a new direction with Him, even though the path was very unclear and sometimes dark and uncomfortable.
Right away the reading began refreshing deep, dry places in my soul!! A Testament of Devotion by Thomas Kelly, for example, stretched my flat and narrow idea of prayer into a wide open space that is full of God. And I am invited to inhabit this place. The fact that I had not consciously heard of “Centering Prayer” or “the prayer of the heart”, still amazes me and I am so grateful for the insights that I have continued to gain through the other reading.
Over the years, I have had the truly amazing gift of several spiritual mentors and a number of deep friendships where our spiritual lives were often the focus of conversations and prayer. Through Selah I have been introduced to and have entered into a relationship with a Spiritual Director. This is a bit more formal than the friendships and mentors I have had over the years. What I really appreciate about it is having someone who is willingly giving this time to me and my walk with God. It is a rich gift. This is when I can bring questions, frustrations, joys and sins and will not receive advice and or judgment, but instead will be prayed for, given questions to think about, thoughts to be explored and encouragement to keep stepping out in faith with my God.
Last but by no means least what I experience as a Spiritual Director is nothing less than miraculous. I get to walk along with two friends that I have known for over 25 years. I’ve watched God work in their lives. I know some of their joys and some of their pain. To get to process some of that with them and see how He is moving in them today… it is a joy that cannot be expressed in words. Even when the tears flow, and they have, it is amazing to see how God gives meaning and purpose to the pain and struggle we experience in this life. I am convinced that God desires us to be having these kinds of conversations. He is glorified when we take the time to be present to His movements.
I am so very, very grateful for this amazing gift! Thank you Selah!!