The last Friday of the month brings joy just to see it on my calendar. On this day I call my spiritual director who resides in New Jersey while I am home in South Carolina. The hour I have with her is sacred, joyful, centering, and greatly anticipated.
All women in ministry (or any minister for that matter) should have a spiritual director. I have connected with the same director for over ten years and have encouraged my colleagues to be in relationship with a director as well. However, not everyone embraces this idea.
Two objections frequently arise. I hear “I don’t have the time to schedule one more meeting a month. I can’t do anything else.” I counter with “Spiritual direction is not something you do. It’s an embodiment of who you are.” When you sit with your director, you are with someone who knows your spiritual journey. They know where you’ve been, how you got to where you are, and are more than willing to walk with you as your journey unfolds. In your meeting time, you focus on your relationship with God and how it is being lived out. You get to discuss where God is in your life and where you most need to connect with God. Ministers spend hours hearing other people. A spiritual director hears you.
The other objection to spiritual direction is “I don’t like the idea of a ‘director’. I don’t want one more person telling me what to do.” For me, this argument is semantics. Instead of director, use the other names such as spiritual friend or guide. A spiritual director or spiritual friend walks with you. They don’t chastise you or demand that you subscribe to a particular spiritual discipline. This friend is someone who nurtures his/her relationship with God and then can be with you as you nurture your relationship with God. A good spiritual director hears where you are, helps you reflect on where you’ve been, and then assists as you discern where God is leading you.
So how can you find a spiritual director? I recommend asking your minister if she knows a director that she’d recommend. If not, ask someone in the state or national office of your denomination. There are many websites to check as well but I think word of mouth and personal experience are excellent ways to locate a spiritual director. Or you could get lucky like I did and have the spiritual director ask you. However it comes about I recommend you get one.
Tammy Abee Blom is an ordained Baptist minister, mother of two amazing daughters, and lives in Columbia, South Carolina.