In 2010, I attended a 5-Day Academy, where the concept of spiritual formation was taught and experienced. I remember hearing a Methodist pastor say, “I realized that in order to help others be spiritually formed, I needed to be formed myself.” My spirit went “click.” I knew I needed the formation, and I longed to companion others on their journey with God. While I had participated in and taught Bible studies all of my adult life, and was serious about prayer and living out my faith, I still felt that something was missing.
I started researching spiritual formation programs, and stumbled across Renovare’s Institute for Spiritual Formation. Long story short, I began the Institute in the fall of 2011 (Atlanta cohort). One of the requirements was that we see a spiritual director monthly; I had been praying to find a director for about 5 years, and finally discovered a sister at a Catholic retreat center about an hour from home. I had many cherished conversations with Sr. Chris over the 3+ years I met with her. I learned to make a day of it - driving over, meeting with her, and then staying at the retreat center in silence and contemplation until time to return home and pick up our youngest child at school. Between my studies in the Institute and my meetings with Sr. Chris, I eventually discerned a call to spiritual direction. I’ll never forget the day I told Chris - she jumped up from her chair and did a little jig! Once I completed the Institute, it was time to seek training in spiritual direction and I discovered LTI’s Selah Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction.
Several conversations confirmed my call. For instance, when one member of our church heard about my preparation to become a director, he said, “So you’re just formalizing what you already do.” I met with a young man who was struggling to forgive his father, and after our conversation, he had a Damascus road experience on the way to the Atlanta airport, displaying to me the power of one-on-one conversation in the context of our relationship with God. I also found that my Masters in Agency Counseling dovetailed well with spiritual direction, providing a therapeutic undergirding for understanding my directees.
While in the Institute, I became close friends with my mentor, Ann Starrette, and she introduced me to the idea of Quiet Space days. In 2012 I began hosting Quiet Space Fridays once a month, a set-aside time and place for silence, solitude and prayer. I continue to host Quiet Space and find I am doubly blessed by others praying in our home.