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What is Spiritual Direction and how can it help me?

 What is My First Session of Spiritual Direction Like?

I was on the fourth grade playground in the middle of a soccer game when it happened.  My teacher stopped the game and called out my name, “Steven Nickles, the Principal needs to see you in his office!”

I was a pretty good kid. For five years I had avoided walking through the door most of my friends had walked through at one time or another. My worst fear came true. I finally was going to see what happens on the other side of the big white door with the black letters “Principal” painted on it.

As I waited in the fluorescent lit hallway my mind jump from one question to another:

  • “What would he be like?”
  • “What would he ask me?”
  • “Will I be embarrassed?”
  • “Will I feel stupid?”

If you have never been to a spiritual director you might have similar questions as you wait in the lobby:

  • “Will I be tested on the Bible?”
  • “Will the spiritual director act like Yoda?”
  • “Will the office smell like incense?”
  • “Will he ask me questions I don’t want to answer?”

Thankfully meeting with a spiritual director is more like meeting a new friend for coffee than like going to the Principal’s office.  So, what happens in your first spiritual direction session?

First, I will meet you in the lobby and ask you if you want a cup of coffee.  Second, we will go into my office; sit down and I will say a short prayer.  Third, I will tell you a little about myself and what spiritual direction is about. Fourth, I will ask you a few questions like:

  • What led you to make the appointment?
  • What is your family like?
  • Where do you work?
  • What ways do you like to connect with God?
  • What do you think God is doing in your life right now?

You will do most of the talking. I will occasionally ask you a clarifying question like; “Where did you sense God in this? How did you feel when that happened?” “What do you think God was saying to you?”

I will never tell you what to do, or make you answer a question you don’t want to answer, but I might make a few suggestions about prayer or a book you could read.

Unlike waiting outside the Principal’s office, the time passes quickly.  At the end of our session I will pray again and ask you if you want to make another appointment. Before you answer me you might have a few thoughts: How did the time pass so quickly? I didn’t realize God was so active in my life. Why did I wait so long to start meeting with a spiritual director?

– Steven Nickles, M.Div.

One thought on “What is Spiritual Direction and how can it help me?

  1. Pingback: I don’t want to grow spiritually | Crossroads Counseling, PLLC

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