“Where is God in the experience of my life?”
Spiritual Direction/ Companionship
“Where is God in the experience of my life?” is the most important question in a spiritual direction relationship.
Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments and life itself is grace. -Frederick Buechner
A spiritual director/companion is a spiritual seeker just like you, who listens deeply to your story and looks at your life through a spiritual lens. I say “just like you,” since we are all on the journey into a closer relationship with God and only someone who has experienced the pain and joy in this journey appreciates your path into the heart of God.
God is with you in every experience of your life. It does not mean that God is inflicting pain on us but that God will use the experience and transform the pain into a life purpose. We have a loving God who would not let us suffer without helping us through it. We need to breathe into the joy and pain of life to fully experience what it means to be a human being!
The questions a spiritual companion asks are the following:
- How is your relationship with God unfolding?
- How can we understand pain with our eyes on God?
- How can we live in the Presence of God?
- How has your relationship with God evolved in your life?
- How is God transforming your pain into purpose?
- What prayer practices are right for you?
- Where is God in the experience of your life?
Before you engage in a spiritual relationship, it is valuable to look at the difference between:
- a psychiatric relationship
- a therapeutic relationship
- a life coach relationship and
- a spiritual direction relationship.
I am aware that the following is a simplified distinction of these relationships and that all of these relationships are valuable and needed in our lives. In fact, as a spiritual director, I know the limits of my calling and refer seekers to other helping professionals if we discern in prayer that it is the right decision.
In a psychiatric relationship, an expert (Psychiatrist) evaluates your needs and is able to prescribe medication. In a therapeutic relationship, an expert (Psychologist/Therapist) looks at your life story and uncovers the root of your problems. A life coach looks at your presented problems and develops a plan how to deal with them in an efficient way.
What is a spiritual relationship?
In a spiritual relationship, we look towards God and our relationship with God.
We know it is not just two people trying to solve a life problem, but that God is in charge of our lives and whatever happens, God is in it. We know that God uses everything in life to help us discover our respective purposes. A spiritual companion listens deeply to your life and helps you find your unique relationship with God and the Divine.
Spiritual Direction is a ministry in almost every faith tradition and has been a ministry in the Christian Church since its beginning. People have sought out the connection with a spiritual friend/companion to talk about their relationship with the Divine for centuries. Spiritual Direction is also called spiritual guidance or soul friendship.
If you would like to reflect on the experiences of your life and God’s presence in these experiences, integrate spirituality into daily life, discern God’s will or deepen your prayer life, Spiritual Direction may be the perfect way to do it. To learn more about Spiritual direction or receive Spiritual direction, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you and listening deeply to your life and God’s presence in the experiences of your life.
Spiritual Direction is first and foremost a calling from God. To enhance this calling, I went through a two year Shalem-based spiritual direction program, receiving my Spiritual Director certification in 2004. I am trained in deep listening through my life experience, my lifelong passion for life stories, and my 13 years of working as a spiritual director. I had always had a gift of knowing what was going on in people and intuitively being able to help them. After years of preparing through prayer and meditation, I now use this gift in my calling as a spiritual companion. My daily practice of Centering Prayer, gratitude, journaling and practicing the presence of God in all I do and my participation in a spiritual supervision group, keep me grounded in my faith and God’s presence. I am as passionate about God in my life as I am passionate about helping seekers to find their purpose in life and deep connection with God.
My relationship with God gave me a reason to live when my son Frederick John Cox died in the World Trade Center on 9-11. Bettina’s true strength is her inner light, and as she moves closer to God, like a magnet, I have been drawn with her on a shared journey. Bettina has blessed us all in this noisy world by reminding us that the peace of God comes to a quiet mind.
My time spent with Bettina has been so rewarding. She has gently led me by the hand as, together, we reveal the layers of false self, allowing the inner Christ-self to grow and develop into my True Self. Bettina’s spiritual direction has been moving to my soul and as important as breathing is to my body. What a beautiful, life-changing experience.
It has been wonderful to meet with Bettina once a month. She has helped me to understand that God works in all facets of my life and not just the positive ones. Bettina asked me the most important question anyone has ever asked me about my life: ‘Where is God in this experience, Nancy?’ This question has changed my outlook on life and has helped me to see everything in a different light. My life has not changed, but I am looking at it with the eyes of someone who can see the love and light that surrounds me. I have changed, I am a happier person and therefore my life is happier!
Spiritual direction is often referred to as ‘soul friendship’ and that is exactly what I found during my time as a directee under Bettina’s spiritual direction leadership. She cared about me, about my relationship with the Creator and the Created, and about our working relationship as directee/director. Her ability to listen and to hear both what I was saying, and what I wasn’t, enabled me to share openly about my life’s journey. My spiritual and emotional growth during my time working with Bettina is immeasurable and my life is changed because of it.
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