“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.
What does a spiritual guidance/direction meeting look like?
After saying hello, we will enter into silence and become conscious of a holy presence with us and within us, and prepare to open and listen to this deep wisdom within us. If you wish, I will guide us with a meditation into the quiet and depth of the Holy.
You will then share what is on your heart and what you want to explore in the light of your life and relationship with God. I will listen deeply and not just listen to your words but also to your emotions and pauses within your words. I will ask questions, reflect what I heard and together we will discern the message of the Holy in your life. We will end our meeting with a prayer and I always ask what you need at this particular moment.
Being the in the present moment and discerning the Presence of God in your life is at the heart of each session. Discerning your prayer life and the connection and relationship you have with God is always part of a meeting. My daily prayers will be part of our spiritual friendship.
Meeting frequency: The meeting rhythm of a spiritual relationship is about once a month. Although the recommendation is for monthly, we will discern the frequency of our meetings during our first session. Life is fluent and sometimes the need for spiritual guidance might be more frequent than the suggested monthly meeting. We will find a good meeting rhythm for you and your relationship with the Divine.
Cost: Every session lasts about an hour and a half and will be $ 50 – 75 depending on your financial comfort level. It would be beneficial for you to commit for about 6 sessions. I know things can change but making a commitment to yourself and your relationship with the Divine will be a gift to yourself and your journey into the heart of God.
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 will be 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.
To learn more about spiritual direction go to
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 2006. I am trained in deep listening through my life experience, my lifelong passion for life stories, and my 16 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.
Bettina as Spiritual “Director”: She listens deeply. She hears you. She sees you. Love and joy are brought to every session. “Director” is in parentheses because her responses are not so much about direction, but rather more about discovery. As she gently guides you to see with new eyes, she helps you uncover what you already knew, (but forgot or probably buried). I am grateful to have been blessed with this opportunity to laugh, cry, and grow in the Spirit of grace with Bettina by my side.
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.
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!
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.