“You’re holding up people’s deliverance,” my spiritual director said recently, in response to all the hesitancy and resistance I was feeling about offering myself to God’s work in the world.
The words hit deep. They were both convicting and empowering.
Four years ago I sensed God inviting me to “put myself out there” as a spiritual director. I felt intimidated to say the least. I hadn’t practiced direction for several years, and I was apprehensive about my skills and training, wondering if they would snap back into action as soon as I was in that direction room again. I couldn’t know until I was in it. And, that felt scary.
So, the first step was simply to introduce myself as a director when people asked about my life. It was a gentle first step. A wobbly one. I was beginning to take ownership of what God had entrusted to me, convinced that all my training and experience was not just for me. There was a new found confidence combined with low grade terror. I figured I was in good company with all the men and women throughout the Bible who moved forward in hope and trepidation as their longing to be found faithful won out.
What did it look like to offer my gifts, my strengths (and my weaknesses), my very self for the purposes of loving God and loving people? And, more importantly, what did it look like for me to do this *with* God?
As I have sought to take each next step over the past few years, I have been desperate for God to make firm what feels wobbly. We read in Psalm 37:23-24
The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
I imagine a toddler wondering about taking her first steps, with one arm up holding onto a finger of a parent as she reaches for a bit of assurance that she’s going to be okay and that she’s not alone.
This is where I continue to find myself – delighting in Him and trusting on a whole new level that I’m going to be okay because I have a good Father who is with me and who upholds me. It’s a daily posture and resolution – something to rest and find hope in.
I’m reminded of the words from John 15:4 engraved on a ring I never take off:
Abide in me.
The calling on our life is to abide. To remain. To make our home in His love. The fruit will come. The next steps will become evident (even if it’s only after we’ve taken them) as long as He is our Source. The Holy Spirit preaches this to me again and again. It’s not about what we produce – it’s about life *with* God – hearing from Him, finding Him, being with Him and letting Him be with us. That’s what becomes central. And, other people’s deliverance depends on it.
So, as I meet with my directees and consider with God what it looks like to offer myself, I do so with a conviction that I am being a faithful steward who is in relationship with the One who will make firm the steps and produce the fruit. And, that’s enough for me.
About the Author:
Renee has a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care and is a trained Spiritual Director. She considers it an honor to walk with others in discerning God’s work and movement in their life and has a passion for finding God in all things. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for 19 years and loves being a boy mom. Travel planning, listening to her vinyls, picnicking, and fresh squeezed orange juice bring her great joy.
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