Currently, you can find the audio of my weekly sermon series here.
In today’s fast and noisy world, perhaps more than ever before, we need someone who can understand us. We need someone who really listens to our unfolding life story.
That’s why I recommend, to everyone who asks, that they find a spiritual friend (and/or director) and, if needed, a counsellor too.
Spiritual friends suspend their own internal life’s chatter, for a time, to really listen. They are safe and have won trust (I’d recommend you know them for at least six seasons: summer, winter, fall, spring, summer, and fall again, or something like this). Spiritual directors help discern obstacles lodged in the way of the free-flow of our life’s calling. Counsellors help us function in the midst of our dysfunctions.
If you want to find a spiritual friend, a companion who listens when you need to release the shards of modern trauma, ask somebody. They do not have to be a spiritual master or a close friend. Try not to take it personally if they respectfully decline — good spiritual friends can only take in so much. Pray to God who will help you find and approach somebody. And refrain from expecting your spiritual friend to need you in return. It is okay to unload your life onto somebody else, even if they seek others as their spiritual friends.
Personally, I join a few people a year to journey with spiritually. See my availability here (Look for Tuesday evenings).
Check out this Seek and Find guide for spiritual directors: SDI International
Here’s another one: The Transforming Center
Finally, if you sense that your emotional life may have been traumatized or suffered in some developmental phase, if you sense that you are having a difficult time holding down relationships or a job, if you sense you are depressed or are dealing with a mental disorder you may need to seek professional treatment. No shame. Christians should be the first in line to seek this type of help if they need it. I am still researching a good link for help in finding a counsellor. If you are a Christian, the best idea is to find a counsellor who is also Christian.
With some combination of having a spiritual friend, a director, and a counsellor, chances are much better you will make it through this harsh world whole. All of these graces, though, should always point us back to God. God’s presence lives among us. He guides us daily through many situations. He shapes us into His image of divine love. In the Creator of Life we place confidence that, despite heartache or trial, we can find green pastures and still waters. We are not islands. We need one another emotionally. But all is waste if our community–meant to draw us near to Him who holds our deeper dreams–distracts us from the great Lover.
Be at peace on your way pilgrim.