As Thomas Merton has said, “Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director – the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul.” As such, spiritual direction is not therapy or psychology – it is a method of discernment entered into by two people seeking God’s will for the life of the person in direction. A spiritual director is one who helps another feel that gentle nudge or hear that still small voice of the Holy and help to discern how God is still speaking.
For those of us leaving a more traditional form of Christianity, having a good spiritual director can be a great help as we seek to deconstruction old beliefs and discover the new direction where God is directing us to go.
Below are some questions you may have about spiritual direction and whether it is something you wish to explore. If you have more questions please contact me.
I’m interested in spiritual direction, but how does it work?
Ideally, we would meet once a month. If you live in the Columbia, South Carolina area, we can arrange to meet in person. If you are outside of the area, we can meet by phone or Skype (web cam capability is ideal, but not required). We would talk for an hour at each meeting.
At each meeting, we begin with silence – a time of meditation to clear our minds and set ourselves in the presence of the Holy. Then we begin our session, talking about what is going on in your life at the moment and working to discern how God is moving in, through, and around the events in your life and what that may mean for you on a deeper level. We end each session with more silence and a closing prayer.
What are your qualifications?
I am a spiritual director, trained through a two-year intensive program called Omega Point, which is administered by the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, Ga. I am an ordained minister and a graduate of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. I have successfully helped many people as a spiritual director in the past, and hopefully, will help many more as God directs.
Will any information about me be revealed?
No, all sessions are confidential.
Is this like therapy?
Spiritual direction is similar to therapy in that you will share your life story with me as you feel comfortable. It is unlike therapy in that we are not trying to psycho-analyze your experiences. Instead, we are searching for fingerprints of the Holy in your experiences. Spiritual direction consistently asks, “Where is God?” in all of your experiences to help you open up your heart and mind to how God is speaking to you and leading you.
My main role is not as a therapist, but as a listener and a guide on your journey with the Holy. A spiritual director does not enter the session with an agenda, but allows the directee to set to the pace, tone and theme of each conversation.
I am not a therapist, or a psychologist, and therefore cannot give you advice as a therapist or psychologist. I am a spiritual director and am concerned with how God is working in and through your life. This is what I would help you discern as you seek a closer walk with God.
What are the benefits of spiritual direction?
Those who enter into spiritual direction report that, over time, the sessions give them a greater sense of peace as they become aware of God’s presence and unconditional love for them. Other benefits include experiencing the healing of past wounds in your life, a greater sense of your authentic self, and gaining new spiritual insights that can break down barriers that have prevented spiritual growth.
In my experience with direction, I have found some sessions will provide a giant leap in spiritual growth, while other sessions leave me pondering deeper questions and moving slowly through a crisis. Every session, however, has consistently put me back in touch with God and made my path clearer, and my heart closer to God.
Without spiritual direction, I don’t think I could have ever written Bulletproof Faith, found the courage to step out and help LGBT people find their authenticity and spiritual strength and began this journey of finding my own spiritual congruence outside of traditional Christianity. It is my goal to help everyone who comes to me get back in touch with that authentic soul that God has created them to be.
Is there a charge?
Yes. Each one hour session is charged at $75, payable by check, transfer, or credit card through PayPal. I do offer an introductory package of five sessions for $300 (which means our first official meeting is free!)
How do we get started?
Fill out the contact form and I will get back in touch with you for an initial discussion. (There is no charge for an initial discussion.) If you are interested in entering into spiritual direction, I will ask that you write out a spiritual biography detailing how God has played a role in your life and for how long. (Please use these questions to get begin your putting you spiritual journey on paper. It is as much an exercise for you as it is a “getting to know you” document for me.) We will set up a schedule for our meetings and I will send you information on how to make payments, as well as spiritual direction agreement for you to read, sign, and return to me.