The journey from spiritual blindness (not seeing God anywhere or only where expected)
to spiritual sight (finding God everywhere, especially where we least expect it).
Ruth Haley Barton
What is Spiritual Direction?
Through regular meetings of conversation and prayer, the spiritual director helps another to notice the work of God in his life and respond to it as promptly, vigorously, joyfully and consistently as possible.
Spiritual direction is a key discipline for Christian leaders because it offers a safe place for attending to one's ongoing process of transformation and surrender to God outside the public view and without any other agenda.
"Spiritual direction" is not so much about being directive as it is about being open, receptive, aware of and responsive to the movement of the Spirit in the directee's life. It is understood that the Holy Spirit is the true director given to lead us into truth as we are able to bear it (John 15, 16). The director is present to assist the directee in paying attention to the invitations of the Holy Spirit and to support the directee in making a faithful response.
To receive spiritual direction is to recognize that God does not solve our problems or answer all our questions, but leads us closer to the mystery of our existence where all questions cease.
How Does Spiritual Direction Differ From Other Disciplines/Relationships?
Spiritual direction is not the same as mentoring or disciple-ing. Those types of relationships usually focus more on moral, educational and vocational guidance in a particular faith tradition. Although hints of mentoring and discipleship can cross paths within a director/directee relationship a true spiritual director is someone who can listen and provide spiritual guidance beyond any personal need to defend or uphold any particular tradition or religious institution. Spiritual directors, are there solely to attend to the directee. There is a willingness on the part of the directee to submit to the guidance of the director because of the inner authority they possess and their ability to listen (both to the directee and the Holy Spirit) not to be a student of preaching or teaching.
PEOPLE START TO HEAL THE
MOMENT THEY FEEL HEARD.
- CHERYL RICHARDSON
Shonda Carter (Lawton, Ok)
Online or In-Person
Regent University, M.A. in Spiritual Formation
Shonda is a newcomer to the art and practice of spiritual direction. She gratefully acknowledges and incorporates the wisdom of her teachers/mentors Clara Maranville and Renae Norwood from Sustainable Faith. "How do people hear and get closer to God —really?" has been Shonda's question from the time she was born again in a (supposedly) non-religious environment. This question emerged partly from her awareness of her own need to change and partly because of her observation that spiritual transformation is one of the most over-promised and under-delivered aspects of Christianity in its current expression. Encountering freedom of the arts and the richness of Christian spiritual disciplines led her on a journey of reclaiming practices that "seekers" throughout the ages have used to open themselves to God’s transforming work. It is her joy to guide others into spiritual practices but offering a space for believers to be HEARD is what makes her believe she has stepped into yet another aspect of her purpose. t
Shonda currently includes one-to-one and workshops in spiritual direction, feeling deeply called to serve as a spiritual director and guide others for the purpose of discipleship.
Areas of specialty or interest: Transforming leadership, group spiritual direction, Ignatian spirituality, and the creative arts.
"The soul is like a wild animal—tough, resilient, resourceful, savvy. But it is also shy…. if we will walk quietly into the woods, sit patiently by the base of the tree, and fade into our surroundings, the wild animal we seek might put in an appearance."
“Richard Rohr reminds us that “we cannot attain the presence of God. We’re already totally in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness.”