Who am I?

100_6094 “But in order to find God it is perhaps not always necessary to leave the creatures behind. We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate. The real labour is to remember, to attend. In fact, to come awake. Still more, to remain awake.” 1

Who am I?

THE SHORT STORY: 

As well as being a spiritual director, I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a teacher, a Stephen Minister. Love of God and people, nature, books, art, and music are life-giving to me.  I am a graduate of the Kairos School of Spiritual Formation’s program in Spiritual Direction Training, www.on-the-journey.org.  My “Encounter” page is available for those who would like to learn more about who I am.

THE LONGER TALE:

I didn’t know God was calling my name. I didn’t even know I was asleep.

But there came a time in my life when a voice broke through my slumber, stole away my good dream, and left me vulnerable and afraid.

I took to the mountaintop woods to the company of fox, and blackberries, and ironwood, and tad poles dancing in puddles. I placed a chair in their midst and watched: watched them spontaneously living out their purpose in birth, in living, in dying, and even in death. With a short cord I fastened my chair to a tree, returning to the clearing throughout the seasons: moonlit nights, coyotes howling, winter’s snow coating me, or wet-soaked with rains, always I was compelled to return.

Deeply appreciative of the beauty in these natural friends, I sensed also something else: some filling-presence from beyond, beyond and yet within, a shimmering life-force, personal, and pleased with my delight, my satisfaction, my enchantment. My chair sat on holy ground.

Spring came to the woods, and this One Who Fills Everything in Every Way grew a ring of violets around my chair, and I knew what it was like to be drawn by love.

“My way is not so simple,” I said to the One. “These captivating creatures please you by being just what you intend them to be.”  The One was silent.

So I asked:

“Who are you?
How do I get to you?
Who am I?
What do you want from me?”

The quiet answer came: “I am here, and I hear your questions. I have gifted you with my image, and if you lean in close to me, I will teach you to be watchful with the eyes of the wind, to listen to language ancient, spoken before earth, before stars, before time. I will teach you to know, and be known, in love.”

profileSo, as I seek to present myself to you as a spiritual director, to cite my credentials, I will say that I have no more notable credential than my own human, spiritual journey: my longing to devote myself to be close to God. I find the God who says, “If you seek me you will find me, if you seek me with your whole heart,” 2 faithful to those words, and I believe those words are spoken to all.

I believe that, like me, you “were purposed into being in the heart of God’s love. God spoke you forth from before the foundation of the world.”3

Spiritual direction helps us to attend to this loving purpose. I believe that God’s desire is for us to function within ourselves, with others, and with the world, as whole people, restored to authenticity, the people we were created to be. Christ, the light, invites us to be children of light, and in the nurturing home of his heart the family resemblance is formed in us: we reflect his image, his character, his mind, his love.

In spiritual direction we begin right where we are and we trust together in God’s goodness and strong sense of good will toward us. We place ourselves in the light of God’s word, the Scriptures, and we value the wealth of spiritual guidance passed graciously on to us from other relentless and devoted seekers from time present and past.

I have shared with you an awakening story. Your stories will likely be different. Your life will offer reception to God’s revelation in paths where I do not walk. I am eager to hear your stories.

“God awakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” 4

1. C.S. Lewis
2. Deuteronomy 4:29 (my editing)
3. M. Robert Mulholland, Jr.
4. Isaiah 50:4 (my editing)
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“How do you open the eyes to see how to take the daily, domestic, workday vortex and invert it into the dome of an everyday cathedral?”

Ann Voskamp

With thankful appreciation to Truitt Seitz, my editor, my son, and my friend.