Navigating a new terrain
Many of those that come to me for Spiritual Direction are experiencing or have experienced some form of change within their lives. They are moving through changes of landscape both internally and externally which can be very disorienting.
An unexpected loss may have erupted spilling contents through heart and soul. A life now forever changed by the rending needs to grieve and find new ways of being that accommodate this absence whilst also embarking on what can be a slow, steady healing process.
Some find themselves at a new crossroads, paralysed by indecision, scared of “getting it wrong”. I’m able to stand alongside at this crossroads and be a companion as they journey onwards through a process of discernment, responding to the invitation for courage and trust.
Some have become lost in their spiritual journey and come with a desire to rediscover both themselves and God. This can open up a pathway that winds step by step through dismantling and “re-mantling”. The faith they had no longer fits and needs to be surrendered. The old faith clothes need gentle removing before it’s time to put on fresh garments that fit this stage of life’s journey. For others the desire is to find what has been lost, becoming familiar with it again and for some it is a brand new discovery of faith.
Sometimes there’s s sense of stuck-ness present because this new territory is unfamiliar and largely unknown. They have not yet become accustomed to what they require in order to navigate safely. Hope has diminished and together we search it out, its discovery bringing firmness back under feet that had become unsteady.
My own journey has seen me navigate a great deal of shifting landscape and unfamiliar territory. One such example is returning to live in East Devon having been away on and off for a decade and having spent the pervious 4 years living in Canada. In our absence the landscape of life here had changed, relationships had shifted, communities that we were once part of no longer evident. I returned with a strong hope for reestablishing of community and a slotting back in of relationships. As our time here unfolded it was apparent that this landscape was forever changed and that what was no longer existed. Although the journey has been one through grief and perplexity God has met me in very real ways. He has opened a way for new relationships and community and gently led me through the places of loss. It may not have come in the way I had hoped but God has made a way that is real, true and good.
When landscapes change we can get thrown off balance, we can feel unstable and anxious. It can sometimes feel that our hope has been swallowed up into this new, unfamiliar place we now find ourselves in but didn’t choose. Yet if we want it, a way does open by the grace of God that leads us through this new land. It may not be the way we envisaged but it will always be a good way because it will be from heaven. It takes trust, courage and a great deal of surrender but if we’re willing to walk it, it will offer new treasure, fresh revelation and renewed hope.
Perhaps you find yourself with a new, unfamiliar landscape that has unexpectedly revealed itself or you find yourself at a crossroads. Perhaps the journey through COVID 19 has sent you off-kilter and changed the shape of your life forever. May be you feel stuck, alone or unsure. Spiritual Direction, the presence of a Soul Coach may be the help you need in order to begin to navigate this new way. Often the reassuring presence of a companion helps bring a sense of settledness, stilling the noise that may be preventing forward movement. Perhaps knowing that there is someone there to walk with you and help you find a way is what’s needed. In this togetherness and with God a new way can begin to emerge, a new adventure begin and a new landscape be welcomed with hopeful anticipation.