Friday, November 14, 2008

Surrounded

Intuitive Hearts
Donna Funnell

I spent an hour each day this past week accompanying a college student through a retreat-in-daily-life experience. I am so glad that I did.

The retreat, sponsored by the university's Catholic student ministries, took place mostly in a Presbyterian church near the campus. Last night I spent a few minutes hanging out in the kitchen with two of the other spiritual directors, whom I know from other contexts. "It's hard to know," I said, "in this process of grief, when to push yourself to move forward and when not." "One day, one hour at a time," said one of the other women, confirming my experience. "Sometimes you'll be able to say 'Yes' to things, and other times you'll know to say, "No way.'"

I am truly surrounded. They are all around me, nudging me, encouraging me, telling me that the ice beneath my feet is more solid than it feels. I keep checking in, trusting that someone will say something if I extend myself too far. But so far what I am hearing, from people in my church and Presbytery, from people at seminary, from people in my spiritual direction comunity, from my family and friends, is that I am on the right path back into the world.

I have a meeting at seminary next week. I meet with my Committee on Preparation for Ministry (Presby-speak for the folks who supervise my progress toward ordination) next month. I've been a spiritual director this week. I can only do these things because other people offer me opportunities, read what I write, hear what I say, bring me soup, and circle the wagons in countless other ways. I truly am surrounded.




12 comments:

Lisa :-] said...

It is so obvious to me that you are on the path. To recovery? To dealing? To the rest of the world? I can't say... But you are, as the title of your so aptly named blog implies, searching. As always, completely in character...even in an impossible situation.

Sarah S-D said...

indeed, surrounded... with love... perhaps this feels claustrophobic sometimes, but it sounds like you're experiencing it as lifegiving at the moment. thanks be to God.

blessings as you take it one day, one hour at a time.

Stushie said...

You are going to make a great pastor. The world is broken and you perfectly understand the pain behind it. As a wounded healer, you can help those struggling with life.

Jennifer said...

It's good to be surrounded by choice folks with loving support.

Carol said...

You are surrounded by so much love, care, and support because of who you are as a person. Both now as you navigate this new path and before. You have opened your heart to and touched so many and they're just living the Golden Rule that you've modeled for them. And yes, you are moving in the direction of the future. One step and one moment at a time.

Purple said...

My spiritual director reminds me...trust what you know, trust what your body is telling you, trust that God is in all of that. And God will be in the coming meetings with your CPM and the decisions to be discerned. Prayers.

Kathryn J said...

Ice is an apt metaphor - you can never be completely confident of the next step. It would be lovely and cozy to be surrounded by that quilt of hearts. That you feel supported and encouraged is my best hope for you.

Mary Beth said...

(GG)

mompriest said...

some days we can ask for nothing more, than to be surrounded by those who love us deeply and guide us faithfully. glad you have this in your life at this time...

Michelle said...

As my patient (and wise) spiritual director reminded me from time to time: respect the defenses. If you need to retreat behind them, you do; when you don't, it's good to know they're there, just in case.

grace and peace and as ever, prayers...

Magdalene6127 said...

You are surrounded... by more love, prayers, and angels than you know, probably... like all of us.

Much love, continued prayers, and gratitude for these experiences this week.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I have been thinking about you, and so I was really glad to find this post. Blessings on you and your family.