One of the core spiritual services we offer through Redeemed Seasons Ministries is one-on-one care, either in the form of spiritual direction* or in form of general, individualized soul care.
Why would someone seek out one-on-one spiritual direction or soul care as part of their Christian walk?
For many of us, the idea of allowing another person to speak into our story or to hear about our struggles is just not something we are willing to embrace. We are reluctant, resistant and reticent.
As both a recipient and a provider of spiritual direction and soul care services, I have learned that a one-on-one care relationship can have profound impacts on our walk with God. Listed below are 5 reasons that we should consider engaging in a trusted, transparent, one-on-one relationship with an objective individual in our spiritual journey.
- Investing in Intentional Relationship: Contrary to popular belief, walking out my story in relationship with God is not something that comes naturally. I have to work at it. How do I hear God’s voice? What does His intervention in my life look like? How do I respond to Him? Answers to these questions and others must be pursued, if I am to experience meaningful relationship with God. In a trusted, one-on-one care relationship, I have the freedom to explore with safety my personal relationship with God and to recognize the ways that He is seeking to engage with me, to care for me, and to guide me in the context my unique story.
- The Construct of Community in God’s Design: The Christian walk is not meant to be done alone; that is clear from Scripture. God’s design anticipates that I will journey with others in my story, as I grow in Christ. My journey is complicated, however, because the “others” in my life are often just as broken and flawed as I am. A one-on-one care relationship can give me a safe place to practice authenticity and transparency, so I can learn how to engage with others in healthy ways. I am much more free to go deeper with one who has the maturity and the training to accompany me in my story without re-wounding, judging, or fixing.
- Inviting Another to Identify my Blind Spots: No amount of looking will reveal what I cannot see. That is the nature of my blind spots. Having a trusted, one-on-one relationship for spiritual direction or soul care gives me another who is able see what I cannot. They “hold the mirror” so I am able to see into the spaces in my story that I have missed. In the context of the trust developed in one-on-one care, I can invite my care-giver to help me see the things that are escaping my notice but are influencing my attitudes and responses.
- The Power of Perspective: Limited to my own experiences in my own story, I often fail to grasp connections and implications that affect my choices and my relationships. A trusted spiritual director or care giver, who is experiencing my story as a companion or as an invited observer, can offer different perspectives — new insights and observations — that I would not recognize from within the space of my own experiences.
- Encouragement in the Divine Disruption: Finally, a trusted other can offer encouragement and support in the midst of disruption. Relationship with Jesus is not “business as usual”; Jesus will disrupt my life. In the midst of the changes that Jesus initiates, a trusted other can provide safe spaces where I can complain about the hurts, where I can commiserate over what is unpleasant, and where I can receive compassion and support for the difficulties in the journey. Outside encouragement is essential for the forward movement of my story. One-on-one care can provide that encouragement.
The spiritual side of our stories is often overlooked and under-served, yet it is essential to our walk with Jesus. Good one-on-one care encourages us to invest in our relationship with God, supports our efforts at safe authenticity and transparency in community, helps us see our blind spots, offers new perspectives on our story, and encourages us in the disruptions encountered in our walk with Jesus.
I encourage everyone to seek out a one-on-one care relationship in your spiritual journey. You will not regret it.
*If you are interested in a fuller definition of what spiritual direction, in particular, is all about. We have an information sheet on the Redeemed Seasons website at this link: What is Spiritual Direction?