Good listener

July 22, 2010

This last week, I have been re-reading my journals from the last several years.  It is such an eye-opening experience to read about my experiences with the knowledge of knowing how the stories end.  As I read them, I realize that I was not always good discernment.  Several times in my life, I moved forward with decisions even when my gut and prayer told me not too.  It seems very clear when I read my journals that I should not have gone in the direction I headed, but I went in that direction anyway.  (Example, a job that was not right for me, and I took it anyway.  That is a story in itself!)

When I did this, I found myself months later restless, empty, frustrated, and angry.  While I wish I had chosen to “go with my gut” and with what I was hearing in prayer, discerning poorly has taught me to wake up and pay more attention to feelings when making a decision, and also listening to what arises in prayer.  God uses those feelings of uneasiness or the red-flags in our head to communicate to us. 

I can laugh at myself today because my road of discernment eventually led me to finding my home in my professional life.  It was only, though, after making a couple of pretty bad decisions about my career that I discovered my home…ministry. 

What in my life have I done that indicate I am not a good listener?
What have I learned from those experiences of not listening to God’s nudges? 

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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