Do you ever look at your life and fill overwhelmed with gratitude at all the surprises, gifts, and unexpected invitations? I am in this season of life right now. As I reflect back on life’s journey, I am amazed at the surprising path of these past few years, yet I know God was at work in all the unfolding invitations of my life that I did not seek out. Let me share two of them today:
I meet people often that tell me they always dreamed of being a writer. To be honest, writing was never on my list of things I dreamed about doing. I begrudgingly made my way through English in high school dreading writing papers the entire time. My undergraduate and graduate work in elementary education provided ample opportunity for me to work on my writing skills, and while I cannot say I enjoyed paper writing during these times, it did get easier. It wasn’t until my graduate program in Pastoral studies that writing became something I enjoyed. Maybe it was the topics of spirituality, faith, prayer, and ministry that changed my perspective, but I know I surprised myself when at the closing class of my graduate program I named one of my next steps as “considering writing more”. Shortly after that program ended I began blogging, not really expecting it to go anywhere.
Now today, twice a month, I blog over at Loyola Press’ Ignatian Spirituality blog, dotMagis. I can remember exactly where I was when I received the call from my friend and colleague, Ray, inviting me to write for them. This unexpected invitation opened a whole new world for me as it gave me a space to share with others my passion for Ignatian spirituality. It challenged me in many ways as they invited me to dig deeper and deeper into topics. In a way, it helped refine a call for me, and here I am four years later working away slowly at a book on prayer and creating space to connect faith and life.
Today, I am blogging over at dotMagis on the other unexpected invitation in my life- becoming a spiritual director. Like writing, I never set out to become a spiritual director– it just kinda happened. Person after person showing up to meet with me, and the next thing I know I am in a training program. Three years later, I can tell you this surprising invitation from God is a huge gift in my life, and I pinch myself often asking God, “How is it you invited me to do this?”
I invite you to head on over to my post at dotMagis today called, “My ministry of spiritual direction” where I reflect on the gift of this ministry:
My ministry of spiritual direction was birthed from Jesus’ ongoing work in my life. It is a gift I thank God for often, because this ministry allows me to be a witness of the Incarnation that St. Ignatius invites us to pray with in the Spiritual Exercises—Jesus entering our world and encountering and transforming people.
And what about you? Are there things in your life that you never set out to do, but God surprised you with the invitation and the opportunity to do so?
I would love to hear your stories in the comments or feel free to email me!