Will you enter in?
This new season of formation and healing has me thinking a lot about my first time around the spiral, mainly because doing so will help me in this new place as I remember things I learned from the first go-round.
Over the next several posts, I’m going to share some of the things I’m remembering here with you.
If you’re in your first-ever trek into the process of intentional formation, this next series of posts will, I hope, prove helpful — a bit like a beacon of light, illuminating the pathway forward, in a land that feels new and confusing and unknown and with no map.
If you’re on your second go-round (or third or fourth or more), hopefully these reflections will serve as a helpful reminder and encouragement to you as you keep walking forward. At least, that’s what they’ll be for me.
I’m reminded that the journey begins with awareness.
One day, you’re aware of something new, and you know you must follow it. It’s like Mary Oliver says in her poem “The Journey”:
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible …
One day, you just know. It’s time, and you must say yes.
In my first intentional formation journey, the awareness moment happened while reading a book. A word — grace — kept popping up on what seemed like every page, inviting my eventual admission that I just didn’t get what that word meant, even though I’d been hearing and saying it my whole life. This time around, it happened in a session with my spiritual director. She asked a question, I began answering it as honestly as I could, and suddenly there it was: something new I couldn’t ignore.
I think the awareness piece comes when we’re ready for it. I think it’s the invitation of God. Our opportunity, at that point, is to say yes and step through the door.
When have you experienced the awareness of invitation toward deeper formation or healing in your life?