I'm still stressing (and needing prayer) about my housing situation but I thought I'd post about something else today.
Yesterday one of my friends met with me to discuss how I could be her 'spiritual director'. I was honoured to be chosen. As she doesn't want to be named publicly I will call her Theresa.
Theresa grew up in a difficult home where drugs, sex and violence were common occurrences. Since becoming a Christian a few years she has totally changed her lifestyle and is now studying to be able to help other people do the same thing. I described her, in some of my autobiographical writing, as 'fiercely intelligent' and she liked that description.
There were five areas we discussed
- Bible reading
- Corporate or church involvement
- Christian growth and lifestyle
In terms of Bible study she has received a prophecy that she will be like the Biblical prophet Jeremiah. She aims to read Jeremiah soon but is finding it difficult. She loves the law books and the New Testament letters as she likes structure. She is sick of the simplicity of daily readers. Recently she has been reading the Psalms. At first she didn't like the Psalms because she thought it was just everyone crying out for help but now she is getting more out of them. She reads the Bible every few days and is comfortable with that. Previously she was anxious that she was not doing enough.
Regarding Prayer she also likes a structured approach. She often 'hears' God speak to her personally but stopped hearing from Him in this way for about six months. This got to her. A woman at her church told her that "God had turned his back on her." She thought that this was because she was putting other things and other people before God in an idolatrous way. Last week she repented of this and confessed her failings to God. Last Sunday she heard again from God personally.
In terms of Meditation she has been struck by the Bible verse: "Be still and know that I am God." She read an article on meditation and was inspired. She finds, however, that the guidelines are too loose for her structured mindset. Her mind goes off on tangents instead of sticking to the thing she has chosen to meditate on.
Theresa has had many problems with her Church or corporate body in the last few years. Now, however, she is feeling really good about her involvement there. About a year ago she felt she was excluded and she pushed really hard to be included. She realised that some of this was caused by her own negative thinking so she moderated her self talk and ceased mind reading. She is now more involved in church activities. However, she thinks that trying so hard at being included has pushed Jesus out of the picture a little. She desires to focus more on Him and focus on people only secondarily.
Lastly Theresa has been through intense Christian Growth. She has turned away from the sins of her family and structured her values on Christ. Because she has been so successful in doing this she is, and she admits it, a little arrogant. She realises that it is OK to be confident in her changed lifestyle and her success despite the odds but she needs to balance this with humility and reliance on Christ. She is also becoming more adept socially. She finds socialising draining but realises it is necessary to get on in the world.
I hope you have liked reading about my friend Theresa. Please pray for her and for me that I will encourage and rebuke her lovingly.