It’s another Sunday Scribbling! This week, we’re going after a phrase: The Next Step! And what a great opportunity: (So great that I’m doubling the fun by linking with a second community…”On, In, And Around Mondays“)
“So, what’s the next step?” my Spiritual Director asked.
“Well, that’s why I’m here. I was kinda hoping you’d know,” I answered hopefully.
“Now Grace, you know that’s not how it works. I’m a Spiritual Director, not a psychic. My job is to help you listen for God’s guidance and to read the signs along the way of your journey.”
Why did that sound more like a challenge than an invitation? I knew she was right, though. She wasn’t there to tell me what I’m supposed to do. It’s just that, with all that’s been transpiring in my life the last few years, I kind of feel like I’ve been in an endless spin cycle of the washer and God’s going to spin me more in a hot dryer rather than hang me out to dry in the sun. I think I’d prefer hanging on the line, at least I’d have a chance of seeing where the line connects.
She called me back to attention, “Grace, let’s talk about your dreams again. Tell me about the one you had last month.”
“Right. Yeah, that’s the one that signaled to me that I could hear again. Hear, as in, God’s voice.” I started. “In my dream, I was in the arms of another man. I couldn’t see his face because we were embracing, but I could see over his shoulder. There I saw, another man. I’m pretty sure he was older than the man who was holding me, but I still found him attractive.”
She asked, “How did it feel to be in another man’s arms?”
“It felt wonderful. I could tell that he loved me very much, thought I was attractive and that he appreciated me. It made me feel very alive, like I was right where I was supposed to be.” The thought of it still makes me feel that way.
“And what about the other man?”
I knew exactly. “He was very attractive, but I felt like he was in my past…like I used to be with him, but we had broken up for some reason. I could tell that we had loved each other once. But it didn’t make me sad. Something about him told me that he would always be there should I choose to go back to him.”
She pushed me to interpret my own dream. “What do you think it means?”
“It was the strangest thing, because I felt so awake though I knew I was dreaming. And as soon as I woke up, I felt pretty quickly that it was a message from God. My first thought was that it was literal, and I was dreaming about leaving my husband. But somehow I knew that wasn’t it at all.”
“What was it then, Grace?”
“I think it was a metaphor for work and the men represented my partners, my workplace. My sister-in-law suggested that the men elicited my passion, and I think that makes sense. The new guy, whose face I couldn’t see, will be my new job. I’m going to love it and be very happy in it. It’s going to be a really good thing, but different from my previous position.” My mind was racing at the thought.
“And the other guy, didn’t you tell me he was gray haired but still youngish looking?” she pressed me for details.
“Yeah, good looking guy. I think he was supposed to be my previous job. I’m still attracted to it, and I could choose to go back to that line of work, but I’m going to find my heart again in the new guy.” Now I’m starting to feel a little frustrated.
Seeing my face change expression, the Spiritual Director asks me again, “So what’s the next step?”
Sighing, I answer,”It’s still waiting. I haven’t seen the face of the new guy yet so I don’t know what direction I’m supposed to go in. Maybe I should start praying for his face to be revealed.”
“Grace, that sounds like a next step to me!”
We prayed together and planned to meet again in two weeks.