Robert Mulholland suggest that spiritual formation is about being transformed into the image of Christ “for the sake of others.”
Sharing our lives with others is always a risk. Authenticity, interdependence, and being known come with a cost. But the alternative to paying the cost of living a one-another life is to live cut off from God. By appropriately opening ourselves to each other in the presence of Christ we discover ways to “lay down our lives for our friends.” We learn how to become safe people who bring God’s welcoming embrace to others.
by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun
Yesterday I started talking about being in a time of preparation. I mentioned our tendency to “think that one day we will magically arrive, like Cinderella in her pumpkin-turned-coach, at our place of purpose, instantaneously transformed” into the successful visionary we dream to become. Since fairy godmothers don’t really exist, it is fair to say that there is work to do on our part!
Yet the question remains – for what are we preparing? Some will answer that question by describing their future business, others have a vivid picture of a thriving family in mind. Still others hope to achieve academic success and other accolades or renown in their chosen field.
Ultimately, the greatest calling we ALL have on our lives, is to share this gift of life with someone else. Today, I had a small moment of transparency, that resulted in a variety of responses and reactions. Being vulnerable with those close to us can be a challenge by itself, never mind being open to “whoever will” in digital/online/virtual spaces.
Yet in my moment of pulling back the curtain for a brief moment, revealing my humanity (because I, like many, sometimes suffer from super-mom, super-wife, super-woman syndrome), I found strength in the very place from which we usually hide – I found strength in community. I was reminded that I was not the only one on this journey to discover identity, purpose, worth, value, beauty, and the list goes on. In the process I was brought to tears by those who having read my story, began to prepare themselves to tell their own.
I became aware that as I drop the weight, literally and metaphorically, as I declutter my physical, mental and emotional spaces, as I deal with the dirt under the carpet and the skeletons in the closet, moving out what does not belong – I am making room.
I am making room for community, for fellowship, for true sisterhood, genuine relationships, honest dialogue, and wholehearted, hand in hand forward movement in life.
And I am embracing this preparation process with open arms!