A dear friend who is also in this workshop invited me to consider how I am called to “listen with the dry bones.” She pointed me to the realization that part of what I’m feeling called to is to literally listen with other people to what God is saying to us. Being a part of this worship is making me realize how much I need to be in conversation with other people on the journey, and how the conversations with myself are much more fruitful when I actually have them with other people.
This week I was blessed to have many meaningful conversations that deepened and sealed my learning. I feel like I’ve gained a new language to talk about my current discernment and journey that brings a greater sense of freedom and openness. A woman in my small group talked about a holistic recording that is needed in the Catholic Church, and I feel that I need my own personal holistic reordering. I feel like I’ve been using phrases like “leaving the institutional church” or “no longer part of the Catholic church.” However, this is not the full truth. Rather than “leaving” I feel like I am moving toward something new, and rather than feeling I am “no longer” part of something I feel like I am experiencing a transformation. I feel my chest opening up and making space for growth and newness.
I had the joy of talking to Casey this week, and she named my current movement as “discerning out.” I’ve heard this phrase so many times to talk about religious men and women discerning out of their orders, but somehow I had never thought of this totally normal and understandable process as being something I myself was going through. It means that in many ways I am still in relationship with the Catholic Church and yet am truly discerning what it means to move outward from its confines. In praying and reflecting on my dream/vision I see the legitimacy of this discernment, and feel like I’m being rooted in a holy process. When I pray and think about where I know deep within myself that I am called to belong in a place where Jesus is leading me, and a place where I can flourish. I’m so grateful for this safe space and the way my journey and discernment is being held. That experience of being held is allowing me to get in touch with the Spirit stirring in my soul.