I was turning 40, facing empty nest, and needed a new somethin’ somethin’. I decided to try tennis. So my very first morning of tennis, some (almost) 20 years ago now, I walked into a Target store and purchased a tennis racquet, drove myself to the local tennis club and showed up for a 9 a.m. beginning tennis class. I was hooked. It was (is!) so fun, and as long as my knees hold up, this is where you will find me at least once or twice a week.
And that $35 Target tennis racquet was perfect for me; for a while. After about three months, or so, of playing tennis a couple of times a week I realized the racquet head was too heavy. The grip was too small. The strings weren’t strung properly for my game. I got a new racquet.
My new Wilson Hammer was GREAT! Wowza! I loved it. I felt like it gave me a lot of control when I hit the ball. My game was improving so that I kept looking for the scouts around the courts, highly convinced I was middle-aged/stay-at-home mom tennis gold.
After about a year with that racquet, it wearied me. I needed more power. And, honestly, the racquet head needed more weight. Hello Babolat!
What suited me on my first tennis lesson was no longer suiting me, and every year or two I have needed to re-evaluate my choices and allow my racquet to evolve with my game.
My image of God has been very similar, though not as quick to evolve. My childhood/young adult God-image was sooooooo wonderful for many years. But then at a certain point, it no longer served me. But the thought of re-imagining God is quite a scary proposition. Who is this Other Worldly Being? How do I fit in to the plan of humanity? How does this all work? Why has it worked this way? I had questions ….. lots and lots of questions. (And much of this probably started about the same time of all of my racquet changes, to be honest!) J
Spiritual Direction was a place I could go to begin this process of growth, transformation, inner dialogue; sitting with my growing image of God. The picture of God I held as a child was morphing into a much larger, mind blowing, expansive Creator God that had different characteristics than I had held in my young mind. God was growing within me and was drawing me into a much larger story of Mystery. And, oh my, what a journey it has been.
Along the way there were dark spaces, mysterious places, and lots of unknown as I have grown, going from one door to another, stopping in the liminal place of the threshold for a while, gaining perspective, praying through the process, and waiting. Waiting enlarges us, and it has enlarged me in ways I could have never believed.
I will be ever grateful to God for the many friends and spiritual directors who have sat with me and held the space for me as I processed this growth and transformation.
And …. It is time for a new racquet.