Holy Conversations
 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
(Matthew 11:28-30)

For the last two decades or so, I have felt a drawing into silence, solitude, meditation on Scripture and prayer. Coupled with this has been a desire to walk with others into the same. When I reflect even further back to my mixed high years, by mixed I mean I oscillated between lost and found, between the black book and top 10 in class, between sneaking out of preps to sleep and raising my voice and hands under the Mugumo tree behind the labs in total surrender; I reckon that this desire for silence, solitude, meditation on Scripture goes way way back.
I can see y’all who know my extrovert, yellow dressing, sunshine, energy bursting ways double checking if indeed this is me writing or a guest blogger. It’s me alright.
Welcome to my introvert side!

I have found the place of silence and solitude to be a space where I find REST.

Where I breathe out.

Where I am in quiet with God.

Where I listen.

When I am heard.

My space.

Our space.

Just God and me.

To nourish and enrich this space I have gotten myself to many things. Re-commitment to my walk with the Lord.
Pivot point was back in 2002 when I met my now very dear friend Caroline Nganatha.

Girl is tall.

Girl is beautiful.

Girl has a hearty laughter.

Girl has a perfect teeth set.

Girl loves God.

So I meet Caroline and she straight up questions me on my lukewarmness. I was stunned to say the least.
“Who do you think you are to talk to me like that?” Hands akimbo
But the message was home.
Because that stepped up this my place of, God and me, to a whole new level.
I remember embarking on my second intentional back to back reading of the Bible. (I had done my first back to back Bible reading in High School where I met Deborah in Judges 4:4 and my life was never the same again – i need to blog about that soon) I went into a 7 day water fast. I embarked on intentional large spaces of silence and solitude. And I am so very glad that I did.
At first, I was doing it to prove Caroline wrong, but in the end, as I always tell her, I am certain she was God’s messenger to awaken me from my slumber.
Fast forward to my undergraduate and that is where the spiritual companion bug hit me hard.

I felt I had something to offer.

I wanted to listen.

I was convinced I could guide someone.

I was sure I could provide spiritual companionship.

Unfortunately I had a lot of zeal without knowledge.

Lots and lots of lessons learnt during those 2 and a half years and following on this desire that was growing in me.
Going to seminary really did me some good. A lot of good if I may add. To my zeal I added knowledge. Bible knowledge. Praise the Lord!
What this knowledge did is to add to the gift of teaching God in His mercy liberally deposited in me. And I embarked on being a better teacher. A better teacher of God’s Word. Growing up on Jon Courson had drawn me to expository Bible teaching. Seminary taught me the back end of it.
And that is how my quest for spiritual companionship received a worthy partner, teaching; or should I say teaching received a worthy partner . . .
At the end of 2017 as I lay on my side in bed, due to a complicated pregnancy,  I received a message from one Laura Ndugire

“Did you start you stay at home mums group?”

I promised her I would. And I did.
Integrated Living as a Personal Development Program came to be in the beginning of 2018. I put ‘as a program’ because that has been my way of life for the last decade and counting. So in bringing Integrated Living or IL as we abbreviate it to the world, I was just sharing a snippet of my space with God. I started the class with Stay Home Mum’s in mind, because that is where I was then. Since then, through Divine Providence, IL has grown to include people in all phases of life. And it is still growing!
Integrated living is a way of life. It takes account of three realities/actions:

  1. Knowing who you are
  2. Knowing where you are
  3. Integrating it all

My goal is that as many as the Lord brings through the 10 week classes and all those affected by the ripple effect, they will begin to live with a consciousness and an awareness of themselves and the Divine. And that this conscious living will begin and continue to affect their lives for God’s glory and for their transformation into the image of His Son Jesus Christ.
This Integrated Living presentation to the world re-ignited my spiritual companionship journey. This was as a matter of necessity. So I went back to reading and learning as much as I could on being a spiritual companion.
In my quest, firmly based on my chosen church affiliation (the Anglican Church), I immediately looked North West to the UK. I was so sure that I could find a suitable school there, after all isn’t this the traditional seat of the Anglican Communion. In God’s providence, I did not find a place there. So I turned Westward.
And Lo and behold, Holy Conversations A Spiritual Direction Course in the Anglican Tradition, the Spiritual Formation course of the Anglican Diocese in New England captured me.
Only problem was, I had missed the 2019 application and intake dates.
Not one to be easily discouraged I went ahead and emailed Rev. Canon Dr. Susan Skillen and expressed my heartfelt interest to undertake the 2 year course. And she wrote back. And I wrote to her some more. And she wrote back some more. So I made the application and got accepted with a 20% scholarship to ice it all. Turns out I wasn’t the only one interested in joining the program in 2020. There is 6 of us, who I can’t wait to meet at our first residency in March 2020.
Best part of it all, Susan+ graciously agreed to become my Spiritual Director. I am still smiling at this reality. It’s been a whirlwind past two months.
The costs associated with the Holy Conversations program are beyond me at the moment. I need help to cover my fees as well as the transport costs (read air and ground fare) associated with it all.
If you, individual/organisation or any individual/organisation you know would like to financially assist me on this journey please reach out as below and I will be more than glad to tell you more about it!
Email: Joyce@integratedliving.co.ke
Phone Number: +254 707 056 312
The spiritual companionship journey for me has just gained momentum. I am excitedly living in the moment as I witness the Lord in His grace and mercy use me to draw others into their God and me space of silence, solitude, meditation on Scripture and prayer.
I am convinced that in coming days, months and years the need for spiritual companionship will only grow. I am so grateful to be in this space at such a time as this.
 

To God’s Glory

For the Fame of His Name.

For my and our transformation into the image of His Son Jesus Christ.

Amen.

 
 
 

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