Spiritual Autobiography and Memories: What Memories Will Emerge?
My spiritual autobiography, or spiritual memoir, includes my childhood memories. I can't separate the stories of my past from my story today. I have found that stories have roots in the past that you just can't circumnavigate.
My story includes certain people and memories from my childhood. I remember how, in junior high school, I made a new friend named Maureen. Maureen’s parents liked me. Maureen's mom took me under her wing. She became my spiritual ma ma. My parents didn't mind if I went to church, but they didn't want to go themselves. My new friend’s mom and dad picked me up at my house on their way to St. Boniface some Sunday mornings. I liked to go to church with them. It’s was a treat because I got to decide if I wanted to go. No one made me go to mass. I went because I was curious.
Maureen's mom talked to me about God when we sat around her kitchen table. She read her Bible all the time and told me that Jesus was her friend. I didn't know how she got to know Jesus like that, but I hoped Mrs. Clark could help me know Him like that too. Going to church with Maureen's family seemed like a good place to try and find Him, so I was glad they all let me tag along.
Tagging along with Maureen's family changed my spiritual life. It wasn't just the action of going to church that changed my spiritual life. Hanging out with Mrs. Clark had a huge impact on me. Being with a family that was concerned with spiritual things had a huge impact on me. It was the relationships, not the act of church going, that really made the difference. Maureen's house was full of people who showed me how to find God.
My good childhood memories, and not so good memories, are mostly connected to relationships. When writing my spiritual memoir, I had to consider how childhood memories and childhood relationships impacted my story. As you reflect on your journey consider the people who impacted you, changed you, or first revealed God's presence to you. How did they change the direction of your journey or help you emerge as the person you are today? Do these individuals have a place in your spiritual autobiography?