My spiritual journey and relationship with God has always been very personal to me. I grew up attending church and Sunday school every Sunday morning at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, NM until I moved to Fort Worth, TX for college. In Fort Worth, not two weeks into the new chapter in my journey, I found a church home at St. Paul Lutheran. Church was my time to talk to God and revel in His wonder. I had developed this personal time with God, and my time to reflect with God about my week was well-defined to Sunday morning services. I would interact with my fellow congregation, but this was a spiritual personal time for me. The time experiencing the service and worshipping had become very personal and apparently also very important to my weekly routine.
Working at Trinity Church Gulph Mills with the children and youth on Sunday morning has completely changed that dynamic of my Sunday morning ritual. Sunday mornings are no longer reserved for just my conversations with God. I have to be present mentally and physically at the Children’s service and Sunday school to nurture the children’s spiritual journey. I do not have any personal time to reflect on my week with God because I feel accountable for the spiritual well-being of the children and youth at Trinity Church. I need to be present for them and serve them on Sunday. Since starting at Trinity, I was not setting aside this time to be with God as I have been doing for the past 22 years of my life. I felt displaced.
I did not notice how much I was missing my time with God until a few weeks of Sunday mornings spent serving the spiritual journey of others. I realized that my ideals for how I would be spiritually fed would have to change. I believe I have a heart for service, therefore one of my reasons for joining Servant Year, but I had never let my personal spiritual journey and service for others fuse together as a personal time with God. Serving others was a time for community while my Sunday morning was time for personal reflection. Of course, I know God can be found anywhere and anytime. I had never considered that my spiritual journey could be impacted so greatly by this little tweak in my routine. That time I used to set aside has become to mean something different in my spiritual journey.
Even though much of my time is spent at a church and in the presence of God, I find Him urging me to find that personal time we shared before I began working at a church. I have begun to define my spiritual journey differently as I believe this is a year for service. Throughout this year of service, I hope my relationship with God will deepen as I find a new way to have my personal reflection time with God. I have not quite found a solution, but that is what makes it a journey, spiritual journey with lefts and rights that can leave me in my comfort zone or completely displace me.
Deanna serves as Coordinator for Children and Youth Ministry at Trinity Church Gulph Mills.