Hamlin Counseling & Coaching, LLC


Spiritual Direction

Nate received training as a spiritual director from The Institute For Spiritual Formation at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California.  He is halfway done with his Master’s Degree in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care (it is a 66 unit program).  At this time he is not pursuing completion of the degree, but may do so in the future.  Nate left the program in order to become licensed as a counselor in Idaho.

What is Spiritual Direction?

     Spiritual Direction is a tradition that dates back to the 300's A.D.  After the conversion of Constantine to Christianity, the widespread persecution of Christians abated.  Those that died for their faith, also known as red martyrs, significantly decreased.  Because of this, many Christians longed for a depth of spirituality which they had experienced when they were under persecution.  This yearning drove some of them to the African desert where they pursued God in silence and solitude.  As the depth of their spirituality became known to those who visited them, their reputation spread. 
     These believers in the desert became known as abbas and ammas, or fathers and mothers.  They are talked about as white martyrs, because they were not externally persecuted by others, but persecuted themselves so to speak, for the sake of a robust spiritual life.  Their writings are now preserved for us in books like Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers and The Desert Fathers.  At times, a spiritual pilgrim would go to see one of the abbas and they would sit in silence together for days.  Other times the abbas and ammas would speak briefly to the travelers.
     The tradition of seeking spiritual direction is alive in the Catholic tradition and various Protestant high-church denominations like Anglican and Episcopalian.  There has been a renewed interest in spiritual direction in certain Protestant groups like The Institute for Spiritual Direction at Talbot School of Theology.  
     Having received some training in being a spiritual director, I want to offer this experience to those that might be interested.  I do not tell people what to believe, I merely provide a space for Christians to unfold their hearts including their spiritual joys, questions and doubts.  Sometimes we spend time in silence together; sometimes there is prayer; other times there is talking about what a person senses God is up to or not up to in their life.  The goal is to help a person deepen their personal experience of God as we try to co-discover what God might be up to in a person’s life and how a person is responding to God.  I do not compare myself at all to the desert fathers in relation to the depth of spirituality, I simply have a heart to provide space for people to get more deeply connected to themselves and to God.  I see myself more as a facilitator, trying to listen to God with one ear, and trying to listen to my directees with the other. 

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