Last night was the monthly meeting of a women’s spirituality group I facilitate in my parish. We are using for our reflection and discussion Joan Chittister’s book, The Story of Ruth: Twelve Moments in Every Woman’s Life, which uses the Old Testament Book of Ruth as a metaphor for the universal experience of women.
The focus of our session this month was the chapter on Transformation. In Chittister’s words, a “moment of transformation comes when something inside us shifts and, despite ourselves, we find that we are no longer the person we used to be.” Let me share the lines of the chapter that several of the women said struck them most deeply. Chittister writes:
Transformation is that moment in the life of a woman – no matter how young, how old, how long in coming – when she begins to engineer her own life circumstances, to declare her own intentions, to state her own needs, to require the doing of her own decisions and to feel confident in the making of them. It is the moment when she moves beyond a mediated God to a God who talks directly to her herat. Transformation is the process of comign to wholeness, of growing into the skin of creation in such a way that we beocme more than we ever thought we could be before we realized that God was our God, too.
We had rich discussion during which women of various ages, educational background, marital status and life experience reflected on questions we might all ask ourselves:
Can you recall a time when what you did before no longer fit who you were? A time when you knew something in you was dying and something else was trying to come to life?
What was the catalyst in your life that invited you to choose a different path?
Where did you find support at a point where you struck out on a different course?
Where was God for you in all of this?