Discerning Life Transitions

Listening Together in Spiritual Direction

Dwight H. Judy

Oct/2010, 157 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819224071



Every one of us will experience several major life changes over the course of adulthood. Each of these transitions will be marked by external changes, such as change of location, career changes, promotions, or job losses, plus changes in family circumstances, including births, marriage, and death. These transitions are also marked by inner change, since most of us readily examine our faith life and relationship with God during such periods.

This book helps people examine both the outward and the inward dimensions of major life changes. This blend of interior examination and attention to practical issues is shown in the questions that set the stage for the discernment process:

- What theme or themes do you bring to this process of discernment?

- What details would be necessary to know in order to discern an outcome?

- What are the financial implications?

- What are the implications for family members or others close to you?

- What information do you need to start gathering?

Dwight H. Judy is Professor of Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. His other books include Christian Meditation and Inner Healing, Healing the Male Soul: Christianity and the Mythic Journey, Embracing God: Praying with Teresa of Avila,and Quest for the Mystical Christ: Awakening the Heart of Faith. He lives in Syracuse, Indiana.

“Dwight Judy offers a rare gift as we tread the puzzling path of transition: the voice and companionship of an experienced traveler on the way. With insight born out of his own navigation of life transitions, he creates and nurtures a receptive space for persons and their fellow travelers to experience a prayerful climate of mutual listening and care as direction is discerned. In all stages of the journey Judy walks and waits with the reader, the discerner, and the persons who travel alongside, offering wisdom, questions for guidance, directing our gaze toward God who is with us always.”—Wendy J. Miller, Assistant Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Formation, Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, Virginia

“Each of us makes life-changing decisions at key moments in our lives. Dwight Judy’s book offers a valuable resource to those making such decisions and those seeking to help them. He brings an abundance of insight as well as helpful exercises to this endeavor. They are the result of Dwight’s combining years of pastoral experience with academic research and teaching both in spirituality and psychology.”—Robert Schmitt, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies, Saybrook University, President Emeritus, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology

“At long last the gift of discernment is being made available to every person seeking guidance and direction in the life decisions that all of us make. The author speaks from a wealth of experience as scholar, spiritual director, professor and individual seeking guidance in life's transitions. Discerning Life Transitions is accessible to the person just beginning to explore discernment and yet challenging to those who have long utilized this gift offered to all. This book should be a companion to every individual and small group desiring to listen more carefully to the Spirits call and direction.”—Rueben P. Job, Retired United Methodist Bishop

"Discerning Life Transitions is an inspiring book to work with individually or in small groups as a discerning and spiritual guide to listening to the various “calls” that each life transition provides. Practical, inspiring and deeply comforting!"—Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., Cultural Anthropologist, author of The Second Half of Life

"Dwight Judy has drawn on a life time of experience to produce a valuable guide to the task of discernment, replete with stories and practical recommendations. We all have a God-given vocation. What remains is finding the deep connection between own lives and God's calling. Dwight's book is a trustworthy companion on that journey."—The Reverend Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt, author of What God Wants for Your Life

"Spiritual directors, small group leaders, and individuals will be gifted with Dwight Judy's understanding that true discernment comes through cooperating with the slow work of God. Biblical stories, mythology, psychological research and personal stories of discernment illumine the many ways external change during life's transitions can become the source of inner transformation. Discerning Life Transitions is a beautifully written and extremely helpful addition to the field spiritual direction."—Rev. Jane E. Vennard, spiritual director and author of Praying with Body and Soul

"When two roads diverge all of us need help in discerning which way to walk. Dwight Judy offers life-tested wisdom for spiritual guides who seek to listen well and practical tools for individuals in transition that help clarify core commitments and vocational callings. Dr. Judy's many years of teaching show in his ability to communicate both current theory and ancient practice to help bring head and heart knowledge together." —Rebecca Laird, Director of Ministerial Formation, Drew Theological School

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