Introductory Note:

The act of reflective writing has long been considered a helpful tool for disciples of Jesus. Especially for those who carry wounds from the past, autobiographical writing can become a spiritual practice that ushers us into God’s redemptive and restoring power. The “holy experiment” posted here is a simple, prayer-filled exercise borrowed from Trevor Hudson’s gloriously practical book, Discovering Our Spiritual Identity. Trevor invites us into a three-part process designed to refresh our awareness of God-with-us, to heal past wounds, and to renew our sense of purpose and partnership with the Holy One.

This experiment is so very doable. You can begin it even while you’re reading it below!

For deeper engagement with “remembering” as a spiritual practice, please read chapter 3 in Discovering Our Spiritual Identity. Much encouragement awaits you there.

Grace Pouch
Content Manager

Excerpt from Discovering Our Spiritual Identity

Holy Experiment

Stage One

Set aside a few hours spread over a period of several days. Begin by making a random list of those key moments in your life when the Holy One seemed particularly closed; moments when your life was touched by a sacred sense of awe and wonder and gratitude. Memories could range from a powerful awareness of life’s utter giftedness, from witnessing the birth of a baby to an answered prayer for yourself or a loved one. Limit your list to about 10 such memories. Next to these experiences describe the feelings you had during them. Feelings of deep joy and wholeness are usually a sign of God’s presence. Celebrate these experiences as sacraments of God’s self-giving love, especially shared with you. 

Stage Two

Make notes in your spiritual autobiography of memories of past pain. Pay particular attention to those feelings associated with each painful memory. Gently connect those memories with the ever-present suffering love of the crucified and risen Lord. Keep the cross before you. Commute for however long seems appropriate between the painful memory and the crucified Jesus. There is always a cross in the anguished heart of God. 

Stage Three

Ask the Lord to bring to mind moments when you have been a bearer of his loving presence. Write them down, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Often the small gesture of love and kindness can carry a meaning far greater than what seems outwardly apparent. When your list is completed, give thanks to God for the privilege of being his copartner in his ongoing work in his world today.

Taken from Discovering Our Spiritual Identity by Trevor Hudson. Copyright © 2010 by Trevor Hudson. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www​.ivpress​.com

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Text First Published November 2010 · Last Featured on October 2021