Friday, September 4, 2009

My Vocation Discernment Hasn't Been Easy

I think my prayers, along with the prayers of those who wanted to help me figure out what I was going through earlier in the week (the vocation thoughts) were answered. I also want to thank Kerri, Joe of Verbum Veritatis, and Claire of Musings of a Twentysomething for letting me talk about what was going on in my head. It was a big help. (P.S. Joe is also going through his discernment process, though for the priesthood (whoo!) so please pray for him as well.) As some of my friends noticed, I was not myself during this time.

As I said in the past couple of posts, the whole thing had really done a number in my head and had begun to disrupt my prayer life. I was upset about the whole thing, though I'd always been very accepting of what God wanted my vocation to be. I've knelt in from of the Tabernacle several times and told God that I'd do whatever he wanted me to do... and meant it. Every time I've done it, I've been sure that my vocation had been that of a wife and mother. I felt it in my heart that it was what I was meant to be. The thought that it was really the single life and that I'd been deceiving myself was what really upset me. Luckily though, I'm no longer upset over it... and not only because I'm once again sure that I'm meant to be married.

So how did the single vocation thought go away? It actually happened while writing my last blog. I wrote "It literally just dawned on me that all these thoughts and doubts could've just been put into my head because the enemy wants me to abandon my prayer life and wants me to be angry at something I love so dearly." Once I wrote that and really thought about it, I felt a huge wave of relief... like I'd just stumbled unto the answer I'd been looking for. That's not to say that it was a relief because I'd get my selfish wish of picking what vocation I most wanted, but because it explained why I'd gotten all this anger out of nowhere and at Church, after confessions, of all places... and why there was something that wanted me to get mad at God (which, luckily, I didn't.) Not only that, I became REALLY happy. It was like "HA! God, you've helped me figure it out! Thank you for giving me the strength to not do something stupid like blame You for this." This was actually what I talked to my friends about. I'd been so confused; I wasn't acting or sounding like myself and it was all just so frustrating. It was honestly unlike anything I'd ever felt before. The outcome of this is peace in my heart and an even stronger passion for prayer and for devoting myself to God.

A twitter friend brought up something about what I'd written about my vocation discernment. I'll repeat some of the same things I said to her here. My vocation discernment isn't something I've done on a whim. It's not "go with your gut instinct" or "do what you want most." I've spent years doing it; praying about what my discernment might be and doing what I believe God wants me to do. I've talked to Fr. Leo and Fr. Stan about this. Actually Fr. Leo, and later on Fr. Stan, helped me realized that I wasn't meant out for the religious vocation, though I actually really wanted to be a sister/nun. When I was a little girl, as young as 5-6 years old, I would say that I wanted to be a nun when I grew up. It all appealed to me. I had even gotten into an argument with my mother about a year and a half ago regard it. I'd told her that if it was what God wanted, I would do it; that I was sorry that she disliked the vocation for me but that I'd do what I was meant to do.

My vocation discernment journey hasn't been easy. I've been thrown a lot of obstacles on the way. The realization that I was meant to be a wife and mommy someday came to me very slowly. If you'd asked me a few years ago, even as recent as 4-5 years ago, I would've told you that I didn't want kids. I've always loved kids but I didn't want any of my own. (side note: This was all prior to me returning to the Church.) I didn't want kids and I'd tell my friends that they'd be crazy if they thought I would want more than 1 if someday I did. I had other plans for my life: I wanted to be a wedding planner, eventually marry, and that was it. There were no plans to have children. Once I returned to the Church and started learning about Catholicism all over again, and really exploring my religion in a way I hadn't before I'd "left", it all changed for me. At the time, I still didn't think I would be a mom and the religious life was something I wanted. I fell in love with the faith and with my newfound prayer life. Nothing appealed more to me than to completely devote myself to God. I talked to Fr. Leo first and he suggested I wait to make up my mind; to pray about it. So I did... and slowly I began to realize what my vocation truly was while I began to get very excited about the prospect of being a mother someday. I prayed about it, many times in front of the Tabernacle and/or in Church, and I just knew that this was what God wanted me to do. I accepted it and I had been on this path ever since. And for the record, I'm not saying it'll be like this for everyone. The process is completely different for everyone. Like St. Therese of Lisieux, some people know their vocations at an earlier age than others. For some it's easier than others. The important thing is to never be upset with God and to never cease praying.

As I wrote a couple of entries ago, I recently decided to slightly modify what I would do with my life while I waited to get married and start a family and I couldn't be happier with this decision. It's already changed who I am, for the better, and I think my friends could see it by just looking at me. I have this huge smile that I can't wipe off my face. I do silly dances more often than not. I thank God for everything, including the whole single vocation curve ball I endured for a couple of days. I now have slightly more "selfish" plans for myself. My more longterm goals are to finish my degree. More immediate plans include starting a little "garden" I can keep within the confines of my apartment and doing things, like taking dance classes, for myself. I also want to learn how to make more dishes since my mother has declared that she hates cooking and baking. Luckily, I love cooking so I won't mind. Who knows, I might even attempt to become a chef some day; the sky's the limit when it comes to my dreams and plans. :D Of course, I will try to do everything with God in mind. Cooking and baking classes? I could put those skills to use by making food for the homeless. The dance class? I could help out an elementary school's after school program to keep kids off the streets by volunteering to teach dance. My garden? I could grow flowers and give them to patients at hospitals who don't get visitors. That's what makes me so happy about all of this; I'm doing things I love AND finding ways to help others. Thank you, Lord, for helping me with this. I give Him all credit for this happiness I feel. :D

Alright, well, I think that's about it for now. I've written too much again... as usual. Sorry. lol. I'm going to go tango dance for a little while (VERY little since I'm now running late.) Is it possible to tango in a classy way that's not provocative? That's what I'm about to find out. :D

I hope everyone had a great week. Once again, thank you so much for your prayers for me. God certainly listened. And, please, never hesitate to ask me to pray for you. I'd be more than happy to do it. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.


Claire Christina said...

I thought you'd get a kick out of hearing what my vocational discernment process was like. I realized that I should probably discern a religious vocation, because while I knew nuns and stuff as a child, it never occurred to me that I might be called to that. So I told Our Lord, "God, I don't want to be a nun. But if You want me to, You can change my heart, and that's cool by me." In two months, He'd made it clear to me that I was meant to live in the world. Several months after that, He began confirming over and over again that He wants me to be wife and mother of a large family. Then, months after that, He began to show me the beauty of religious life. Too bad I fell in love with such a lifestyle after I was sure it's not for me!

Oh, and while you're at it, feel free to pray for a friend of mine who, after much painful searching, has finally found a house to buy. Pray that, if it be God's Will, he can actually buy the house in time to get the federal refund craziness... This is the same friend who had the crazy test I asked you to pray for several weeks ago, which he passed (thank you)!

*hugs you!* :D

Katarina Mac said...

Hope your week has been going well! I recently came across this quote from Cardinal Newman on the subject of vocations. You may have seen this before but I thought I would share this with you and your readers because what the Cardinal says is so beautiful and encouraging:

"God has created me to do him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission; I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I have a part in a great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling."

Have a very lovely weekend! <3