I would like to share with you some thoughts on my vocational discernment journey. I would deeply appreciate it if you kept me in your prayers and shared any advice you have concerning my story.
Twenty-two days ago, I returned from a Catholic Youth Conference called Stubenville. It was held in Missouri, and I went with my church youth group. While at the conference, I sincerely felt my heart being moved by Christ during Eucharistic adoration. I was flooded with a sense of peace and felt Christ whispering:
Chloe, this is what a true relationship with me is like.
To tell you the truth, this was a wake-up call. I had previously neglected Bible reading and my prayer life was at an all-time low. During a vocations call, I couldn't remain seated when they called for young women who felt the call to discern religious life. I was ready to discern God's will! I had been treating marriage as a "default" option, not considering that God had anything else planned for me.
When I returned from the conference, I went to talk with a local priest, Father Nick. I explained to him what I was struggling with, because it really was struggle. I didn't want to leave behind this love of a vocation of marriage, yet I didn't want to slam the door on God's face on discerning a religious life, or even consecrated single! I would like to share the advice Father Nick gave me:
God is not going to call His children to focus soley on looking for their life vocation so much so that it calls away from our present vocation (for me thi was a sister, daugthter, student, and eample to younger siblings.) As young adults, discerning our vocation right now needs to be a calling to indifference: to free ourselves from things (other's opinions, sin, etc.) so that we can be open to whatever God is calling.
Father Nick also said that the struggle I feel right now (between marriage and religious life) is very usual - and that God isn't going to call me to a lifestyle without making it clear what I need to do to follow his will - it's not like God is tossing me into the world to fend for myself, He'll make it clear what I need to be doing if I listen to His will and not my own.
Father also said that my vocation right now can be increased by giving love away, the more you give away, the more it multiplies, and that this could be accomplished through my interaction with my siblings.
So I have now caught you up to the present. Progress report? I have fallen in love with the creator of the universe - this is no metaphor, this is the truth. I love spending time with Him in personal devotion, Mass, the rosary, and Adoration.
The most important thing that I am trying to focus on is giving my WHOLE life over to Him. I want to be constantly showing Him by my actions that I love Him! So, I have really been trying to use every action, even as meager as cleaning up the table after lunch, or not snapping back at my siblings, to serve Him.
Do I know the answer to the timeless question: "Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?" Nope. Not even close. But, to tell you the truth, I'm not even worried about this question. I'm so much more concerned with this one: "Do you know how you can best serve God and fulfill His will with your life?" Once again, not even close, but I'm sure trying to get there!
Please keep me in your prayers as I travel through these decisions on this journey, and I will defiantly keep you in my prayers!
God bless you all!