Helloo peeps. I think first I apologise for being away and just generally not available or actively trying to catch up. Vocation discernment retreat starts today, but discernment isn’t really a 3-day thing. So here I’ll just share some of my thoughts and realisation over the past few months.
Sr Elizabeth started the second session by saying ’thinking is addictive’ and to ’think only when necessary’. And that’s how I knew I was meant to be there. Over the past few weeks, I have been and still am learning how to be present; to be fully attentive to my here and now; to receive the graces available only in the present. There are many Christian messages I come across on social media that encourage us to forget our (sinful) past and to look to the future. But I have realised that living in the future paralyses me. I keep anticipating and predicting God’s plan for me. I keep thinking the future will be better, as though the now is not good enough. But when I focus on the present and how God is trying to shape me in each present moment, I can be sure I will act in the greatest love at every moment.
I Can’t Have my Cake and Eat it As Well
Those who have chosen to devote their whole lives to Christ will experience a unique love and freedom meant especially for them. Those who have chosen to take the path of marriage will experience the love of God differently. And I cannot have both.
I must choose. But the aim is to make the decision as freely as I possibly can. Initially, there were fears; as though if I opened my heart and ears to God’s call, He will try to convince me to go where I don’t want to go. (For example in God’s head: so few women take discernment so seriously, better get every single one I can get ) But I have realised that I have nothing to be afraid of because God truly has a set plan for me, based on my own uniqueness. He has called at various times throughout my life, and discernment is about sifting out God’s voice out of all the other voices, including my own.
I’ve heard amazing ‘call stories’ of priests and religious. Very few talk about how they were called to marriage, maybe because, as much as we don’t like to hear it, marriage has become the default path. There should be more inspiring ’call stories’ to marriage. So thank you for those who were involved in Date-thing, and those who continue to be interested in TOB and discovering how to live out the sacrament of marriage the way God made it to be.
Hold the Tension in Prayer
There were and will be tensions in discernment. For me, I struggle to reconcile the tensions. I cannot be indifferent, and I doubt God wants me to be indifferent; to be dispassionate about the life He has called me to live. To not hope in His promise is to not trust Him, to expect is to assume too much about His plans for me. Whether I enter into postulancy or a relationship, the tensions will continue, because there is something for me to learn. The point is to hold all these tensions in prayer and not escape into cynicism or indifference.