Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Hemma

"...HE knows what he is about..."

Recommended Posts

Hemma

Dear all!

I start this topic in Vocation Station because my trouble has essentially to do with vocation issues, and because some of you might remember me (I've recently changed the display name due to privat sphere reasons - it has nothing to do with you:) ).

Today I've got my dismissal at work - which is much more bad as it might be... because my chef has been Mother Superior of some community I've been discerning with. I had already realized that they might not be my place, but this is now very sudden and very unpleasant and sad...

Now I'm very much in trouble. I do not know - does the Lord even want me in consecrated life? But a good husband (I've thought about this too) can't be found easily either. I do not know what the Lord wants. I'm rather downhearted now. After all these years of searching and discerning, and all the changes in my life which it caused... I feel so lost, and worthless, and all washed-up. Where shall I start next? Won't I fail again?

Two things are somehow most difficult to bear: One, the closing chapter of discerning journey, which moreover gives me a feeling of having lost the game by own incapability. (Regarding the job as well as spiritually. Have I been not worthy because I've loved myself too much instead of the Lord...?) The job here was socially very difficult - much critics, never appreciation - from this point of view I am glad that I am going to leave. But I had so many hopes when I came, and I would have loved to give something, or even myself to God and the sisters. The other thing - my SD has just said "Oh, really? We can talk on Friday about that." Well I thought him to be some sort of father to me, that he would care about my whereabouts, but somehow... this was not fatherly at all. Shouldn 't he know how desperate I am? How much I need a friendly ear and some good words to cope with my situation. Maybe he just didn't want to show his feelings or he didn't mean it like that, but somehow it felt like a second dismissal, quite careless at least. Have I disappointed him too because I wasn't tough enough? I am very sad about that. Someone said he's always like that in such situations when you need him most. I shouldn't worry - but of course it hurts and I do worry.

But there has been something consoling and even funny today. There's another priest around here, quite old and with lots of experience. He knows the situation and me quite well, too. He took the time to listen to me, had many good and wise words - and he had four gifts for me: two fruits, a bottle of red wine, and a bottle of liqueur. And he allowed, and even told me, to drink tonight enough of it - up to three glasses - so that I might sleep well. That was most kind of him, because I am frightened of the night and of all the insinuations of the devil which might come, about me, and about God...  Another priest whom I know from earlier times has called me back and gave the good advise not to think to much about all these things now, just to continue with everything and to trust in God. That might help to go on...

:rain::egg:

This is the quotation from Blessed J. H. Newman where I took the title from:

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/408029-god-has-created-me-to-do-him-some-definite-service

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Spem in alium

I am sorry to hear of these difficulties you're facing, but am glad you've had some help from these two priests. Something that can be very difficult about discernment of a vocation is how little control we can have over it. It's very natural to want to know something, and to know it NOW, but this discernment doesn't work like that -- because we can't rush God, and our ways and insights are different to His. During my initial discernment (before I entered my congregation), I'd have moments when I thought, like you, that I really didn't know what God wanted from me, but I eventually realised that all along He had been showing me what He wanted - I'd just overlooked the signs.

My advice to you: pray over the next few days, perhaps for calm and peace in your heart, before you meet with your SD. Maybe, as you said, he didn't mean to come off the way he did, but I can understand how and why you would be hurt. If you feel confident enough, you might want to talk to him about his reaction also.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hemma

Thank you, Spem, for your encouraging words :)

Can you understand that I have difficulties in prayer right now because I feel ashamed before Him and somehow like a punished child who is scared now and doesn't know how to do better?

I come in front of Him very small and waiting for a heartening smile... but He doesn't want to give me the feeling of a smile. Maybe He wants me to grow in believing. But sometimes it seems as if we fail the more, the more we try. Or do we try harder only when we fail?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
miserere

I will pray for you Hemma, as you're going through this.  I know it's really hard when you think you have things figured out and then something unexpected happens.  (I myself was in a community for a year and then left.)  God loves you infinitely and isn't punishing you.  Let Him love you, even in this trial.  If you haven't heard of it or read it, I would highly recommend the book Abandonment to Divine Providence by de Caussade; I'm re-reading it now.  It's good for focusing on the graces of the present moment and seeing God's action in everything that happens.  May God envelop you in His Love!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BarbaraTherese

I am very sorry that you are suffering and bearing such a truly difficult load just now.  My prayer for you, Hemma.  .

I think that you are still on your discernment journey and hit a particularly difficult stretch and very heavy load of much suffering  I will be praying too that you will find jolly good advice, sound support and consoling encouragement.  I think Phatmass will be this too. When major adverse circumstances (such as you are experiencing) hit, it is not at all unusual that it affects one's prayer life.  All things really do pass.... eventually.  It is a matter of just hanging in there in Faith, even grim Faith, until things start to seem to go right again - and this alleviates emotional suffering and corrects a quite natural and normal negative attitude.  It is ok, even excellent, to go before The Lord telling Jesus "I am really scared and feel as if I am being punished - I feel like a punished child.  Show me 'the way I should walk' " ........telling Him where I am really at, rather than where I think I should be at. After all, He knows where we are really at anyway. :) You are still praying and richly praying, just perhaps not as you would like to pray......your senses are being mortified, denied.

"I cannot delight in you just now, Dear Lord - but I can know and profess in Faith, trust,  that you are a delight."  Consolation in prayer or anything else is not a reward, it is a totally undeserved gift.  And it is when The Lord withdraws His Gift of Consolation and we walk without our crutches (consolation), that we are magnificently serving Him and proclaiming Him and perhaps more than at any other time.  It is something like what Satan said to God about Job - that Job only served because of all of God's Gifts Job had been given. Satan went on to state that if God took away those gifts, Job likewise would no longer serve Him.  God removes the gifts of Job and Job suffers terribly many losses....but continues to serve and love God.  Satan must slink away wrong and therefore devastated........again........Satan is mortified and by one of the truly humble servants of God.

  I read that one of our saints was told by Jesus that when things are really difficult and our understanding obscured, it is a great Joy to Him that we just keep going even though it is near on impossible.............and a greater Joy to Him than when He gifts consolations and our spiritual life seems an easy road.  It is His great Joy because it is proof to all that we love Him for Himself alone, not His Gifts.

I too recommend Jean Pierre de Caussade's Abandonment to Divine Providence it has been a real turning corner and major influence on my own life.  You can read it online - including the Letters at the end of the book (very important).  Read online http://www.ccel.org/ccel/decaussade/abandonment

May God richly bless you and grant you His Consolations very soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BarbaraTherese

Just occurred to me.  Your thread title "He knows what He is about" is particularly beautiful because there is no question mark after the statement..........and because you can even write a statement like that with all you are undergoing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EmilyAnn

What you said brings back a lot of memories for me! Realising I wasn't called to religous life was so difficult for me (although obviously this may not be the case for you!) It's hard to feel like you've been going in the wrong direction. But I've realised since then that I wasn't going in the wrong direction - my journey just wasn't headed where I thought it was.

It can help a lot to take a step back. When you're discerning everything can feel so certain and it's easy when things feel unsure to scramble for that certainty again. But it can be more helpful to put it aside and focus on your relationship with God and work through the negative feelings. If you focus on God, everything else will become clear when the time is right.

Going to daily Mass always helped me a lot when I was struggling as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hemma

Thank you dear all for your kind advise. The mentioned work of de Caussade, yes, I know it, even though I couldn't manage to read it fully to the end. A former confessor of mine lent it to me once.

I am especially grateful for all your prayers, which are a great help - I feel it almost physically. Last night was indeed a difficult thing. Eventually I started wandering through the silent house - it was already after midnight - and ended again in the chapel, but there was no peace again... It was as if they that I dreaded had left their spirit there... I almost wanted to leave again, when I suddenly had an unusual thought. What if I went into the confessional. On the priest's side, where a chair stands. I thought it over whether id could be some sort of sacrilege, but then I thought it might be ok in that special situation. Reverently and shyly I took place, and it was such a peaceful place! It was like a small protected chapel inside the chapel. There I realized how much important a life with God is (that means for me: with chapel and liturgy), and that I don't want to lose it, whatever I do. So I shall not only look for a job, but also go on looking for a place where I can possibly live a consecrated life. If the Lord wants me married, He can still do that. For sure I won't refuse. Tomorrow I shall ask my SD about that.

@BarbaraTherese: Very deep, very true, I suppose. I am thinking (and praying) about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Spem in alium
22 hours ago, Hemma said:

Thank you, Spem, for your encouraging words :)

Can you understand that I have difficulties in prayer right now because I feel ashamed before Him and somehow like a punished child who is scared now and doesn't know how to do better?

I come in front of Him very small and waiting for a heartening smile... but He doesn't want to give me the feeling of a smile. Maybe He wants me to grow in believing. But sometimes it seems as if we fail the more, the more we try. Or do we try harder only when we fail?

Yes, I can definitely understand difficulties in prayer. What helps me when I do struggle is remembering that even my intention to pray is meaningful to God, and that He is always so loving. Sometimes we can feel very small before God, very ashamed. But I personally think that He wants us to share those feelings with Him, talk about them and pray with them. Wait for the smile you long for from God...it will come, just perhaps not in the way you might expect ☺

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CountrySteve21
On ‎9‎/‎21‎/‎2016 at 5:50 PM, miserere said:

I will pray for you Hemma, as you're going through this.  I know it's really hard when you think you have things figured out and then something unexpected happens.  (I myself was in a community for a year and then left.)  God loves you infinitely and isn't punishing you.  Let Him love you, even in this trial.  If you haven't heard of it or read it, I would highly recommend the book Abandonment to Divine Providence by de Caussade; I'm re-reading it now.  It's good for focusing on the graces of the present moment and seeing God's action in everything that happens.  May God envelop you in His Love!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BarbaraTherese

 

8 hours ago, Hemma said:

So I shall not only look for a job, but also go on looking for a place where I can possibly live a consecrated life. If the Lord wants me married, He can still do that. For sure I won't refuse. Tomorrow I shall ask my SD about that.

:like2: Moving on with sound positive decisions.

Prayer for all your intentions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hemma

Hi all!

Maybe it's time to tell you about how everything went on. First I went visiting the (more or less) only remaining convent; only remaining means: for me, after more than 10 years of search. There I met some guy... not SOME guy. I met HIM, the one that I had met before, this year, the only one that makes me nervous. At that earlier time I tried to get into contact with him, but it didn't work out, mainly because he barely knew me (I know a bit more about him for some reasons). There at the convent we met again, and yes, he remembered me, and yes, it was very nice.

Now, I had come to the convent to think about the nuns, and then there was that guy. What could I do? I came down with a cold. Two options at once was too much. I talked with him, and I talked with the nuns, and finally it was clear to me: The nuns are too strict for me. And what conclusion is possible if you come to a convent in order to seek for God - and  you find the guy you have a crush on? For me it was the signal: go, search the other way. Look for a husband. - For me there was no other conclusion possible. However, maybe I'm mislead - time will show.

Now it's three weeks ago and I haven't heard of him any more. I happen to know some relative of him; that one says: I can't give you much hope that it'll work out. And that's that then, as it seems. After Christmas he will come somewhere here, I might see him again... playing the same game of hope and disappointment a third time?

One week ago, another old acquaintance showed up after a very long time. This one is interested in me, but for reasons of faith I think, it's the wrong one.

Today there was my last day at work. The afternoon was already free. I had an appointment with to (male, but not marriageable) friends. We had an absolutely funny time until it suddenly turned. The reason was me.

On the way home I couldn't find a word again. Only when we stopped at my place I could say "Thank you" and "I'm sorry it just pulled the rug out from under me". He said something like, "It will work out again like it did before" and "Go to the Lord", but somehow, it left me alone. I called the other one and tried to apologize, but he just said "What for? Nothing to apologize for, really, not", and there was no room to talk about anything. I am frightened they might distance themselves from me because I'm not... happy enough.

And now I really feel lost. I have to realize that here in my recent life I haven't really good friends yet, and the few friends of my old life, they are too far away already. I am no longer becoming a nun, but I'm still far away from being a normal "worldy" person. The new clothes (yes, I need an almost completely new wardrobe, which is an awful lot of work) still feel strange. My old job has ended, and I need to find a new one - moreover, I need a new occupation. Something that fit's on me, not on the needs of some convent. I need to find out who I am and what I'm good for. I NEED people that care about me. You know - just someone who cares more than some politely spoken "Well, I'm sure, you'll find something". And as I have not anything of all this, I really feel bad today. I hate myself for all these problems. I miss the warmth of my good friend that seemed to have faded away this afternoon; he might think me ungrateful. Did I hurt him, will he drop me? I'm longing so much for his understanding, but if I know anything for certain, it's this: He didn't understand at all what was going on.

I never found a place with less pity or compassion among the people. Everybody seems so occupied with saving his own ass that he has no pity, no helping hand for others. Twice I tried to be a helping hand for another women here, but I was very much the only one.

Do you know these temptations when you think: Now, why not becoming the same? But I won't; I'll go to the chapel again and shout to the Lord, and cry to Him for the heart of my good friend, and everything else; and that He may help me to get out of the trap of selfishness - you fall into it so easily when you are in trouble with setting up your own life, over a longer period of time.

Do you know that voice in your ear that get's louder with each time: "Loser, loser! You failed again! and it's your own fault! You will fail again! why try again? You're a loser! You're a liability for them... and it's your own fault..." There's a big danger of discouragement, socially as well as occupational.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quasar

Hemma, I'm so sorry for the pain you're going through.  One thing I can say is that if you want to be loved, it doesn't seem that this man has anything to offer you.  I think it's so important to pay attention to how a man makes you feel, just as you would pay attention to your inner feelings while discerning religious life.  You expressed that you want to feel cared for.  He doesn't make you feel loved.  Maybe you are called to marriage, maybe not, but I think you are not called to marry this man.    I hope you can start moving on from here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
beatitude

I will pray for you to find peace. It seems to me that right now you are very anxious about what might happen in your life and that this is causing you to overthink things that should be kept simple.

To be honest, bumping into a near-stranger you have a crush on when you're at a convent isn't a sign that you must be called to marriage, and if he hadn't been there, I think the anxious part of you would have found other 'signs' to latch onto - X happened, so this must mean you have to be a nun; Y happened, so you need to go out and find a husband. God doesn't micro-manage our lives like this. I think this can be hard for us to accept, especially when we feel lonely, because all the uncertainty makes us feel lonelier still. But the only way to find comfort and peace is to learn to trust God in uncertainty and darkness, rather than hunting for signs and trying to draw up a specific plan of what to do with ourselves.

You want to be loved. That is a very natural and human thing. God asks us to trust him that we are loved. Whatever vocation we might follow, it's secondary to that trust. I can't emphasise that enough. If possible, be gentle with yourself, put aside the thoughts about what you might be called to, and just tell him, "Lord, I know you love me. Help me to love you." It's the simplest prayer and one that really helps when you're feeling lost and alone.

Loneliness and worry for the future are something I struggle with a lot. I often fall into the trap of thinking that my vocation has yet to begin, that when I finally do this thing or that thing I will be serving God and fulfilling my calling at last. But just quietly bearing my panic that I'm not doing the right thing can be a way of serving God, growing in love for God and neighbour - and this is all vocation is. We make it so unnecessarily hard for ourselves at times. You haven't failed at anything, and I pray that Jesus will help you to see that, and give you the comfort and encouragement you need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×