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Kayte Postle

Kayte Discerns (An Ongoing Journey)

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beatitude

Kayte, I think just from looking at the dates on your posts that your feelings are in quite an unsettled state and there is a possibility that you might be making things more confusing for yourself by over-thinking all this.

On 28th October you wrote that you felt any doubts about a religious vocation were the result of negative voices in your life, that your call from God has been constant, and that you would see the community you're seriously discerning with in December. A week later, on 5th November, you're back from a retreat (to the community you're in contact with, or a different retreat?) and feeling that God isn't calling you after all. It's a very big swing from your first post to your second post, and both posts seem so certain ("The Lord has been calling me to this way of life for a long time" and then "The Lord made it pretty clear that I'm not called...").

The short space of time here and the way you are swinging between two opposite ideas makes me think you need to slow down a bit and start thinking in terms of 'Perhaps...' rather than in definite absolute terms of called or not called, but of course this is the sort of thing you need to be talking about with your spiritual director.

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Nunsuch

Kayte, you will be in my prayers. I do affirm what Beatitude said--but also suggest that you look into other options. If a spiritual director confirms that you are not called to vowed religious life, do look into a Secular Order, or Benedictine Oblates, or being an Associate of a women's congregation. All are ways of participating in the religious life, though not as a vowed member. The community in which I am an Associate is continuing to explore ways in which we are "One Community" (the way we describe the process by which we work and pray together and cooperate). Being an Associate is an essential part of my life and spirituality, and is not "less than"--just different. 

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Kayte Postle

Thank you everyone for your words of wisdom! I definitely need to have a longer conversation with my spiritual director. 

Just to clarify the retreat I went on was a general spiritual retreat that was run by the community I was/am discerning with. I went in with the attitude of getting to know the ministries and charism of the community better. I think part of my frustration is that I came down with a terrible migraine that had me out of commission for a good part of the retreat. It seems to be a running theme when I go on retreat, when I visited several previous communities on discernment retreats I've had the same problem of getting migraines that lay me out. It's particularly frustrating because it gives me the impression that I just don't have the capacity to live the life, I can't even seem to do it successfully for one weekend. It also began to feel like in my prayer that my desire for religious life was/is great, I just didn't know for sure if I have a call or not. I've been discerning for almost five years now, and it's becoming increasingly frustrating each time things don't work out. At some point, I have to face the fact that I just might not be called. 

Honestly I think my last post was made in haste. I had just gotten back from retreat, and was extremely frustrated and hurting. I need to take some more time for prayer, and need to talk more with the people in my life who know me and my story best, especially my SD. Thank you all for your words and advice, I really appreciate it.  

 

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BarbaraTherese
2 hours ago, Kayte Postle said:

I think part of my frustration is that I came down with a terrible migraine that had me out of commission for a good part of the retreat.

Not a good time and not spiritually recommended to make major decisions when in a negative frame of mind and illness can do this.

I underscore what Beatitude and Nunsuch have stated too.

 

3 hours ago, Kayte Postle said:

need to talk more with the people in my life who know me and my story best, especially my SD

 

Sound and wise move.

Prayer continues for you and your discernment journey, your intentions.

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gloriana35

I agree with Beatitude.  You indeed may be called to vowed life, but, based on your posts, you currently have enormous stress and confusion, and you cannot consider whether to enter a community in such an unstable period. It could be that you need to focus on strengthening your prayer life for now, and looking into religious life later. 

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Nunsuch

And, of course, stress can bring on migraines! (I speak as a sufferer, myself.)  How can you lessen tension and stress? Centering prayer? 

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TheresaThoma

The best thing you can do for yourself right now is to focus on becoming healthier, spiritually, mentally and physically. From your posts it sounds like you have had a rough time recently with your health which also will affect your mental and spiritual state. Trying to discern right now can be hard. Things can get confusing and you may miss subtle hints or that still small voice which is trying to guide you. What you may think is a "no" right now may mean "not right now" or "not here". Let yourself quiet down a bit and then really listen.

In my own discernment I wanted (and still do to a certain extent) to know where I am called and then just go there. However the Lord is very kind and extremely merciful in that he told me "not yet". I'm a bit stubborn so He had to have someone literally out loud directly tell me that. Seriously the exact words were "Not right now". Which may sound like a no but I am now coming to realize that I'm not ready yet. There are some wounds that still need time to heal and things I need to work on. The Lord does not want you to enter and then leave because of some wound. He wants to heal you and that takes time. It is hard to hear that "not right now" or "not yet". I sobbed when I was told that. Yet in the past few months I stepped back from discernment a bit and focused on my spiritual life and allowing Him in to heal my wounds. And now that my heart is a bit quieter I am starting to hear that "still small voice" that is guiding me on my discernment. I am much more at peace and even though I don't know where all this is heading I know I am with the Lord and He is guiding me. I pray that you will also be able to hear His Voice and follow Him.

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Kayte Postle

You guys rock, just fyi.  :)

I've had a lot of talks with my SD, my friends, my family, and even the VD of the community I'm discerning with. The one thing know for sure is that I need some time for life to settle down before proceeding. The money and timing hasn't come together for me to visit the sisters in December, and I had a very good talk with the VD about this. We are shooting for sometime in the spring, which really gives me the chance to heal more, and let life settle a bit.

I'm so thankful for all of your thoughtful responses, and I'm so thankful for this little internet community. I'll be keeping y'all in prayer! 

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