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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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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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Kayte Postle

Hello pham and Merry Christmas(-ish)!! 

I've had some extremely constructive conversations with my SD lately, and together we came to the decision that community A is probably not a good fit for my spirituality. It's really hard to admit, as they are a wonderful community, but I have to really be honest with who I am as a daughter of God. On a bright note, I have reconnected with community B. I have talked to this community  in the past but there were quite a few reasons at the time why I wasn't able to spend time with them. I have penciled in a visit with community B in January for a weekend. Thankfully I can drive there, so I don't have to worry about flights.  The VD of community B and my SD have talked over the phone and both think it's a smart move to make a visit. I, for one, am very excited. Out of the blue I decided to write community C, a community which I have looked at (and stalked) quite extensively. Their charism and spirituality match mine almost perfectly, and when discussing this with my SD, I could not for the life of me remember why I had never written them. Probably fear, which I have discovered I have been giving into very much in my discerning over the years. I was very honest and open with the VD of community C, especially about some of my shortcomings and current health status. The VD was pleased to hear me talk so candidly, and is willing to take the time to pray, and discern with me. I have also penciled in a visit with community C, hopefully sometime in February.  The only bad part is community C is in another part of my country and I'd have to fly there. 

As for my health and personal life things have improved greatly in a short amount of time. My health is doing extremely well, and my doctor is very pleased with my improvement.  Although I have yet to find full time permanent work, I have had quite a lot of freelance projects that have been paying the bills. There have been points where the money for bills has come in hours before they were do. God is so so good, and He has been asking me to trust a lot in this season! He has never left me or forsaken me. I do have some very good solid leads on a job, hopefully I will be employed again full time in the early new year. 

Reading back through this thread is interesting to me. To see where God moved, and honestly to see where I have fallen short in the discernment process. Once again I thank you all for your prayers, support, and insights. I'll be praying for you! 

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Kayte Postle

Great news all, I am employed full time once again! It's such a blessing, the commute is good, the benefits are great, and it's doing what I love while being in service to people at the same time. God is very good indeed! 

Also I will be visiting community B this weekend, so please keep me and the other young lady that will be there in your prayers. Pray especially for good health this weekend, as I have a pattern of getting sick or getting terrible migraines while on retreat. Thanks and pax! 

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Jennifer

Lovely to hear that you are working again.

Many prayers for you and your fellow discerner as you visit the community this weekend, especially for your good health. I hope all goes well for you both.  God Bless.  

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Kayte Postle

Hey all, tomorrow I will be heading to community B to spend a few days with them. The weather is looking iffy, so please pray for safe travels for myself and the other discerner! Thanks! 

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Kayte Postle

Hey pham, 

My visit with community B went very well, and a bit not like what I expected. I'm not going to go into huge details, but I have concluded that community B is not where I am called. It's really hard because I felt a tremendous about of peace the first day I was there, but after talking with the VD I know for sure that it's just not the right place for me. One of the things I was, and still am, processing from the retreat is the ability to let go of my family. I'm very close with them, and this retreat for some reason really brought that particular fear to the surface and I felt it's effects very much over the weekend. On the bright side, praises be to God that I was healthy the whole weekend, no migraines at all! 

I'm still in contact with community C, and have pushed back my visit with them to a tentative date in April. I've got a lot to process before I finalize those plans though. I'm honestly at a point where I'm ready to make a hard decision one way or the other; to enter or give up on religious life for good. I'm going to start aging out of communities soon, and it's just time to stop being a "sister of perpetual discernment". I need to stop trying to have my cake and eat it too, (a huge explanation behind this I'll keep to myself for now).  I ask for your prayers, that I may have clarity of God's will, and that I may accept His loving will whatever it may be. 

Know that I'm praying for you all! 

 

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Kayte Postle

My lovely Pham! 

Things in life are going very well. My job is going smoothly and my health is great. So great in fact that with my doctors guidance I am coming off of medication! I will be completely med free (minus over the counter allergy meds...dogs) by the middle of March. So far the process is going very very well. The only problem (and not sure if I should really call it a problem) is this opens up a whole new world discernment wise. Communities that were once unthinkable are now possible given some time. It’s very confusing and a bit stressful.

I’ve reconnected with the very first community I ever visited way back in 2012. I ran into some of their sisters at a conference last week, and one of them remembered me from such a long time ago!  I wrote the community and I get to make a short visit with them in April. I’m so excited because never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be healthy enough to be med free and able discern with this community. I’m of course taking it one day at a time, and know that I’ll be waiting for possible entrance for at least another year while I’m medication free. However I’m so joyful and praising God for this development. 

Im praying for you all and hope everyone is well. Love you Pham!!

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BarbaraTherese

Thank you very much for your prayer, Kayte.  May God Bless you as you are weaned off medication and may it be totally successful.  God Bless your ongoing discernment too

2 hours ago, Kayte Postle said:

never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be healthy enough to be med free and able discern with this community

Our God of The Surprise :)   A very happy April visit to the community.

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