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End Of Discernment


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Hi everyone. As you may have noticed, I am not posting as often on Phatmass in the last week. I've decided that I need to step away from discernment, at least for a while, because of difficulties at work (see prayer intentions). I am also experiencing symptoms of my chronic illness. :( I see the doctor next week and I hope to find out what I need to do to nip this problem in the bud. Please pray for me.

I may still post on VS from time to time, on other people's topics. :)

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[quote name='lookingforfaith' date='28 July 2010 - 09:43 PM' timestamp='1280367812' post='2149341']
*Hug* I think that's an extremely wise decision. I REALLY hope you aren't getting sick again though... Prayers coming your way!
[/quote]

I spent a lot of time on this decision and I think it's in my best interest. God is not calling me to be a Sister right now so I feel that my time could be spent on getting my degree and an inevitable career change.

Unfortunately, I am 98% certain that I am getting sick again. I have all the symptoms of when I had it previously. I'm betting it's the stress I'm under. Hopefully, it will get better when I leave my current job in 2 weeks. :sadder:

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Recently, a first-person account was published in a women's monthly periodical, about the young woman who had accepted a proposal of marriage from everyone's idea of "a great catch" of a boyfriend; she called off the wedding, in spite of the pressure and expectations from everyone around her. She describes the experience years after the fact, and comments that her decision was for the best. Her former fiance is still speaking to her and they are still friends (don't recall if he went off and proposed marriage to somebody else after that...). And she is thankful for, shall I say, the God-given grace to admit that she was not, and is not, the perfect woman for "a great catch," to be true to her actual self as God created her.
And here's the important part.
Given the turmoil she experienced during the formal engagement, with all these over-the-top plans going on for the wedding (yes, her boyfriend was filthy wealthy and titled and so on and so forth), she had the good sense to seek counseling. The counselor allowed her to unburden herself about the conflict between the woman's heart (she truly had a sincere attachment to the boyfriend) and the head (she accepted the boyfriend's proposal of marriage in spite of her better judgment). Then, the counselor said:
"If you trust neither your head nor your heart, then perhaps you ought to ask your body. What feelings do you experience in your body about getting married right now?" The young woman was unable to give a verbal answer, because she was overwhelmed with "wracking sobs". So spoke her body-self, and its answer could not have been more clear: She canceled the wedding. Everybody around her questioned her sanity, except the counselor of course.
Imagine, though, if the marriage had been finalized, then gone bad even with the best of intentions....it does happen, and it is rare that a separation is amicable or friendly once the couple has gone as far as that. And, almost needless to say, the woman's body felt MUCH healthier and happier once she had let go of getting married then and there.
Moral? The body doesn't lie: listen to it. And give thanks to God for the wisdom of your body, however disappointed you are in what your body tells you.

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Praying for you. God often leads those He loves on paths they do not understand. But by walking these paths with good faith, hope and love, they will be lead to the place where God wants them to be. Keep trusting in Him.

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Right now, I'm saving up my money from my last paycheck to enroll in Penn Foster College's Medical Coding and Billing program. I am also starting to look for a job that doesn't require me to work with people (like office work or something).

Thank you all for your prayers.

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IgnatiusofLoyola

[quote name='MaterMisericordiae' date='28 July 2010 - 08:28 PM' timestamp='1280366929' post='2149337']
Hi everyone. As you may have noticed, I am not posting as often on Phatmass in the last week. I've decided that I need to step away from discernment, at least for a while, because of difficulties at work (see prayer intentions). I am also experiencing symptoms of my chronic illness. [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/sad.gif[/img] I see the doctor next week and I hope to find out what I need to do to nip this problem in the bud. Please pray for me.

I may still post on VS from time to time, on other people's topics. [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif[/img]
[/quote]

Mater, in the past few weeks you have gone from being totally sold on the Nashville Dominicans, to wondering whether you would do better in a small Order, and now you say you going to stop discerning. From all you have said, the decision to stop discerning actively is rather sudden, but sounds like a wise one, at least in the short term. You have other pressures to deal with, such as your job and your health. And, I echo what others have said--listen to your body. I have been dealing with chronic illnesses on and off for most of my life, and I have found that stress does make my symptoms worse--and your body can't lie, so it is always wise to listen to it. I'm glad you're going to see the doctor next week to try to deal with the symptoms of your illness, as before they get worse.

I think your idea of going to school is a good one. In school, you have a lot of choice of whether to interact with people or not. As for office jobs, they could be an excellent option, but look at the job carefully. Having worked in offices for the majority of my career, there are "office jobs" where you have almost no interaction with people, and others where you have a LOT of interaction with people--possibly as much or more than you might have in your current job, even if it isn't as physical. When you look for jobs, don't panic and take the first one that comes along. Discern carefully--yes, discernment doesn't only apply to religious vocations. It would be better if you found a job quickly, and it's true that employers often prefer to hire people who are currently working. But, as someone who has interviewed many candidates, I would rather hire a applicant who has really thought through what they need in a job, and has learned as much as possible about the job they are applying for, and thought carefully about whether it would be the right job. It's not weakness (at least when I have been an interviewer) for a candidate to say "I enjoyed such and such about my last job, but I also learned that I prefer a job where I mostly work alone." Many, many applicants want a job where there is a lot of "action," so if a particular job is mostly done by yourself, you may be just what an employer is looking for. A wise employer will see as a positive that you have learned about yourself from your previous jobs, and you are looking for a job that not only fits what the empoyer wants, but fits who you are. If you can do that, a wise employer knows that if you can find that job, you will not only enjoy it, and you will not only succeed, but excel. And, after your last job, you definitely want a wise employer. (Although, I'm sure you already know from your job-hunting experience not to "bad-mouth" your current employer.)

Because you have made a lot of different (sometimes opposite) decisions in a fairly short time, ask your body if you really want to stop discerning completely, or simply want to back off and not discern actively. Personally, I wouldn't shut that door entirely until I had thought about it for much longer. For example, it may well take me years before I REALLY know whether or not I want to become Roman Catholic--that doesn't mean becoming Roman Catholic is wrong for me, but that God has some things to teach me before I will know for sure. (And even though I know I'm basically smart, for some things I can be incredibly dense.) If your body says that even reading about discerning feels like too much pressure right now, with all the other things you have to deal with, then back off. But, I'd advise taking time right now before you make ANY final decision about anything since you're confused. (There is nothing wrong with being confused. It is not fun, but all my life I have been confused about SOMETHING. For me, confusion provides an impetus to read and ask questions.)

But, selfishly, I hope you continue to post on Vocation Station. Heck, I'm not discerning and I still find things to say (even though I suspect what I say isn't as useful to others on VS as those of most other posters). But, VS is generally a peaceful and supportive place to be, and we will be with you, and pray for you no matter what you decide. Even though many (most?) posters on VS are looking actively at religious vocations, what all of us want for ourselves, and for each other, is to know and do what God wants for us. But, sometimes God's answer doesn't come quickly, so as much as you can, live in the present, and give the longer-term issue of "What should I do for the rest of my life?" to God to worry about.

If nothing else, have fun with us in the PPC. One of the things that the PPC does (even though that's not its primary purpose) is make it more clear to us what is important to us. For example, I find myself thinking about all the details of the library, when I haven't actually worked as a librarian for years. That makes me go, "Hmmm, that's telling me something." What is important and attractive? The community? The surroundings? The prayer? Having fun joking around? In the PPC, all of those are okay, it's a place to be exactly who you are, and to fantasize what you would want if anything were possible.

You have 60 or 70 or 80 years ahead of you. In the greater scheme of things, spending a year of more stepping back, and not making a final decision about ANYTHING won't hurt, especially knowing your tendency to get excited about something then change your mind (not a totally bad thing--the ability to get excited is a very good thing). And, the things that excite us are probably the best indication of what makes us happy (and healthy). So, look at the things about religious life (and secular life) that have made you excited.
So, if you go away completely from VS, I may have to come over to your house to do this. [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/getaclue.gif[/img] We like you exactly how you are, we enjoy your posts, we want you to be happy, and it makes us feel good to support people. Speaking only for myself, I will be shocked by nothing you say (well, unless you say that your chronic illness is a tendency to break into the homes of elderly people, kill them, and steal their money). In that case, we will still pray for you, but the support in that case might be a little different. I refuse to learn how to beak into houses just to help you in your "career." LOL Take a "sabbatical" from VS if need to, or if the idea of even hearing about the religious life is too much. We'll respect your decision--whatever it is. But, never feel that you aren't welcome here or have nothing to give if you aren't actively discerning. Heck, the people on VS put up with me, and some of them even seem to like me a little. I'm starting to repeat myself in this post (gee, I've never done that before.[img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/wacko.gif[/img] ). But, ultimately "vocation" is listening to God and following his guidance, as best we can, about what he wants from us.

In the meantime, our prayers will be with you in your job hunt and for your health.

Edited by IgnatiusofLoyola
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[quote name='IgnatiusofLoyola' date='29 July 2010 - 05:33 PM' timestamp='1280439197' post='2149651']
Mater, in the past few weeks you have gone from being totally sold on the Nashville Dominicans, to wondering whether you would do better in a small Order, and now you say you going to stop discerning. From all you have said, the decision to stop discerning actively is rather sudden, but sounds like a wise one, at least in the short term. You have other pressures to deal with, such as your job and your health. And, I echo what others have said--listen to your body. I have been dealing with chronic illnesses on and off for most of my life, and I have found that stress does make my symptoms worse--and your body can't lie, so it is always wise to listen to it. I'm glad you're going to see the doctor next week to try to deal with the symptoms of your illness, as before they get worse.

You have 60 or 70 or 80 years ahead of you. In the greater scheme of things, spending a year of more stepping back, and not making a final decision about ANYTHING won't hurt, especially knowing your tendency to get excited about something then change your mind (not a totally bad thing--the ability to get excited is a very good thing). And, the things that excite us are probably the best indication of what makes us happy (and healthy). So, look at the things about religious life (and secular life) that have made you excited.
[/quote]

I want to speak mostly on these two paragraphs. I've had issues with my illness in the past causing me to make rash decisions regarding the direction of my life. It probably doesn't help that I have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (mild to moderate). I've learned, through the course of dealing with both disorders (I don't want to reveal the more prominent one because it's too personal), that it's best to stick with one life altering decision at a time otherwise I get really sick. Now, I've got a major decision to make--what career I want to have. I am planning to go back to school with only my savings and I have no idea how I'm going to pay my bills. This, for me, is not a good time to worry about discernment. I wouldn't mind discerning if I was still employed and everything was going well, so I am not barring it completely. I'm just stepping back for awhile while I get my life in order again.

God has a funny way of working things out. Here I was, scared that I wouldn't be able to do my job because of what happened yesterday and also the question was in my mind, "If I am working full-time during these last two weeks, how will I have time to look for a job?" He sent the answer I needed in the form of me receiving a good reference and NOT burning my bridges (I can go back to where I was working in a different field later on--the supervisor suggested this), but allowing me to have time to search full-time for a job. Sure, the extra money would have been nice, but I know my work would have suffered greatly.

I appreciate your prayers. I am allowing God to guide me in all this so I don't get wrapped up in fear and worry, and I am certain He will show me the way. My mom and I are praying for a good outcome and I already feel somewhat positive, even though I was technically hit with a ton of bricks yesterday and today. :topsy:

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Prayers for you, MM! :pray:

[quote name='holly.o' date='28 July 2010 - 09:33 PM' timestamp='1280370836' post='2149363']
:iloveyou:

- Jesus

(don't worry!)
[/quote]
This is beautiful .. and so true! God bless you!

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