Thursday, May 7, 2009

By George, By Joe, By Somebody...

I think she's got it! (most likely by Jesus ;)

So it's going to be a YEAR since I left the convent in like 3 days. CRAZY. Not so much the fact that it's been a year, or even that I actually lived in a convent at one point in time. No, for me, it's mostly the fact that I'm pretty much exactly where I started.

Well, not exactly. That's dramatic. Clearly, the experiences of the past few years have been formative and I am different. But lately when I talk to people, I know they sense my frustration and the lack of joy in my current state- simply because in my eyes (and the eyes of the culture) I am still a single, laywoman, working a 9-5 living with roommates...the same old same old.

And I know I've said this before, why do we need the big 'aha!' vocation moments? Why do we look and wait for those to prove something to ourselves? We just do. I can't explain that now. I don't have the time or energy, frankly ;)

But my mini, personal 'aha' moment that came today was in reflecting on all of this- the year anniversary of my leaving, vocation, and all of the above.

I have lately been remembering my time in youth ministry and discernment of religious
life with some nostalgia. Wondering, "where did that go?" That being those feelings of certainty and most importantly- CALL. I had a CALL. I truly felt called to youth ministry and lived it as such as the time. And then, of course, I felt a call to enter the convent. And I was confident and certain in these CALLS. I miss having a call!

My brooding these past few months can pretty much come down to that- I miss having a call. And i know right now I'm 'called' to be in this current job, living with my roommates- I know that's a type of calling too. But it's much less certain for me, and for whatever reason, not really bringing me as close to Jesus as I would like. And THAT's the part I don't get.

Why won't You, Jesus, give me back a CALL that brings me close to You? This is the most frustrating of it all, I think.

I kind of feel a little bit like I did when on NET. I knew I was supposed to be there for a reason, but I had NO IDEA what the reason was. But clearly, that experience led to the next two certain CALLS I felt.

I have hope that this year has been like NET in that respect. But as we round the end of'm starting to get a little weary!

The other key to the two calls I felt of youth ministry and religious life was a lot of SURRENDER. I was constantly surrendering events in youth ministry to the Holy Spirit, and obviously, I surrendered physically and emotionally alot when entering religious life.

This key of surrender finally struck me for real the other day. I used to pray the Ignatian Prayer of Surrender ALL THE TIME after NET and in the convent. So I've started praying it again, and I do feel like I'm getting somewhere.

So, I'm starting to put the little pieces together, and I'm grateful for that insight. But it certainly still requires a great deal of surrender and trust and hope. So we shall pressure, Lord. I'm just waiting on a very important CALL here. Anytime. Really. Any day now, would be great ;)

And for your own spiritual enjoyment, I give you, the Ignatian Prayer of Surrender:

Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess You have given me: I surrender it
all to You to be disposed of according to Your will. Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more.

That's right. It's intense. But it works, friends!

Until the next serious introspective moment...Maybe I'll have something exciting to report soon. Prayers appreciated!


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