Sunday, May 29, 2005

Do you feel like a "Runaway Bride" of the Lord? or Any other question you may have? :)

Welcome to our wonderful, free space to reflect upon YOUR deep and abiding love for your God. If you are just joining us, I invite you to read the post below, if you'd like, just to get a feel for the wonderful people who are a part of it! We are now looking at the "runaway bride" dynamic, it is like when the Lord touches us so deeply, instead of running towards him, we seem to run away! What's up with that? If this describes you, log on, and share your story.

Feel free, though, to ask ANY other question you would like, the "runaway" one just came up at the end of the last post... so let the Spirit fly! :)

22 Comments:

Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Welcome to our wonderful, free space to reflect upon YOUR deep and abiding love for your God. If you are just joining us, I invite you to read the 2nd post on the blog, just to get a feel for the wonderful people who are a part of it!

Good Morning, to you heartlight, nghinghin, finn, curious and soul journey (who we say congrats on your engagement party today:), and all who have passed our way before! You are all probably still tucked into a warm and cozy bed, but I was so excited today, I wanted to greet you all!

Today is a wonderful day in our community! We celebrate all of our sisters anniversaries of 25 years, 50 years, 60 years, 65 years, 70 years and even 75 years of faithful love with our God! I get to play guitar for the awesome liturgy we have today! I have to say, if you want to experience heaven on earth come to a MSJ Jubilee liturgy. We are a Congregation that is moved by the spirit of song! God truly bends low and sings along:)

It is a day we are all reminded of our first vocation, "Love one another as I have loved you." All love in our life has been initiated by our loving God. We could never have loved unless we were loved first, yes, we were literally "loved into being".

We, also, celebrate today in a very special way our parents, who first gave our being the shape of this awesome God who we love and follow each day of our lives! Our parents are present today with us (or in their heavenly home above) to celebrate this wonderful day. We are filled with so much gratitude for them (and may I add a very Happy Birthday to my own Dad this very day:) and celebrate with JOY their loving and abiding love for us through the years!

In 2006, I will be celebrating my 25th Jubilee! And you are all happily invited (there are usually about 800 people gathered). I think that is another special feeling of this day is that you know each sister is renewing her own vows, as we listen to those jubilarians verbally professing their vows on the altar, we join them in remembering the utter faithfulness of a God who has filled us with such abundant and overflowing love.

And that is the love that we pour into the world every day, for any gift given to us is always on its way to you! That is why it is a public profession in the neighboring parish, we ARE, because of YOU. All is given to be given again. You see our lives are given for you and that is what we want you to remember, too, our lives of love are simply lived for loving you! :) Indeed, our first vocation, "Love one another as I have loved you."

Have a wonderful day each of you! Know that I am holding you each close in heart and song. I will return soon to answer those continuing questions in the post below.

God's gentle hand be upon you, his love within you, and his joyful spirit within your step! :)
With Love, your Sis' JustBeBecky

6:37 AM  
Blogger runawaynomore said...

I have just spent a lot of time reading the stories of you nghinghin and finn and I am blown away by your passionate love of God and all the different ways you experience him. I am right there with you.

Just be Becky told me about this blog and I have been reading it for some time. I am actually a novice who entered the MJS Dominicans two years ago and what caught my attention was your stories of The Runaway Bride(which was a great movie)and I want you to know that you are talking to the Queen of the Runaways.

Today I share my first feast day in the convent, Corpus Christi, which I am so excited about, with the jubliarians. They are such a inspiration to me I hope one day to be there.

But I will be back to continue the runaway conversation. Peace today from runaway no more!

10:25 AM  
Blogger Finn said...

Happy Jubilee Day to you and your sisters, Becky! My aunt celebrated her 50th year anniversary as a religious a year ago and I know what a wonderful time this is for all of you.

I feel like I've also been "loved into being" by women like you, so I want you to know that I have such love and gratefulness in my heart for you & your Dominican family. I will say a special prayer for all of you today.

Runawaynomore! Hello there :) I'm glad you joined in. I am looking forward to hearing your runaway stories. Becky still owes us hers. (No rush there, Becks). So please come back again.

SoulJourney, congratulations on your engagement!

8:51 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Thanks, Finn, for your good wishes and prayers! They mean a lot to us! It was just an AWESOME day!!! Just can't put it all into words. I am sure your Aunts was the same, finn, how cool you could be there, WOW, 50 years!

Had a beautiful liturgy, indeed, God did bend low to sing along:) a wonderful mix of songs for our Mexican sisters, as well! We have around 70 sisters in Mexico and many came up for their celebration with us!

Great reception merging into fun dancing and karaoke:) I sang one of my fav's, "My Heart Will Go On" and here I come home and "Titanic" is on! Always liked that song; one time when I was feeling low and unloved by God I asked him to let me feel his love again, I was driving to work, and nothing happened, so I just turned on the radio and my heart stopped as I felt him singing this song to me! It really does fit perfect...listen to it sometime and let him sing it to you on a low day:)

Welcome, runawaynomore, glad you have stayed posted on our blog and now have come on, and "HAPPY FEASTDAY" to you, you were good to share it with our Jubilarians:) Do come back and share your runaway stories, as I will mine and anyone else who would like to. (PS I am so glad you runawaynomore:)

Just want to preface our sharing with a bit of spiritual truth about the "runaway one". It is a very sacred truth that every spiritual pilgrim learns to hold with such reverence and respect. And this is the truth, that when one has an incredible experience of God it is a natural for the human soul to retreat, almost in "shock caused by awe", you almost do not or can not believe what you just experienced it was so "out of this world's experience", which of course it was!

It's like you touched this untouchable light and you jump back spontaneously (the runaway experience), but keep reaching out to touch it again, each time getting more used to it, as you come to know it, trust it, and gradually you learn how to hold it in this world with more and more grace...yes, the initial runaway is from that first touch of God, so the runaway is from something very good, yes, our very God!

And no one knows quite like our God what a tremendous effect the Divine has upon us, and so our God is the most patient with us as we gradually accept his deep love for us; now, not only holding it, but now, counting on it, then, living it, eventually sharing it and finally being totally devoured by it as we return to the Divine light completely. (I do see that light bright in our elder sisters, it is literally like looking through the window of heaven!)

You my dearest runaways are beginning to learn how to hold it and just dipping into maybe counting on it...but the living it? It will take action from you, not from your God, his touch has been given, that is settled and forever, that is why I said more is up to you than you may have bargained for, don't wait for God to make the first move, he already made his best shot, right into your heart, it is yours now to trust.

Hope I did not get too overwhelming here, but I just want to set the stage, when we are talking about runaway stories, we are talking about something very holy, the very essence of our souls, our God breathed into our deepest heart, a light that burns so bright we can get confused with what I am to do with it...the time comes when I no longer am satisfied with holding it or even counting on it, I finally want to live it and love it to the full and learn everything I can from it! That step taken is the one the runaway cannot bear to take, because she knows it will change everything! And, indeed, it does, indeed it does, but how else is one to live?

Peace, my friends, you have been blessed to runaway, because you have touched something that caused it...your God!
Always, your, now very tired,
justbebecky PS I'll be back soon!:)

11:57 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Hi All! Good day, just a little low energy, guess it is all that partying!!!:) Blessed with spiritual direction today, they always touch me so, what an awesome privilege and blessing to walk the God road with others.

Had a nice bike ride this afternoon, not my usual "killer" ride, but more slow and peaceful, it was good, then watered the garden and the pumpkin seeds I have been watching have just burst forth, new life...so cool!...and speaking of new life!

Tonight, I went to our little Kindergarten graduation. They were so cute, doing all their funny little things, so free and unconscious of others. Parents so proud and bursting with joy! What a wonderful thing to be a parent and watch those little ones grow! Times like these tug at my Mom heart strings. I just hold it tenderly feeling the goodness of all our mothering. It is so good to be woman.

It looks like I am runaway from the runaway bride stories, but I just need a little more energy for the telling....how about you?

May Mother God bless you tonight and hold tight just what you need most....mothers have a way of doing that:)
Love and Peace and Pumpkins,
your Justbebecky :)

9:38 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Had a good day! Fun watching the 2nd graders perform, "Betsy Ross and the Making of the American Flag", they were so cute, I couldn't believe the lines they memorized! I wasn’t going to go, but thought, “This is the only time (the little one who asked me to go) is going to be in THIS play. There will never be another in her life like this one” It was good to be there and she was so proud to see me as I was her:) I knew then, it is true, all the little one knows is now...she doesn’t know the scores of things she will do, this is the one that counts!

Then out to lunch where some Mom's treated me to Dim Sum just for a little thank you for the year. It was good and the conversation a lot of fun! Around the table we were Philopino, Korean, Chinese and me (Greek, Italian, French, German...being the major runners:) We indeed are one people!

I was thinking about a runaway time and it was really the first time I heard the Lord speak to me. As a child I remember dreaming about one day seeing the ocean. (That is why I always pay attention to children's dreams...remember yours...many times they are a God print that can be used wisely in adult life discernment)

It was spring break of my Senior year in college and I was telling some of my friends my childhood dream and they said, “Heck! Let’s go!” So we did! Four of us putting all the money we had together for gas, snicker bars and cokes, driving night and day across New Mexico, Arizona into Huntington Beach CA to one of the girls aunts trailer homes.

I could here the ocean that night and as I lay there in bed, I thought, “Tomorrow I will see the ocean. I just can’t believe it!” It was barely light and I was standing at the door ready to go, but had to wait for the gang to drag out of bed.

I will never forget as I walked over that small dune and saw it. It took my breath away, I was like stunned with awe. Then, I said to my friends, “It is so big, so vast!” And I heard in my head, “And so is my love for you.” I turned quickly, and knew my friends had not said it...now I was really awe struck, because I knew who really had said it. But, I continued speaking, “Yeah, and it (the ocean) has no end to it!” And just as quickly in my head, I heard, “As my love has no end for you.” Cheez Louise! I was freaked out this time, yet sooooooo touched, I knew it was him. Again, I was just so struck, like right out of the sky, into me he came! I knew there was NO WAY I could talk to my friends about it, in fact, I wouldn’t even had known what to say. My God journey before this had not been real virtuous, wasn’t going to church, in fact, had been looking around for a new one.

It is like God just slipped into my life so casually, and I was like blown away! And speaking of away, as in running away, I really put it out of my mind and thought, “I don’t have time to believe this stuff, I am just getting out of college and have a lot of living to do, people to meet and places to see!” And so I did.

And so I did................... funny I am feeling a little sad right now as am writing this, that I didn’t listen then, but I know our God is not a God of causing guilt and regret, but it’s not either of those..........it’s sadness, even now I know I needed those 7 years to experience the world and myself more fully before entering at 27..............I guess, the sadness is knowing how much I deeply love him now and I turned away from the ocean that day and down the dune and didn’t even say thank you or anything. I guess, I didn’t know how then. But, I do know now! Thank you, my Love, my God for coming to me that day, and even as a child preparing me for that sand dune as a young 20 year old, and the friends that brought me to you even without realizing it, I thank them, too.

The sadness is eased as gratitude is given now more deeply, our God is so good. He doesn’t see those times as “runaway” times, he sees them as “hello” times, special gifts wrapped up and given, that take time to unwrap, sometimes seven years, sometimes even a lifetime, I am STILL unwrapping this one gift (and have many times previous).

Here I thought tonight, “Oh, I will tell this one ocean story, I have told it many times before and then get on to bed.” Well, it turned out to be my bedtime story as well, with a new chapter added and my love with God deepened this night, just by remembering again what has become not a “runaway” story in my life anymore, but a “Godtouched” story which will always be a touchsotne of love for me and my God that will unfold for the rest of our lives....more deeply, as more and more we become...One.

Thank you for listening tonight, sometimes it takes someone to listen for us to listen more deeply ourselves. Good night, my “Godtouched” friends! Come and share where you ran and found yourself home again.
God’s peace and thank you for my special gift tonight with him, your very happy, justbebecky

10:38 PM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Thanks for the shout out, Becky! Fortunatley, I think I'm over my runaway bride phase!

It's interesting to see how in all walks of life, there are callings, responsibilities, hopes, dreams, etc. that we can turn away from! So often, we seem to let our fear guide us: fear of failure and mistakes, amongst others.

Also, sometimes it seems that we have to runaway to really understand what we're missing. There was a time when I was so terrified that what I had in my relationship was not enough, that if I decided to stay with my current plan that I would regret it. It took me "running away" from someone I truely loved to realize what a foolish mistake I was making. But now I appreciate my future husband in a way I never could before.

Humans are so funny!

12:43 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Welcome back, Soul Journey, glad you had a great engagement party! Yes, the "runaway" thing is, indeed, across the board. I liked what you said that we have to sometimes run away from it to know it is what we wanted all along.

That happened to me, when I was discerning my life's vocation...it was the time of year for entrance with our sisters and the vocation director was visiting where I was living and was there to talk with some women entering that coming year. (I had been kind of dodging “running away” from the whole scene and the women interested for the year). And when I saw them across the room laughing and talking so excited, something just fell inside of me..like I really had missed the boat.

I remember going into chapel that night and I told Jesus I was not leaving until I got a clear answer (sound familiar:) so I set up camp and waited him out ...9:00pm ...10:30pm...11:45pm.... 12:00am.... I do not know if it was pure exhaustion or what (I think it was the what), and after every prayer position possible (sitting, standing, lying down, on my knees, prostrated)... I just walked up to the tabernacle and said, "Come on Jesus what do you want me to do?" And I heard him so gentle inside say, "Come if you can, take my hand, I am a gentleman, come if you can." I felt so much his tender invitation, he was simply asking me what I wanted...I realized then that, I had some work to do, that it was not just waiting in a chapel for Jesus to answer, but to really look deep within me and listen to my deepest desire and dreams.

I felt like the Lord and I had been “hiding out” for years, not letting others know how much I loved him. (I am sure he is smiling now, seeing that I am letting the whole wide world now know how much I love him:)

I left the chapel so excited that I wanted to tell the vocation director (who was just a sweetie) but obviously long to bed, so I took my name tag off and wrote, “I won’t be coming this year, but I will be there next year and stuck it on the church door! And as I turned to go, I heard the song from Romeo and Juliet, “A Time For Us”, and felt he was singing it to me in my heart. And when I got home, I played and sang it on the guitar into the wee hours of the morning... oh, the gift of youth...the words so fit our journey thus far and where I felt we were headed.

Much more journey followed before I entered that next year, more running away, but with a deeper knowing from whom I was running...more of those stories to come!

I just went on line and brought our old “chapel song” up and the whole song played for me. I tell you, our God never stops surprising us with his gentle, abiding love. I can still feel his gentle love from that night...even deeper now.

Does God talk to you that way...through songs, your feelings, your wanderings, your doubts? I have come to figure that God has to use our language, becasue we don't quite know all of his, yet:)

How does God speak to you?

I close with "our song" of beginnings...

A Time For Us
When chains are torn by courage born of a love that's free
A time when dreams so long denied can flourish
As we unveil the love we now must hide

A time for us, at last to see
A life worthwhile for you and me

And with our love, through tears and thorns
We will endure as we pass surely through every storm
A time for us, some day there'll be a new world
A world of shining hope for you and me

For you and me

And with our love, through tears and thorns
We will endure as we pass surely through every storm
A time for us, some day there'll be a new world
A world of shining hope for you and me

A world of shining hope for you and me

May your loving God hold you close this night...listen close, he just may be singing a special song to you :) With Love, your justbebecky

10:40 PM  
Blogger stillcurious said...

Good morning! It is so great to read these posts and feel your love of God! I especially liked reading the one where you said "...but keep reaching out to touch it again, each time getting more used to it, as you come to know it, trust it, and gradually you learn how to hold it in this world with more and more grace." I am trying to do just that. Some days it is sooo easy but other days I feel the wall of doubt and disbelief going up and it makes me sad. I hope that my becoming aware of this "wall" is a step towards its complete obliteration. What do you think?

8:30 AM  
Blogger Nghinghin said...

Dear Sis,

It is so funny that you mention the song thing. I figure as a musician God knows exactly how he built me and how I listen the most...it is absolutly in music.

I have been walking around all week in kind of a daze. Sure at times and totally unsure in others, and other times completely and utterly in the darkness.

Sometimes I think those dark nights are tests of my fortitude. I have to tell you I fail everytime. This week has been a hard one for me and I have wanted to talk to people who understood but kept finding myself so unsure of what to say I never did post anything no matter how much or how late I sat at my computer staring. I wonder if you have felt this way too.

I hope you don't mind if I share but I kind of think of this as a haven of sorts....for the vocationally challenged. Tee hee.

I feel an incredible sense of disquiet within me. A sense that there is something not right and it is down deep inside of me. Part of me thinks I am feeling this way because I want to be doing something...there is a pull and I am not paying heed to it and it is causing me pain. And yet, how can it be religious life if at the same time I am lonely. I spent an entire night alone last night. Lonely for companship to my very core. living alone gets like that sometimes. You do okay mostly and then there are the days when it is just you and your brain swells so much internal dialog and self pity. How can it be that I am still thinking of relationship and marriage and all those things and at the same thinking, seriously thinking about religious.

People say to me...see Jessica...if it were to be you would have no doubt, no question but it is doubt and question. I no if Christ walked by me today and asked will you come...I wold go. My question comes from me...I have a huge ego...I know I do. I try to squelch but it doesn't work. So I know I do things for attention or to get approval...so how do I know if God is calling or if it is just my ego run amuck.

I wish I could be less. With my whole heart I want to be less me so I can here God better. So I can listen and answer. So I can be the me the he would have me be. How do I do that. I honestly have no clue. And so I feel not at all a runaway bride but instead a dazed and confused one much of the time.

Does this make any sense? I feel sometimes like I don't even know my own name. But today I am singing at my parish's jubilee mass. And this song speaks so much to my heart that I wanted to share it, because when I hear things like this it all makes sense and I know what I am doing and there aren't questions and I feel if only this moment some peace.

It's called Adoro te devote

Godhead here in hiding
Whom I do adore
Masked by these bare shadows
Shape and nothing more
See Lord at thy service
Low lies here a heart
Lost all lost in wonder
At the God though art
***********

It's a love song. At least it is one to me. I would sit in wonder of my Lord all my days...were it that easy.

I am plagued. To whom much is given, much will be required. But what. I was given...so much. But what i am to do.

I wish I knew. I think of all the things this is my greatest burden. Uncertainity. And my soul cries out in pain. And I think for all the ease with which I do everything else...this simple yes, has proved the most difficult.

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. I am stuck in myself serious self today. I need a lift out.

Yours,

Nghinghin

12:29 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Dear stillcurious and ngihinghin, oh my heart feels for you both, I so remember those times like they were yesterday. I am so glad that we have this space for you to freely express all that you may (or may not) be feeling. I always look forward to your coming. Thank you.

Stillcurious, I am so glad that you returned, I have been praying for you. You spoke of how you love to read these posts because you can feel my love for God, well, THAT is exactly what I feel from all of you who have come to share. All of your ecstasies and dark nights are so wrapped in God’s love! YOU are experiencing love in all its ways of light and dark. You inspire my love for God to go deeper and deeper. That is what we do for each other.

I do want to talk about one thing tonight, because it is a little late and I will continue tomorrow. Thank you, to nghinghin, for your return, I have held you close in heart, as well, I was thinking the week may have been hard for you.

Let’s take a look at the “dark”. Who said that “dark” is bad? Probably one of the most misunderstood dynamics in the spiritual life is the bad rap “darkness” receives!

What is that scripture,”Darkness is as light to God” as to say that, God holds and values both dark and light. It is a grave mistake in the spiritual journey to always interpret “darkness” or a “dark night” as, “Oh, I must not be doing God’s will or nothing is happening or I am on the wrong track or I must not be trusting God or, or, or....”

Usually, quite the opposite is true! It is often from darkness that new spiritual growth springs forth. In fact, many times that is the ONLY way growth occurs......we are more connected to mother earth than we know, the seed goes into the dark earth, is it in danger? is is safe? is it alone? is it stuck there the rest of it’s life? is it necessary? is it less because it is under the ground instead of above? is it the place that all life begins? was not the light created out of darkness? do we not begin in the shadowed world of the womb?

Could dark be a place of nurturing, a place of silent loving, a place where light is seen with clarity? If you think about it, if you lit a match in a fully lit room who would notice, would you notice? Would God be more apt to get your attention, help you focus better, if he came to you in the night and lit a candle and sat by your side in its soft glow and silently took your hand. Would you be more apt to listen and be more silent or speak more boldly your truth in the dark than in the light. How often do we have such awesome, rich, treasured conversations in the dark and then when the early dawn casts its light, we fear that all we said will be lost or worse yet, that it all had never been true.

The darkness becomes ones trusted friend along the spiritual journey, the safe place to rest, to ask questions, to risk, to leave fear. I see her characteristics as very feminine, (yingyang), warm, soft, nurturing, restorative. I have come to know her as Lady Darkness.

I remembered once on a retreat I was being led through a meditation and we were asked to close our eyes and take this sacred journey..as this was not my best praying avenue, I reluctantly agreed inside, but took the leap.

She began by leading us up a mountain (in our imagination) and then to the mouth of a dark cave, she said, What are you feeling and I felt inside, “I fear the dark”. Then she said, go up and then go into the cave, Jesus will be there waiting for you...and I immediately thought, you know, why can’t he come out here and let’s just sit under a nice tree in the sun light, but since I wasn’t leading the meditation, I thought, okaaaaaay...so I stepped gingerly in, and was surprised to see to my right a soft glow, and as I went closer towards it, I saw an old woman sitting on a stone, her warm brown eyes just took me in as they shone with soft love and compassion, I didn’t want to leave her as her captivating spirit drew me to herself, but she nodded towards a doorway and I saw further in another room a light shining softly forth, she nodded again, and I went in and there was Jesus sitting on a stone and he slowly opened is arms and I went into them, he held me for a long time it seemed, and then I was on my way out and saw the old woman again and as she smiled this incredible wise and knowing smile, I thought that is me! And then all of the sudden I heard the retreat director’s voice saying, now as you go out of the cave what do you fear? and I heard myself say, “I fear the light”.

I was amazed how quickly my fear had turned from the darkness to fearing the light! What I really feared was to live my love, to live my wisdom, to live my compassion, to live my life, to live my Jesus in the light of the day!

Stillcurious and Nghinghin, (and many others reading this, I am sure) you may be in the time of your love relationship with your God, when he will come in the softer light...he will come in the night...he will come when you are alone...could it be a birthing place for you...could it be your time to treasure the dark so as to live in your light?

You are both in a very tender place in your love relationship with your God, he will be more apt to come in the dark, for that is where lovers whisper forevers, that is where two hearts join as one, that is where dark and light are the same, that is where you see there are no walls, just space, a space to be completely yourself with someone who loves you as you are...come, my dear ones, and trust the dark, it will become your resting place, your birthing place, your treasured place, your only place that you will come to trust that you can truly live in the light...as One.

I hold you all in the heart of this night, truly believing, his love to be so deep within each of you. God’s peace sleep with you.
Tenderly, your justbebecky

10:56 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Dear friends, just wanted to continue with a little bit more from Nghinghin’s post...thank you first of all, for your honest sharing of feelings, Nghinghin. (I think a lot of women benefited from reading it, and maybe they will be willing blog on and tell you:) And, YES, it all makes sense...because you are in the depths of discernment, Nghinghin, your disquiet, your wondering if what you’re doing is right, your loneliness, your craving for companionship, yet, wanting to be alone...discernment is a messy business, it is dealing with a lot of opposites, a lot of paradox and confused feelings. Again, that is why it is so important you have a spiritual director to walk this important road with you.

As far as people saying...see Jessica..you would have no doubt or questions if you were supposed to be a religious. I wonder if they were discerning this vocation, what would it look like for them? I understand that all vocations are equal and incredibly blessed by God, I think you can tell that I deeply believe that from my previous posts, yet, each vocation has a particular challenge to its discernment.

I think, we know the obvious for us, we are attempting an intimate, personal, loving, other-centered relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Now, which part of that sounds easy?!! Be gentle with yourself, Jess, the path you are walking has few and far between travelers, it is a lonely walk. That is the main reason I opened up this blog, to connect those on the path who were discerning this awesome vocation, so maybe they would not feel so alone on the journey.

And because of that lack of companions, we feel like there is something “wrong” with us and even though friends are well meaning, because they do not understand it, they simplify it...saying, “Like you would just know”...though we know the agonizing discernment our friends go through, when trying to discover if they are in love or not and wanting to/ or not, make a life commitment.

It is very natural, when discerning a religious vocation, to still think of getting married and having children. And that will reoccur through the process, do not think you have to have that one completely “down”, because you can’t.

I remember when I entered, the fact of no husband, no children did not really shake me, too much, as I just knew my deep love for Jesus. And it pretty much stayed that way, until I made final vows seven years later...and then, did it hit the fan! It was like all of the sudden, I saw contented couples everywhere pushing strollers with happy babies in them. And, I’m like what is this!!! Where were they when I was in discernment 7,6,5,4,3,2,1 years ago?!!! Well, probably walking down the street just like they are now. It was another deepening step in my relationship with God!

I felt betrayed, wooed, lured into this thing by him and now all these feelings rise, why didn’t you have them rise before I took this vow? I was pissed! (well, I was!!!) It was a hard time, you could imagine just making vows and then this...yet, as I calmed down and held it with him, through some painful and lonely nights, it came to peace...and yes, deeper love. Every yes, has a no...in this case two no’s...no to marriage and children and no to the single life. (same for the yes to marriage, no to single life, and no to religious life) But there is a special strength in closing the 2 doors that are not yours anymore, it even more so gives an awesome power to the chosen relationship. It gives a focus, a bond, a love that can change the world. And that is true for all three vocations.

I really think there is another real challenge for young people discerning a religious life vocation...they want all the answers and assurances NOW and that just is not how life (any life) goes! Life ia a process, and “how” you may feel about a particular thing will not even rise until you get to that very particular experience. Sometimes, the only way you will know is to just do it.

I am struck that you say so simply and beautifully, “If Jesus would ask I would say, yes.” Your heart’s desire is spoken, yet I wonder if your fear of those “unknown experiences” of the couples walking down the street are what plague you, now; yes, future events that you have no grace now to think about much less act upon.

Now is the time to trust that God will provide what answers and assurances you will need along the way. And I have to give credit, he always has.

I just hope I am not writing too much here for you to read, but it does get so involved and such a challenge to say it clearly in writing. Thank you for bearing with me. It would be wonderful to talk to you, Jessica, know that I am on email and a phone call away:)

I still want to reflect on your ego sharing (there is a lot of good there, more than you realize), Nghinghin (don’t know if you permit me to write Jessica:), but will have to another day, as this day wanes and I must get some sleep. I will return soon:)
Have a restful evening and remember he is part of the vocation piece, too, and the part he does best is hold it when you can’t.
With love and understanding, your Justbebecky:)

10:02 PM  
Blogger Nghinghin said...

Dear Sis,

It is so funny to me that I found this blog. I mean I didn't find it on my own for sure...Sister Kathy Bryant sent it out to all her discerners. Still, I feel a great deal of providence has led me too you. There is such an ease in speaking to you and I understand the way you talk.

I just want to say hello to everyone else also. And I hope I haven't been too verbose of late. I know that I can be.

Sis, what you said about the darkness...it was beautiful. Truly. And I understand and it gives me great pause. For certain there is much conversation that happens in those dark times, much thought. I am not faithful to prayer the way I know most religious are, it is for me one of my biggest flaws, but at the same time it is in these quiet moments when I am alone and thinking that I feel like I am in deep conversation with God. You are right...much can come out of the darkness, when we turn our ears to listen. I forget this a lot.

I love what you said tonight. When you said you felt betrayed, wooed, lured...Oh my gosh I feel this too.

Mostly I feel confused and I want to shake my fists sometimes at this oh so passionate lover of mine and say...why...why did you take me along this path only to drive me into this insane uncertainity. I feel sometimes such a deep duality that I don't even know what to do with it.

Like someone said, you know Jess you are really two people in this body...but they can't coexist, so you will have to take turns running the show. How can you be this sensual, sexual, earthy, passionate crazy person and this...

But no thats not true. Even as I write the words I know it's not true. Because all that I am...all that I am is of God.

Do you know that song...it just popped into my head...

"All that I am sings of the God who brings new life...to birth in me...my spirit soars on the wings of my God..."

It is love. That's the thing. To feel so much love, such crazy passion that you are bursting...bursting right through to the meaty deep visceral parts of you...so much so that when you think about it, give it your time, all you want to be is enraptured with it. To sit there before the Lord and be consumed...not to consume but be consumed...to be taken...like a wick that somehow burns inside of you well past its ability to remain lit. Does that make sense?

I sing those songs, I hear them in my head and it's a caress, cause I know that God is touching my face with such love and tenderness and bidding me to look up.

And it overwhelms me at times...makes my stomach clench with emotion that I do not know how to channel. And it is then that I think I know, I know what I want...I want to be only a servant of this Lord...this God...this love. The confusion comes when I step outside of this prayer...outside of this music, or ministry...when I walk out into the world and I am still full of this desire but so horribly out of place. I want to shout out the rooftops...do you know what I have found. But I don't fit...and so the other part of me kind of kicks in...not that I lose the other completly but the silly worldly Jessica steps in and I look to the satisfactions of the moment.

I curse with coworkers and talk about dumb movies, I talk about Charlie Sheen's latest drama and oggle Richard Dean Anderson (macgyver...i know..I know)...and I talk about what it will be like to have a family...and that Christmas wedding I so want..and all the time in the back of my head where the other has retreated to so I can deal with the regular mundanities of the day...I am thinking...but what you don't know, what you don't see is I might be standing in front of you and some day turn out to be a nun.

Very weird.

And again it's that ego thing. Do I want it for me? To say look I am a nun. Or. Do I want it for God? Or do I want at all? Is it my job to utter the words want, in regard to this? Is it mine at all to make any demands (is this the right word)? There is so much self in me. I mean I am a writer, a singer an actor. You don't do any of those without being full of ME. Why would God create such a being of dichotomies. I hurt my own head...I gotta say.

I think about being 7 and looking up at the stain glass of our little church and knowing I was in love....just swept away. Now what does God do with such a girl...

It is late. And my favorite pillow calls my name, so I must away.

But I leave with this...you have made me feel more free to discuss this than any other, and I feel more the best representation of me as I freely write these jumbled thoughts than I do most of the time. It is much appreciated and I am ever in your debt for the kindness.

As ever,

Jessica

12:06 AM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Hello to all this night! Had a great weekend and following few days! Spent some special time with my anamcara, always good to share deeply with someone who understands your heart and spirit. God is good! Had a great taco salad dinner with some close friends of old, and am reminded of a little rhyme we used to sing in Camp Fire Girls, “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.” These are truly gold!

Went out to dinner last night with our Single Parents group, awesome group of people! We have met regularly all year and and went out to celebrate the growing bond of faith and love between us. They are so supportive to each other and are doing such an awesome job with their children. Their courage lifts my spirit.

Welcome, Jess, I am glad to hear from you again! Sounds like so much is going on within you, I feel with you deeply. So many things you mention are so much a part of this journey..and it just needs time to unfold.

I am glad you when you said, “How can you be this sensual, sexual, earthy, passionate crazy person and this...but they can't coexist, so you will have to take turns running the show. But no that's not true. Even as I write the words I know it's not true. Because all that I am...all that I am is of God.“ Truly, Jess, all you are is of God. What you are doing at this time in your life is discovering JESSICA, who you are, what do you want, what are your gifts to share with the world, how do you want to do that?

It is funny, because you did just what I was going to ask you to do and that is go back when you were a child, what did that little one want, how did she experience God? Sometimes we get too caught up in our “adult mind” that we loose track of our “heart’s dream”. Going back helps us to reach the heart again and then I read “I think about being 7 and looking up at the stain glass of our little church and knowing I was in love....just swept away. Now what does God do with such a girl...” I think he loves her into a beautiful young woman:)

I love how God sings to you his songs of love, right when you need to hear them. I love how he uses music... the universal language...to speak to us of his love for us.

As far as your “craziness” at work and this deep God love inside...there comes a time in your life, Jess, when you want your “outside” to match your “inside”. When the “two” coexisting parts become the one you are! That is when peace reigns in our heart.

The thing is, your fun times with friends, crazy days and silly ways, dares and double dares, all STAY a part of you, it’s just that you add Your authentic piece of “Godself” and that makes it all work together. Then you feel whole, the crazy, fun times have its well deserved place...it cannot be all serious all the time, our God loves a fun, joyful spirit...but if the crazyness is all you have, then indeed, it fades with the morning light.

Your strong ego, Jess, is a gift. Every saint had one! This ego is the forerunner of all greatness. Only because, those with a strong ego (in the best sense) usually have a strong sense of their gifts and ability to be gift to the world.

Mother Teresa had an incredibly strong ego and will, that is why she was so capable of such a whole-hearted humility and complete giving over to God’s will. So you see the stronger the ego, the greater the humility. One who has awareness of this ego strength is more persistent in laying it before their God, knowing that is the only way they will come into the fullness of their personality. This self-awareness leads one not only to use their gifts (like singing, acting and writing) but to the awareness of their limitations, wounds and weaknesses. THAT is where their strong ego comes in, they are so confident and grateful for their strengths and gifts that they have what it takes to embrace their limitations as well. It is like God will not give you something you cannot handle...so if you have low self-esteem and self-worth, he will not be able to truly show you your weaknesses, because it would just bowl you over! But if you have a sense of your self-worth you can hold your weakness with strength and love just the same, and be integrated and whole.

Three scriptures come to mind, “To those who have been given much, much shall be asked.” (you mentioned that one,too:) “In your weakness, I shall be strong”. (we now trust God to be our strength in our weakness, because we know,too, how priceless we are to God) “I asked God to take this thorn from my side, but he would not” St. Paul, I wonder what that thorn was? I would venture to say, it was his strong sense of himself that needed to give all to his God...every day. God knows you, Jess, and knows all the desires of your heart. Take a step and begin to “test” your desires.

I am wondering what the young people are feeling, who are discerning, particularly for a long time? I do not know what happened between my discernment time of entering and your discernment time now...but I sense a huge shift and burden that somehow was placed upon you that we did not have. Maybe you can give me some insight...

Our discernment for this lifestyle was anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (mine was the full 2 years). We very much knew that if we entered a community is was under the theme of “Come and See”, but, somewhere along the line someone changed the theme to “Come and Stay”! Like you had to know completely BEFORE you entered that this was FOR SURE for you!

Our religious life wisely was never set up that way...just the steps show you that in itself. #1. Candidate - learning about the charism of the community, getting to know the sisters names, personalities, ministries, and just lovin’ the Lord (1yr) #2. Novice - beginning to feel more comfortable with the sisters and community lifestyle, learning about the vows (obedience, chastity and poverty) and say “How the heck do I live these?” :) and continue to deepen your love relationship with the Lord. (2 yr) #3. Professed sister - now living what you learned more fully with the sisters in community, learning the balance of ministry, prayer, leisure and community, seeing how the day to day feels to you, is it life-giving and of course, growing in my love relationship with the Lord (5-9yr)
#4 Final Vows - (can be taken after 5 years, but can go all the way up to 9 years before you take them) We now have a sense of ourselves and are in a deepened love relationship with the Lord. I am now very aware of my growing into a “woman of love”, it is concrete, it is nurtured in relationship with my sisters, friends, family and ministry. My touchstone for living this life is to ask the question often, “Am I becoming my best self? “Am I happy? Am I fulfilled as a woman of God?” All good questions that have good support around the asking.

So you see, it is Come and See...everyday at MSJ! :) Our God has many surprises for us...why would he give all the answers to us in one day or a year or five or ten or twenty, when he can spread it over the same amount of time and we are growing at the same time?

To remember, this is your “action” vocation, not your primary vocation, which is, as all people’s vocation, to love, is helpful here...you are discerning HOW you are going to put your love INTO action. It’s putting your love into the world in a concrete way. And you will not ever know for sure or totally figure out your life until you live it...at one point you have to take the leap.

My heart goes out to the young people wondering what they must be feeling for all those years of discernment, what does it feel like to live in a sustained state of uncertainty ..though I know our God is very close and near to them, how must it feel to be in that “state” of discernment for so long with no place to really concretize your shared love with the Lord? For it is true, when one is discerning, one is living in a state of disequalibrium, which is very uncomfortable, unstable and insecure.

One of the gifts of religious life is that you have a chance to live it out to before you make a final commitment and you have a lot of support while you test it out and learn more about yourself and God. You can actually live and relax while you continue your discernment, but in a more settled way in an atmosphere that holds it with you.

I would be VERY interested in the message you are given as “discerners of the Lord”...do you get the feeling it needs to be a slam dunk deal before you enter...what is it you feel you need to be “sure of”...and is there ever a way that can absolutely happen? I want to learn from you, what is really helpful for you as you discern your action vocation, I wonder now if the pain you feel inside is that you cannot put “flesh” on your “passionate love with God” and that is what is tearing you apart?

I am so with you in this and hold all you share close to heart! Know all others reading along we would love to hear your experience and wisdom, that is how we all learn and grow in our loving.

Well, it is after eleven and I’m headin’ for heaven...ly dreams that is:)
God’s love is close, rest in it with peace, always your sister, justbebecky :)

11:04 PM  
Blogger Nghinghin said...

Dear Sis,

I have just gotten off the phone with you. I don't know what possessed me to call you but I just kind of wanted to hear your voice and also I wanted to know how far away you are from Los Angeles.

For those of you all that are listening....our Sis sounds exactly like she does on this blog...full of energy, enthisiasm and genuine joy of life.

I can't tell what it feels like to speak to someone whose effusiveness is jumping out at you through the phone. It just makes you smile. You can't help yourself.

So onto todays verbosity and overthinking. A sister friend is always telling me I analyse myself into inaction. How right she is. I am much too much a thinker...even Rodin's guy is looking at me going...girl give it a rest.

Hey you know we should call this nun anoymous. Hello my name is Jessica and I hang out with nuns. Now you all say...HI JESSICA.

I just read and read and reread your post from last night Sis and I have to say I just love the point of view you come at things from.

I really wanted to address your question about why discreners today have a heard time with come and see as oppose to come and stay.

I see it a couple different ways. First and this is maybe a general discerner thing...I think people in their twenties and early thirties have a great expectation to have everything figured out nowadays. I mean most kids go to college straight away and have to have an idea of their major in their twenties. And once you graduate you have to go right into the field. I think this is having an effect on vocations to. We are supposed to have it figured out...but we don't at all. I think also there is a large amount of misunderstanding about what religious life is these days. It seems like such a foreign thing now...where as once a mother might be proud to have a daughter or son in religious life now I mostly think it is looked at as settling or running away from life.

I do not think that vocation directors have changed what they are saying as much as we have changed what we are hearing. The pressure is on to have all sorted out and that means if we go we stick. Does anyone else concur with this?

Now for me inparticular...with a lifetime of Italian guilt ingrained in my being I have a really hard time talking to religious at all. I worry about these little "old" nuns that have devoted their whole entire being to orders that will not be here in the next ten or twenty years. I never want to give them the idea that I am looking at their order and then disappoint them. In this way I know that I am my own enemy because I know I have a very hard time being as open and honest as I could be without giving these women that I do so dearly love and respect the wrong idea.

What a can of worms this is...hmmm.

Religious life is so counter cultural. It really doesn't make sense in this country of such fantastic opportunity, to sacrifice so much. Especially now when the layity is just as active as the religious are at this point. And yet...there is something strangely appealing about religious life. Something I cannot even begin to put my finger on. I am an assciate candidate for the Sisters of Notre Dame. I cannot say enough how much I love these women. The rest of the sacrifice though...it is a lot to think about. It is a lot to consider. I am rambling again.

Anyway...I am at my lunch break trying to write this so I may have just said the sky is red. I don't really know it is hard to think here. I will try to come around tonight and clean up my messy thoughts but until then...this is Jessica, all Jessica and nothing but Jessica.

Love to one and all.

Jessica the nun stalker herself.

2:31 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Hey, Jess, it was GREAT hearing from you today! Like what a surprise! Thanks for calling:) Hope we have more chats....thanks for beginning the conversation on “Why your generation feels it is ‘Come and Stay’ and not ‘Come and See’.” That having it “all together” must be a tough burden to be carrying around...I feel for our young people, it seems they never can get started with their lives because they are not good enough yet, or perfect enough or smart enough yet, or productive enough, yet, or, or...

As I am thinking on this, I wonder if this is part of it...it was our age pretty much who were your parents, and you watched our generation hit the forties and all hell broke loose...dream's unactualized, divorce, regret, therapy, meet new person, latch key kids, therapy, looking for one’s ”real” life passion, issue’s with how their own parents raised them, therapy, addictions to cover up childhood pain undealt with, meet new person, therapy, decide to go it alone, buff up, jet out, or botox it all, therapy...

It almost sets up the generation that follows, to have one montra......"We are going to get this right in the very beginning, we are going to make choices that “stay together” so we won’t hit the fan come midlife years. Result? A younger generation afraid to make a mistake, or a wrong turn, or a commitment that may be broken at some point. Result? A generation in perpetual discernment, looking for just that right road that will take them to just the right life. Result? Not.

What do you think? I don’t know, I just think somehow this generation picked up a huge responsibility from us and it is “don’t make the same mistakes we made”. Well, geezzzzz, that kind of stops one in their tracks, before the train leaves the station!

I believe you can see life in two ways..as a series of mistakes or a series of learning's. It is like we have not allowed this generation to “get out of the box” and like GO FOR IT, then fall down and say, Damn! That didn’t work...I wonder why, oh, now I see...get up and try again the same thing or a new thing. Allow them the same latitude we had...it is funny this generation has more at their feet than any other in history, yet spend half a lifetime trying to choose one thing! (can you tell I’m on a mission, now, it is called, FREE OUR YOUNG ADULTS)

“Life is a journey and “the way” is everything, not the end, only because right when you get to the end, it begins again! (we call that eternal life, remember, even then we still keep on truckin’...sorry a little 70’s there:)

There is no end, no best result, no right way...it is all ON THE ROAD, so get on it and see all the marvelous places it can take you...in and out of relationships learning more about love from each one, in and out of careers seeing which one fits you, finding ways to be creative that releases your spirit, not fearing the journey within that has no end beacause to go the rest of the way is to go with God, to dare to be yourself, just yourself, yes, just yourself, and in the end just know, that was enough all along. (kind of how you ended your post, Jess, isn't it? It was right on!!!)

As far as our sisters being disappointed with your leaving, of course, that is there, just because love was exchanged...that is a good thing...but again, your happiness and peace is our FOREMOST dream for you, because it is only then you can be the “Love of God you share” in the world. And that is why we are all here...not to fill convents or seminaries, just because we think it’s a good idea, or make everyone mom’s and dad’s because that’s the way it’s suppossed to be, or go it alone because I can’t find my way.

No, the point is, just be yourself, and see where that takes you, it is my blessing to walk the road with you however long our path lasts...we are all connected as one people in God anyway no matter where we choose to be that “Love” in the world. Same love, different way to share it. All is good.

I love our young adults and enjoy talking with them, empowering them to blaze their own trail, despite the occassional fire or mishap, log in the road or off road venture. Nothing is worth more than the trip, nothing.

So today, let your trip begin and do something you have always wanted to do, ESPECIALLY, if is it counter-culture, it will feel good, it will free your heart, it will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will always....bring you closer to God. Becasue only when are authentically ourselves are we authentic with God.

God’s peace be with you all! Come on and tell me what you are thinking “out of the box” today! With love and heart, your justbebecky

11:10 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

It is dusk, I've always liked this time of day, kind of a quieting in the soul happens. Peace to all who come this way!

Had a great day in the garden, pulling the old weeds. I remember I used to watch one of our elder sisters (who to this day is such a mentor to me:) care for a garden when I was in my postulancy. I would sit on a bench and watch her working a way. I could tell it was painful for her to bend, as she had real bad arthritis in her knees. Yet, in my naiveté, I noticed a lot of the yellow flower weeds were taking over her garden, but she just passed right over them. So, I called out to her and said, "Do you ever weed your garden?" And she said, "Where do you see weeds?" I called back, "All those yellow flowers weeds!" And she said, "Yes, that's what they call a weed - a 'flower in the wrong place', but since I like them right there, they are no longer weeds, I just see flowers." She smiled and turned back to her tending.

I sat there for a long while wondering...and then I thought, how wonderful that that sister was so comfortable with all things, "just the way they grew, and where." To always see the good in everything, even if it may not be quite how I wanted it, but just the way it happened.

I can just see God loving us that way, always seeing the good shining forth no matter if we think ourselves to be in the wrong place or not. We will always be a beautiful flower to the Lord no matter where we grow! That is comforting...so those times I have felt kind of a like a weed to myself and to others, out of sorts and out of place, I'm reminded of my dear old arthritic sister bending low to tend her beautiful yellow flower garden "right where they are," and then I imagine my loving Lord bending low to me and caring for little yellow flower, too "right where I am."

God's peace be with each of you tonight...I just see flowers,too!
With Love, your Justbebecky :)

9:41 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Hello to all this warm summer's evening! Just watered the garden and am so amazed how quickly things grow with warm sun and cool water:) My favorite is watching the sweet peas climb the 6 foot stringed web, they are 8 feet across and how they go up is incredible, hanging on with a little curl at the end of their vine, helping each other up as they go, longer ones waiting for shorter ones, faster ones clinging to slower ones to lift them on the string. Fascinating!

So reminds me of the pace and pause, the ebb and flow of community. All are rising, just at a different pace. God is the stringed web available to all for the heavenly climb and all we need to do is help each other along, as best as we can.

And speaking of...how are all my sweet peas out there :) Things are little quiet out there, hope everyone is okay! Finn, where have your binn?! Don't know if you noticed but heartlight answered your questions at the end of the last post, hope you catch it soon:) Jess, you are close in prayer as you continue your path of discovery!

Hope to hear from you all soon! I think I will put out a new post with some fresh ideas and see where it goes:) Come on in anytime! Love and Peace to all, your justbebecky

9:24 PM  
Blogger Finn said...

Hi Becks! I was driving home from the symphony a few nights ago and saw the light in your room. (I waved hello!)It was almost midnight & I was thinking, what the heck is she doing up so late? You were probably still blogging! Or partying. I know how you MSJ chicks can get ;-)

But seriously, I know you must put so much time and effort into these blogs. Your love and care just shine through all your posts. Thank you so much for that. Even if I never become a religious sister, these discussions have been a tremendous help and a great source of inspiration.

Hi Jessica! I'm saying hello with all the enthusiasm of a fellow nun-aholic. I'm glad to hear that you've talked to Sis Becky live. Isn't she great? I called her from work once and I was laughing so hard, my co-workers wanted to know who I was talking to. I said, "Shut up, people! It's my nun!"

Anyway, I wanted to put my two cents in about discerning in today's world. Much IS given to us, and that is part of the problem. I grew up thinking and believing I could be anything. I couldn't be "just a mom" or "just a single person" or "just a nun". One has to be a hyphenate. You know....wife-mother-CEO-best selling author-Nobel Prize winner. We live in a time where the concept of success is not just a good job, a nice home in the suburbs and 2.5 kids. It's a much much more materialistic world. It's paralyzing.

I am not advocating a return to a much simpler time. I don't think life was ever simple or easy. And I certainly don't think we should be withholding choices from our young or expect them to be less driven. But perhaps, in guiding our young people, we should be asking them better questions. Not WHAT do they want to be but HOW they would like to share their gifts with others.

I like that "Come and See" message, Becks. And thank you for saying it's OK to try things out and see if it fits. It makes sense to me that God would not want to foist anything on anyone. Anything but his love, that is.

9:45 PM  
Blogger Joshua Brown said...

You know, I just am thrilled to find this blog (Thanks Sister Lilly!) Very insightful......Revealing.....I have plenty to read, but I wanted to just say a simple hello and thanks.

12:46 PM  
Blogger begrateful said...

Hi everyone this is begrateful and I am just checking in to see how you all are? justbecky is beginning her retreat this weekend so I am here filling in. I would love to hear from you.
I am a Dominican Sister and only in the convent five years and learning alot but wouldn't change anything, it's a great life.
However like everything else we do have our good and bad days. If you asked me five and a half years ago if I would ever think of becoming a nun I would have said NO WAY. I tell you God has a great sense of humor.
Ok off to ministry.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Begrateful

8:56 AM  
Blogger begrateful said...

Good Evening, stillcurious, runawaynomore, ngihinghin, finn, alyssa uphoff, I am not sure if you know that justbebecky is away on a 30 day silent retreat and I am taking over the blog while she is away.
I have enjoyed reading what you all had to share and would love to hear more. I know I am not justbebecky and won't have her insights but feel she would love if we kept incontact while she is away and will look forward to hearing what you had to share when she returns.
I bet she is thinnking of us all right now and praying for us.
I was never a Ruaway Bride of the Lord but was generally open to everything in my life and the few times I wasn't I knew something was wrong (gut feeling). I remember when I first started thinking of religious life......I won't go into details but I remembered back to the promise I made myself "NO REGRETS" so I went with my gut and entered in a space of five months and have not regretted it one bit. Of course I have my up's and down's but have to say I am glad I listened.
I truly believe if we listen with both our ears and heart we can't go wrong. It takes being intouch with oneself and knowing when it is God or a whim.
The times I have not listened to God I have to say it wasn't good and I had a horrible gut feeling, yet I did it and paid the price later. So my advice is listen deeply to your God and Gut.
Would love to hear from you. Sleep well and know justbebecky is holding us all in prayer, isn't that a great feeling?
Your's
begrateful

9:09 PM  

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