Take a look at this thought-provoking piece, readers:
When God Says No to Your Yes
SEPTEMBER 23, 2019
In my mid-twenties, I left my home state of California and went to work in Texas. I didn’t know a soul, I had never been to the state before, and I didn’t know how long I’d be staying. But I was excited for what lay ahead: new challenges, new opportunities, new places to explore, and new people to meet. Looking back now, I’ll remember Texas for many reasons, but mostly I’ll remember it for being the place I first fell hopelessly, helplessly, completely and ardently in love.
Being so far from home, not knowing anyone, and being naturally introverted, I came to really embrace solitude and silence, and where better to embrace that than in prayer? Since I did not have a car, I walked everywhere. And on my days off I started finding myself walking the six miles round-trip to the nearest church. I would sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament for hours, sometimes reading, sometimes praying, often just staring at the tabernacle. These little rendezvous became what I lived for. However, I knew, I was certain, I sincerely hoped, that this did not mean anything more—it did NOT mean I was being called to the religious life. I wasn’t ready for that sort of commitment. God and I had a good thing going, so why ruin that by taking things to the next level? But to ensure that that didn’t happen, I added a stop to my walks home from church. I always stopped in at the Target that was along the way, and I would buy things that I didn’t need; often times they were things that I didn’t really want. But I knew if I spent my money at Target, rather than pay off student loans, I’d always have a buffer between me and the religious life. After all, you can’t become a nun if you have lots of debt.
After a couple of months, I finally had a car of my own and was able to go to Mass, adoration, and confession whenever I wanted, which was such a tremendous gift. And yet I was finding my peace dwindling. Finally, one day in the confessional, I told the priest what I had been doing. I told him about my frivolous spending, and I told him how I was really just scared, scared about what this all might mean, scared that God was asking me to do something I would not be able to do, scared that I would mess things up. This priest eventually became my spiritual director. He was kind and loving, patient and gentle, everything a good priest ought to be. Under his guidance, I began to explore this constant tugging on my heart. I read, I prayed, I researched different religious orders, I paid off student loans. And through a series of coincidences too numerous and too small to matter to anyone but myself, I stumbled upon the most beautiful order. I was drawn to them so immediately and so intensely. It was the icing on the cake when I told my spiritual director about them: he softly smiled and when I was finished, he said that he knew them well, that he was there at their very beginning, and that he was friends with the Mother Superior. Of course he was! And it was just further proof that I was where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to do.