Hello, I am currently 19 years old and am a freshman in college. I have just started discerning my vocation in August this year.
I will try to make my background story as concise as possible(which will be tough…):
I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost three years now. I have to be honest and say that we have not been in a holy and chaste relationship.
But well, in August, I felt myself slowly changing…my perspectives regarding relationships, marriages, life, faith, religion…everything was changing. My desire to be holy immensely grew; not to say, my hidden desires for chastity, purity, simplicity(well, I’ve always been simple in nature) abruptly uncovered themselves-my desire for every aspect of holiness skyrocketed, pretty much. And I knew that these were all gifts and graces given to me by God…
Then I suddenly felt as if perhaps God was calling me to a religious life. Why? Mainly because of how I changed so quickly, and because of my new arising desires and perspectives. It was as if God had molded me into a person that would be fit to live in a religious life as a nun. Well, that’s how I saw it, so I thought that I was being called.
For the past months, I have been struggling…so much. Especially because of my fears for entering a religious life. It was all so unreal…I never even knew a person could discern his/her vocation. I never knew God had a will for each and all of us. Is God really calling me to the religious life? I feared and resisted.
And because I was so broken and fearful, I prayed more than ever before. I also attended Adoration and daily masses whenever I was able to(prior to this happening, I would not consider myself a faithful Catholic who constantly prayed). I grew closer to God. I became so much more spiritual and faithful. I started to trust in God more-trusting in Him in taking care of the people I love if I ever do leave everything and everyone behind to become a nun(one of my biggest fear for entering a religious was leaving the people I love). Now, I am also learning to trust in His will for me bringing me the utmost joy and peace.
I went to a discernment retreat last week and since then, surprisingly and strangely, this new feeling of really being called to a marriage life appeared. Well actually, I’ve always been torn between a marriage and religious life regarding God’s will for me. But this time, I felt even more called to a marriage life(after many Ignation contemplations and meditations at the retreat). My vocation would not just to be married, but to raise my children in faith…to raise a holy family.
So here are my problems:
I know that I should detach from everything in order to properly discern, but I am still with my boyfriend, who is Buddhist. Ever since I’ve changed and became more spiritual and faithful to Catholicism, I’ve been feeling a growing separation between us. In the beginning, before all of this happened…it was always in my intentions to marry him. But now that we are so different and there is a lack of a spiritual connection between us(something that is so essential in my relationship now…if I’m called to marry), it is harder to see a future with him. I have been very honest to him regarding my discernment process. He has been through so much struggle in order to be with me and yet I know that he will never give up. He even said that he’d convert for me and allow our future children to be Catholic(some things that he did not intend to do before).
But the thing is…I’ve been feeling for months now that I should let him go…as if perhaps it is not God’s will for me to marry this guy… but what if I can convert him to Catholicism? Do I stay with him in hopes that he will convert and become as faithful and spiritual as me? I just can’t seem to let go of someone that has so much love for me…it is very hard of me to let go even though I know that I should. But what if I’m called to marry him and convert him?
Doesn’t it seem like God is calling me to a religious life? Like…He is setting this all up so that I can become a person strong enough and well equipped to live a religious life? That’s what I always…always thought. But after my discernment retreat…after being even more aware of my deeper self, I suddenly feel even more drawn to a marriage life. And as of right now, I know that living a marriage life will bring me this joy that living a religious life cannot.
I’m terribly sorry for not being able to keep my post short.
Thank you for taking your time to read this.