Annulment granted...now what?


#1

I must be honest, I’m not even sure how to post my thoughts at this point. Just feeling scared about the future and want to do the right thing. My marriage recently received a declaration of nullity. I am a cradle Catholic who experienced a beautiful reconversion to the faith about three years ago. As a result I’ve recently split from a five year relationship. It has been a long road, but our Lord has finally brought me here. It’s been heartbreaking to say the least, but deep down I know I’m doing what’s best. My concern now is in choosing to do God’s will. I do not really feel marriage is for me, although I am still a fairly young person. I cannot be a religious because I am mother to a 13 year old. I’m a little confused about my state as a single person in the church, or rather, I just don’t know how to act. I haven’t been this “single” in a very long time. I do have a spiritual director, and he has advised me to begin really living my life now without a companion, to let the Holy Spirit guide me. He wants me to remain open to marriage. This is terrifying. If my wish were granted I would join a cloister and never leave. But obviously that can’t be the case right now as I have a vocation as a mother. I am trying very hard to place all my trust with our Lord, who seems to have chosen an intimate place in my heart. Are there any thoughts or advice from others who have been in this situation? Thank you in advance for your listening. :slight_smile:


#2

This is terrifying. If my wish were granted I would join a cloister and never leave. But obviously that can’t be the case right now as I have a vocation as a mother. I am trying very hard to place all my trust with our Lord, who seems to have chosen an intimate place in my heart. Are there any thoughts or advice from others who have been in this situation? Thank you in advance for your listening.

If you truly feel you have a calling to be something other than marraige; you have to face in the short term your obligations as a parent – although; as your child is thirteen they should be self-sufficient by the age of sixteen, and able to support themselves through college / university if they wish too; or enter the world of work; and you will be “free” to pursue a vocation.

In the interim it might be possible or prudent for you to consider opening talks with a Vocations Director; or perhaps just experiencing a retreat for a week every year.

Whilst you must live in the present; you can clearly consider fully your future; as (to put it most practically) some choices are restricted by time and / or age; and it is wise to consider your next-step after your child has grown up; that transition will be hard enough to deal with itself even if you know what you want to do; let alone if you have not thought about it.


#3

[quote="Deefraz, post:1, topic:211942"]
I must be honest, I’m not even sure how to post my thoughts at this point. Just feeling scared about the future and want to do the right thing. My marriage recently received a declaration of nullity. I am a cradle Catholic who experienced a beautiful reconversion to the faith about three years ago. As a result I’ve recently split from a five year relationship. It has been a long road, but our Lord has finally brought me here. It's been heartbreaking to say the least, but deep down I know I’m doing what’s best. My concern now is in choosing to do God’s will. I do not really feel marriage is for me, although I am still a fairly young person. I cannot be a religious because I am mother to a 13 year old. I’m a little confused about my state as a single person in the church, or rather, I just don’t know how to act. I haven’t been this “single” in a very long time. I do have a spiritual director, and he has advised me to begin really living my life now without a companion, to let the Holy Spirit guide me. He wants me to remain open to marriage. This is terrifying. If my wish were granted I would join a cloister and never leave. But obviously that can’t be the case right now as I have a vocation as a mother. I am trying very hard to place all my trust with our Lord, who seems to have chosen an intimate place in my heart. Are there any thoughts or advice from others who have been in this situation? Thank you in advance for your listening. :)

[/quote]

Although I am not in your situation, I hope I can give some advice. Have you thought of third orders, being an associate, an oblate, or just volunteering for a religious community? This may help satisfy some of your desires while still being a mother.
I will pray for you. Please pray for me.


#4

I have thought seriously about joining the secular (third order) Carmelites. They sent me information some time back and I felt it was best to wait until my annulment, and now unfortunately my relationship, were more settled. My spiritual director is our pastor, and he felt I would only want to join this order for more focus. He honestly didn’t think I needed more focus when I broached the subject with him. But I do see that as my daughter grows up I will become more free to options within the church. Sometimes I feel out of place because I don’t feel I should be actively seeking a husband, and others around me have a hard time with this. It makes me doubt my feelings to remain single. I think this is some of the problem I am having with understanding God’s will for my life.


#5

Sometimes I feel out of place because I don’t feel I should be actively seeking a husband, and others around me have a hard time with this. It makes me doubt my feelings to remain single. I think this is some of the problem I am having with understanding God’s will for my life.

What other people think does not matter in this issue; it is what you think that matters.

Do not feel pressured into making a decision; just allow things to continue as they are whilst reflecting on them; maintain spiritual direction and see how you feel in six months or a year.

:thumbsup:


#6

Thanks for reminding me that what they think does not matter. I value the opinion of my friends, but I do feel like this is between our Lord and me. He has not yet led me in the wrong direction. I also agree that this should not be a pressured decision. I think maybe I am anxious and putting pressure on myself to do something. God sees the big picture. But sometimes it is hard to admit I have to work on His schedule. :o


#7

Saint_Marcarius, I forgot to mention I would pray for you also in my last post! Thank you…


#8

[quote="Deefraz, post:1, topic:211942"]
I must be honest, I’m not even sure how to post my thoughts at this point. Just feeling scared about the future and want to do the right thing. My marriage recently received a declaration of nullity. I am a cradle Catholic who experienced a beautiful reconversion to the faith about three years ago. As a result I’ve recently split from a five year relationship. It has been a long road, but our Lord has finally brought me here. It's been heartbreaking to say the least, but deep down I know I’m doing what’s best. My concern now is in choosing to do God’s will. I do not really feel marriage is for me, although I am still a fairly young person. I cannot be a religious because I am mother to a 13 year old. I’m a little confused about my state as a single person in the church, or rather, I just don’t know how to act. I haven’t been this “single” in a very long time. I do have a spiritual director, and he has advised me to begin really living my life now without a companion, to let the Holy Spirit guide me. He wants me to remain open to marriage. This is terrifying. If my wish were granted I would join a cloister and never leave. But obviously that can’t be the case right now as I have a vocation as a mother. I am trying very hard to place all my trust with our Lord, who seems to have chosen an intimate place in my heart. Are there any thoughts or advice from others who have been in this situation? Thank you in advance for your listening. :)

[/quote]

You should use the guidance of your spiritual director. Relax and let the smoke settle. Ten years ago I suffered a heart attack. I was living alone in a small Montana comunity miles from any city having a hospital, a neighbor called 911 for me. I said a little prayer, " Jesus, I surrender completely and entirely to You. Do with me as you will." Half the pain went away. Also as a side note 3 hours later, all this time they had telemetery indicating I was having a heart attack, I was placed on the operating table and as the doctor asked for the scapel he looked up at the monitor and said, "Look every thing is normal". I had been brought into the hospital by Lifeflight and walked out 14 hours later.
Surrender to the Will of God is a wonderous thing. It is not easy, I keep forgetting. I would suggest you put yourself in the arms of Mother Mary and ask her to help you in your journey. Surrender completly to her and she will not disapoint. Another thing you might consider is becoming friends with your guardinn angel. They have been given us to assist us on our journey

God Bless!!!


#9

Thank you to everyone for the sincere responses and advice. I hope I can remain open to God's movement in my soul and respond with love.:rolleyes:


#10

I think the most important thing you can do right now is just be a really good mom. And don’t worry about anything else.

God will take care of your future - just focus on your child, and when it’s time to make a change, you will know it.

~Liza


#11

I started my profession in the Secular Franciscan Order while married and my profession has carried me through filing for divorce. Secular orders are open to married persons and single persons - in a state of divorce without anullment you are still expected to live in the proper of chastity which from your posts seems like that is your intention. I would look into an SFO Fraternity. Honestly whether I marry or not again, I will be very happy in the SFO as I can continue ministry out in the world with the sinners in the true spirit of St. Francis. I know that the SFO will also take divorced persons who are unable to receive anullment as long as they are willing to live chastely. And trust me chastity is much easier with a group that understands than being surrounded by a group that may or may not or may be more of the “Cafeteria” type.


#12

I don’t know anything about SFO Fraternities, but wonder if they are more of a contemplative group. I do feel strongly that my religious tendency is toward contemplative, which is why I feel drawn to the Carmelite order. Although I have a very busy professional career and must deal socially with people, given a choice I would always prefer the silence. Admittedly I have difficulty finding people who are like-minded with my beliefs. I have many, many friends who have fallen away from the Catholic church, or who are what you reference as the “Cafeteria” type. It is a bit alienating, but my pastor says we must be salt for the earth, so I guess we are to be the hope of setting an example that will eventually bring others to Christ.


#13

It has been far from a contemplative group altogether. Your experience depends on you and what comissions you get involved in. I started to get involved in the Franciscan Youth and Young Adult programs. I don’t know how much more active ministry you want. There are also the commissions on life and justice - it just depends on your Fraternity and how active you personally want to be. The important thing to remember is that everything you do with your Parish whether it is lectoring, EHMC, or CCD becomes part of you SFO ministry. You are part of a lay order and everything you do is reflective of that order whether directly comissioned by that order or not. Just some thoughts as I am sure many of the lay oblates and other lay orders would also agree with some or many of the same statements I just made.


#14

What she said.

Seriously, you need to focus on the fruits of what should have been your original Vocation, which is part of the Vocation, and that is your child. That IS your Vocation. Its almost like you’re ready to throw him/her on the back burner as soon as you can. This isnt the right attitude.

16 being old enough for him/her to be on their own?!? Who the f#@$! said that s!@$ !?!?!

It really sounds as if your child is some unwanted burden in your way of becoming a nun. I hope to the Lord I am wrong, and I hope that what I just said offends the hell out of you or makes you sorrowful that I would even say such a thing in testimony to your love for your child; but if I can pick it up, (whether true or not) you better believe your kid can too.

Our Mother Mary had a Vocation. Its pretty close to what your doing right now.
St. Augustine had a devoted mother as well, and praise the Lord that he did. Otherwise there wouldn’t be an “St.” in front of his name… I wish you much less resistance if any!


#15

Wow, I had no idea I sounded like I was ready to abandon my child. If you read my original post I don’t think I indicated that was even a remote possibility. As far as I know desiring to lead a life devoted to Christ is not against being a mother. I know very well this is my first vocation and would never jeopardize my relationship with my daughter. I have no intention of leaving my child to become a nun. I am looking for ways to serve in the Body of Christ other than marriage. I will always be a mother, regardless of my state of life. I feel the life I lead in faith has actually strengthened my relationship with my daughter and brought us both closer together. Sorry if I’ve confused folks with my posts.


#16

Well, thats funny! I didn’t think you were going to abandon your daughter, but to me it seemed you were distracted by something you wouldn’t be able to attain for a bit.

I would suggest putting all the effort into that first vocation as a good Catholic mother, and nourishing her faith as well as your own. I honestly dont think you could do better. More perhaps, not better. Just my two cents.


#17

The OP was not the one that made the statement about her child being able to be left alone at 16- that was another poster.


#18

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