Being called to do something "dumb"


I wasn’t sure if this was the right forum. Sorry for the long post!

For many years I wondered what I would do once my children were in school/not so dependent on me, i.e. I wouldn’t have to be a full-time SAHM.

And the Lord has put in my heart that I must be a full-time pro-life activist. Paid or unpaid. Doesn’t matter.

You know, I spent so many years wondering about which career to choose, what degree to take, that when I said to myself: full-time pro-lifer, I knew I’d clinched it. Because there were no more questions, no more doubts. I knew I would wake up every morning passionate about what I was doing.

At this point, I don’t know how that “vocation” will play out. My youngest is still an infant so it’s some years away.

Where it gets complicated is that I feel like I’m being called to do something that makes no sense.

I live in Canada, and I grew up in an English-speaking family in Quebec, where everyone speaks French. Now I live in Ottawa, which is just across the river from the province of Quebec. I feel like the Lord wants me to “work” on pro-life issues in Quebec. The thing is, my French isn’t quite perfect. Although I blog in French, and I’m able to write decently in French, it just lacks that something– you know how it is when you read the language of someone whose first language isn’t English even if their writing is pretty good? That’s a bit of how it is for me in French.

Language is so important in Quebec. If you can’t say it properly in French with the correct cultural references, you lose your audience. So if I go out and try to make a point in French about pro-life issues, and it’s not said correctly or written correctly, it would make the pro-life movement look bad.

The reason why I feel called to Quebec is because I know that without building up the movement there, nothing will ever happen on the pro-life front in Canada. Nothing. We will never, and I mean NEVER have legislation. So it’s urgent something is done. So I know what needs to be done. I grew up there, I know the language fairly well, but I feel like if I did try to start something in Quebec (I was thinking through blogging, social-media or some kind of website) I fear I would make an amateur job of it, and that’s the last thing the pro-life movement needs. It would make me think of some of the more amateurish efforts I’ve seen in my life that just marked the pro-life movement as a movement for losers.

I mean, what would “make sense” would be that I just focus on my locale, where things are happening in the pro-life movement, play to my strengths, communicate in English and just let someone else come along and do the pro-life thing in Quebec, however long it takes. It would be easier on so many levels, and more psychologically re-assuring.

Or I work on Canada’s abortion wasteland with all my imperfections, and my anxieties about language, and push things forward, but possibly not making much of a dent because of my inadequacies.

I feel like I’m getting signals that God is calling me to do this work in French, but it’s so stupid. I’d be far more efficient in English, win people over (because people said I have persuaded them) and know that for sure I would move things forward. In French-- who knows if anything would come of my efforts. I wouldn’t want to waste my efforts or this calling.

Any insight? Sorry for the long post. Been agonizing over this for some time now.


Perhaps you're worrying too much?

What swayed my about the pro-life issue isn't eloquence our brilliant rhetoric. It's simply an acknowledgment that every potential human being should have a chance to smile in the sunlight.

I think what you lack in linguistic ability, you'll more than make up in love and passion.


Well my brother is a British born deacon in Montreal, French is his third language, and he doesn't have a second ;) and he survives.:p


follow your heart.

big oaks from little acorns grow.


Please find yourself a spiritual director. When you find yourself asking important life-changing questions about your vocation, and not having enough guidance to know you are doing the right thing, you absolutely need a spiritual director who meets with you regularly and knows your personal needs and talents.


"God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called." Sounds like you're selling yourself a bit short here; most of us only know one language let alone speak/read/write a second!

Getting a spiritual director is a good idea, they'll really help you in discerning exactly what you are being called to do.


A spiritual director is definitely a good idea.

As for the French, try and immerse yourself in it as much as you can. If as you say your youngest child is still an infant then you have plenty of time of improve it Have your French-speaking friends converse with you in French sometimes. Watch TV shows or read the news in French. Research pro-life material in French to accustom yourself to the language used in that context.

And don’t forget Moses: ‘Please, my Lord, I have never been eloquent, even since you have spoken to your servant, for I am slow and hesitant of speech.’ [Exodus 4-10] But God called Moses anyway and when Moses followed the will of God his speech impediments did not matter.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit