This is probably going to sound really weird… please bear with me. :o
I’m a 16 year old girl, and when I was I think 13, I began to feel vaguely that I wanted to help people. The feeling got continually stronger, and though sometimes I tried to ignore it, it wouldn’t go away. I became fairly sure it was what God wanted me to do with my life, in some form or another (something along the lines of social work/working with underprivileged kids). Then a lot of things happened and my life really changed. I lost faith in God, and with that, I lost the incessant desire to help others.
I’m still working my way back after a struggle with faith, but I returned to the sacrament of Reconciliation last weekend, and I am still amazed by the grace and strength God has given me through it to face a challenging time in my life. I wouldn’t consider my faith solid at this point, but it’s improving and I want to take it much, much deeper. Even when I was having a really hard time with faith, I loved going to church, religious ed classes, and any church activities. I relish time spent in the church or with the church community and want to get more involved.
For several months, as I’ve made an effort to return to God and trust Him again, I’ve felt the familiar pull towards helping others. This time, though, it’s different, and not (yet) as strong and incessant as before. It’s there, though: I feel drawn towards helping people spiritually, and the desire seems to get stronger as time passes. You’re probably thinking I should consider religious life as a nun. But that life doesn’t appeal to me at all and it doesn’t fit who I am.
I can see myself as a priest. I desperately want to help people find their faith, want to help others to have the opportunity to encounter God’s grace like I did through Confession, and want to be there for people struggling with faith and going through hard times. Sometimes I feel that what I’ve been through in the last two years has moved me in that direction and made me more able to relate with and understand others going through similar things.
The obvious problem is I’m a girl. Some days I’m angry because that makes me unable to serve God in this way. Some days I wonder why God didn’t make me a boy to start with, since I don’t fit in with other girls anyway. Ultimately, though, I’m just confused. Why would I feel this desire if it’s impossible for me to become a priest? Does God really want it to be this way? To be bound by something unchangeable – my sex – feels horrible. Sometimes I am so desperate to be a priest, or to at least have the option, and I feel miserable because I cannot serve God in this way. At the same time, I can’t see a girl as a priest, and I think I would make a much better priest if I were a guy. Why would God make me feel like this? Why would He cause me to desire to serve Him in a way that I can’t?
Thank you and God bless.