Discerning my vocation/spouse

Where can I start?
This year I started praying everyday. Sad considering that I came back to the Church about 5 years ago.
This year I started praying the rosary regularly as well.
Though I had been going to confession regularly before that time, this year I confessed the most difficult thing which I hadn’t confessed for 12 years.
This year I have a spiritual director.

This year one of my parents also gave me permission to date. This is such a big change, if you knew how old fashioned my folks are (beginning to date at 30 is what they most likely take to be normal) I’m almost 21 and so there is nothing wrong as regards age if I wanted to discern my spouse in dating; still, my parents would think it is too young and there would be immense in-fighting and tension in the house if I had actually been dating. In any case, now, getting my mother’s permission is the icing on the cake and I feel less unrest as I embark upon discerning my vocation: be it marriage, single, or religious life.

Anyway, I had been discerning for very long about my vocation. Even though I had not prayed regularly before, I would always make an aspiration to God that he would give me an idea of my vocation. I had always thought as a young teen that I would be called to single life or religious life mainly because I did not see a very good marriage at home and so I never wanted to get married. That had changed after my conversion when God began transforming my ideas about marriage.
This year, in conjunction with the renewed prayer life, I have befriended several young catholic men --I am shocked even that they exist and in such numbers–who I have been discerning for marriage. This has never been the case in prior years; I do not know the mind of God but it’s as though he is saying, “now is the time” it wasn’t before, but now is.

Before, I had been pursued by men who were interested in me, but never such that I was attracted back. This is mainly because they were either not practicing catholics, or those who could very likely have been my father as regards age:)
This year I have several “suitors”, those attracted to me, who I feel have been sent to me and to whom I am attracted to as well. They are in love with Christ, his Church, and attracted to me–that’s a great combination :stuck_out_tongue:
But, I am so simple and plain. My dress is simple, I do not wear make-up, my hair is always tied up, and I am not very “beautiful” according to the world–and you would therefore, never notice me in a crowd. And yet, I, so unworthy am pursued by such men in love with God. I want to give this as a hope to people in a similar situation who think they have to show off their skin or look excessively done up to grab the attention of good men. It has everything to do with seeking God’s righteousness and wanting to please him first above everything else! (Continued…)

Now, one of those young men, in particular, had held my attraction ever since I entered university three years ago. He was very handsome, especially for me because he was virtuous, self-disciplined, orthodox as regards the faith and charitable. I, however, stopped pursuing him because I felt that he did not reciprocate my attraction. And I no longer had any attraction for him. I was so dissapointed with all that time I wasted, and all my thoughts wasted on him, but I decided to move on.

After that point, though, many doors opened and several very devout catholic men started entering my life–> the ones who I said I am friends with and was discerning for marriage.
However, I was always with a sense of unrest with each of these friends who I was discerning because certain choices they made or character traits about them signalled to me that they are not yet marriage material, atleast not at this time–it seems to me that they have a few years ahead of them before they realize what marriage is about. Recently I had prayed for a sense of peace when I encounter my potential spouse, and when there was only an increased sense of spiritual unrest with these catholic suitors who were attracted to me, I became confused as regards my vocation. I thought that may be God did not want me to be married.

Now remember that young man who I had previously been attracted to and who I decided not to pursue any longer? Because I stopped pursuing him, we actually became friends. He felt more comfortable with me, I think, when he realized that I do not like him.
Now he has started to pay much more attention to me and I never thought much of it until I started seeing signs that he may very well like me. I think his attraction to me is a new thing that happened when he came to know me in friendship (something that might not have happened when I was attracted to him as I am a nervous character) and if I had not lost my attraction for him, then I wouldn’t have realized what a gem he is. Now, I believe, he is attracted to me. Last night I saw that this young man is spouse material. He is very orthodox as regards faith, he is very respectful towards me, listens to me, is kind, prudent, virtuous, and fatherly! The latter thing about him gave me so much peace that I truly felt that I was being called to marriage! And even if it isn’t to this young man, I still felt confirmed in the vocation to marriage both when I prayed with Scripture last night and in the sense of peace I felt for the first time in my life with the vocation.
I will still keep open though and see where God is leading me but I feel more deeply that I am being called to marriage. We’ll see Lord :slight_smile:

Any one have any thoughts on anything that I have written? How did you discern that you were being called to marriage?

I knew it the moment I shook his hand that he’d be the man I marry. We were friends for a semester then started dating and got engaged 6 months later and then married 2 years later. He was the first guy that I didn’t get tired of spending time with. He could make me laugh, and he is my best friend.

I would caution that just because a woman wears makeup or cares about her appearance doesn’t mean that they’re doing so to attract a man. Or that it is wrong to care about these things.

OP, you have a good set of characteristics to look for in a husband. Orthodoxy, virtue, and fatherliness, among other things, are excellent traits to have for a man starting a family. In other words, it seems to me that you have excellent instincts and your priorities are straight.

Of course, you also seem to have a focus on the feelings that meeting the “right one” elicits in you. Namely, you wish for a feeling of peace when you are with him. This is of course not bad - any form of attraction that is unplanned and unwilled is a form of eros, a kind of love which is natural and good. Just be aware that feelings come and go, and true Christian spousal love is eros perfected by agape, by which we put our partner before ourselves, and will ourselves to love them unconditionally.

Best of luck.

Keep praying. The Good Lord will nudge you in the right direction. I was in a similar place, and trust in God is most important.

I’ll say a prayer for you. :slight_smile: Keep in mind that while all of those virtues you seek in your husband are good things, remember that whoever your husband is to be, he is going to be lacking in those virtues as well. To steal from Fr. Corapi, he’ll be your hairshit and you’ll be his cilice. :rolleyes: The calling to holiness implies imperfection in the subject to begin with!

Best of grace,

this is nosey grandma advice but one place to start is to change your screenname to something that reflects a more positive self-esteem. if you are continually downgrading yourself you will not be likely to present yourself in a positive light to anyone, prospective friends, employers, teachers, let alone boyfriends.

How I discerned my call to marriage:

I was raised Baptist. I began dating at 16. I did a lot of things I shouldn’t and jumped into serious relationships way too fast. For the first 20 years of my life, I never knew there were any other options for life besides marriage. Then, I transferred schools. I began dating a man I had graduated high school with and had always loved from afar. He was/is Catholic and I began learning about the faith. After much prayer and study I accepted Catholicism as Truth and then began learning about vocations. This stopped me dead in my tracks. You mean God may not want me to marry? Woah.

March 2007. I had been discerning my vocation, although I am not yet confirmed Catholic. I was communicating with Sisters from all over, and praying and praying, and still dating my best friend. Although I can’t say I ever felt pulled toward religious life, it was so different and exciting to learn about I just didn’t know. So in March, we decided to go to Washington DC for spring break(with his mom). Mainly to visit the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Beautiful place. I knelt in prayer for awhile at the shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Praying and praying for God to guide me, and asking Mary for her prayers and help as well. I was feeling so lost. I was begging for some help. As I prayed I felt the now familiar comforting feeling of Our Lady around me. I also felt God, of course. And I heard Our Lady say to me quite clearly “You are to be like me” Immediately, I knew what that meant. That I am to someday be a wife and mother. There is no doubt for me. And God has brought that perfect man for me into my life. My future spouse helped teach me and lead me to God’s Church, and he is amazing. How do I know he is the one? I can’t explain it. I just do.

Keep praying and seeking God’s answer. It will come. I definitely suggest contacting some convent’s and speaking with Sister’s there, they are very insightful and helpful. Also, keep communicating with these men. Relax and enjoy their friendship. If its meant to become more it will happen.

This is a beautiful story. :slight_smile:

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