I was wondering if anyone has some advice for discerning confirming signs of one's vocation. Here's my situation:
1) I'm 17 years old, almost 18. I'm going out of state to college this fall. Recently my boyfriend of a year and half and I broke up, and I had sensed a spiritual awakening which led me to the discernment of my vocation shortly before the breakup. I always deeply desired marriage but I felt I should really be sure of what I'm called to.
2) I feel strongly called to marriage. It seems to be apart of who I am. I have a deep desire for marriage and family life; I love everything about it, reading about and seeing it thrills me. I see young families and babies and it fills me with a deep joy and a desire to do the same. I want to be married because I want for my union with a man to be a witness not only to eachother but to other people of Christ's love; I desire to share that love and to assist God in the creation of new life and I want to teach them about God's love. I also want to homeschool any children I have because I received that eduaction and I really love it - I want to bring more fervent souls into this dark world! I feel like I might be called to be involved in marriage apostolate, since I love talking about the theology of marriage and I know so much about the subject and experience joy when I do it. I feel attracted to the idea of a lay apostolate.
3) Furthermore, I've had what I believe are signs that marriage is in fact my vocation. While praying, I heard "Let Me build your home." I didn't know it at the time, but when I was reading "Life-Giving Love" by Kimberly Hahn later, she said that it is a biblical reference for building a family. Second, St. Anthony seems to be popping up everywhere, in my conversations with other people, etc. When I spoke to a priest about my feeling called to marriage, he told me that God was confirming my vocation to marriage after I told him why I desired it and then gave me a St. Anthony card and medal and told me to pray to him about finding the man God's chosen for me to marry.
4) When I think of marriage, my soul feels at peace. It feels right. But I still feel a restlessness in my soul. Not anxiety, but a restlessness. These two feelings are confusing for me. On the other hand, if I think about religious life (which was something I wanted as a little kid but went away as I got older and got to know nuns where we live), I feel a great anxiety and stress. I feel no attraction or desire for the life, and I really do not feel God calling me there. I even feel somewhat tortured at the thought of never having my own family and children, especially when this desire is so strong. But I still wonder about it because I wanted it as a child, and I've been around nuns a lot. But I never feel at home while with them. So is it just me who is initiating those thoughts, because I still feel a restlessness, even though I feel called to marriage? If that is the case, what do I do with the restlessness? I'm prone to worry. Should I throw the relgious option out because I feel a strong desire for marriage and thinking about religious life makes me feel deeply anxious? Or should I keep the window open? I've always been one to know God's will by the desires of my heart, which is, in this case, marriage. Can I really trust that desire?When I hear people talk about how they didn't want to be religious but then became one or they were engaged and then became religious, I feel terrified. I'm worried about my desire being from me or God. I'm afraid that God is going to take that away from me and then call me to religious life. Could the restlessness not mean anything having to do with my vocation, but really just God beckoning me to a deeper relationship with Him? I have trouble figuring out what these feelings mean.