Has this ever happened to anyone else?


#1

I've had a vocation to become a nun for quite sometime now. I made arrangements last week with a local community to do a come and see. I got there yesterday and was going to stay until Thursday morning. The community is really wonderful, they have a nursing home for the elderly.
I was hoping that by doing this I would finally know if that is the life God is calling me to. I was fine there for about 2 hours, though I didn"t really feel anything special, no ah-ha moment. After 2 hours I started to unravel. All I was feeling was a constant sense of wrongness. I really panicked.I felt more confused and distant from God than I've ever felt in my entire life. I worked myself into such a state that after being there for 7 hours I was physically sick and had to leave. I was literally on the verge of a panic attack.
I know for sure that that is not the life God wants me to live. I'm still going to research other communities.
Has this ever happened to anyone else, or is it just me? I feel kinda guilty about bailing like that:(


#2

My experience wasn't quite that dramatic, no, but I get where you're coming from, I think.

I decided to try a vocation and I was in the seminary for a few years, but before I enetered I visited for a weekend about a month before the school year began. When I arrived, it was such a huge culture shock that I really began to wonder if I really wanted to do this, after all. I became very nervous, and very uncomfortable. I was in the middle of a completely different world. No TVs for one thing!

But I returned in September, anyway, convinced that I ought to give the lifestyle a try. In the end, it wasn't to be, but for the few years in was there I managed to completely assimilate to the lifestyle and I wouldn't trade the experience.

I have a feeling you may just be experiencing nerves: kind of like pre-wedding jitters, if you will. Embarking upon any new vocation necessarily involves a psychological disruption of sorts. It's a new adventure.

It might be worthwhile to return, explain what you experienced to the superiors, and ask them for guidance in the matter.

At any rate, I wouldn't feel bad about it: psychology happens. ;)

Good luck with your discernment process!


#3

Don’t forget to take into account that whenever there is a strong effort on the part of the Holy Spirit to move us, there is an equally strong effort on the part of the demonic to resist. It is not flesh and blood that we need to fear, but principalities and the powers of darkness.

If you have a vocation, you have a vocation. Maybe it’s not to this particular order. Maybe it’s to another one, like the Dominicans of Nashville, or some similar order. Keep praying, stay in the state of Grace, and offer yourself to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And be not afraid. :slight_smile:


#4

It has definitely happened to me. The community I was going to enter last year asked me to come to their home for traumatized children to work and earn money to pay off my debts so I could enter earlier. I had reservations about it because I’ve never been away from home for longer than a week, but I finally agreed to do it. The Provincial Superior sent me a check for the amount of the plane tickets, and I went up for 6 weeks. I ended up only staying 2.5 days! I had the hardest time sleeping and I didn’t like the work in the home. I wasn’t mentally or emotionally prepared to handle children who have been abused or neglected and I began to experience my panic attacks all over again. I couldn’t eat, either. I just knew it was not going to work out. I talked to the Superior and told her that I had to go home. Nothing was working out and I felt very uncomfortable there. It was definitely not where God was calling me. I felt SO bad about the plane ticket money because I was supposed to pay back the money at the end of the 6 weeks with the money I had earned while working. That didn’t happen, obviously. Since I was unemployed for a long period of time, I could not pay them back until this January! Talk about embarrassment! After paying them back, I have not had any contact with them since. I had a hard time emailing the Superior to let her know I was sending a check because I was still embarrassed! :blush:


#5

[quote="child_of_God85, post:1, topic:210283"]
Has this ever happened to anyone else, or is it just me? I feel kinda guilty about bailing like that:(

[/quote]

Yes. I tested a vocation with an order of priests some time back and got a weird, out-of-place feeling with them. Years later I read something about them in the news and ... well, I'm glad I didn't pursue it, if you know what I mean.


#6

Yep. I had been discerning with some traditionalist groups for a while but came to find out that they were no place for me. At first I was excited because it opened a brand new world of possibilities for me, but then doubt about my vocation in general began to creep in, which made me go as far as to doubt my faith. Remember, like was said above, psychology happens and Satan happens. I know for me, it’s been a bit of both. Satan is always there to try to snatch a vocation away. Your experience is perfectly normal in discernment.


#7

There wasn't anything wrong with the community, they were very good women and the work they do for the elderly is wonderful. But it's not what I would want to do. I think I found one thing out from this expiriance. It's that whatever community I wind up joining will be focussed more on prayer than work. I think that what felt wrong for me is that there wans't as much prayer as I had hoped there would be. I really do think that my almost panic attack was God's way of telling me I was in the wrong place. I do wish he would be a little less dramatic.


#8

Same here. I spent the weekend at a Trappist abbey to meet some of the monks and discern my vocation; and I left my dog and my apartment in the care of one of my friends. The first night all I could think about was my dog dieing in an apartment fire, how he wouldn’t be taken care of properly or how he would be tearing up my apartment. It was to the point that I woke up and started packing to go back home!
Luckily I had the courage to stay and I really enjoyed my visit. None of the things mentioned above happened and my dog seemed to be have more fun while I was gone!
The day after the said event, my spiritual director told me a story about St. Teresa of Avila. Apparently when she was a novice, she ran away from the convent and came up to a bridge on the road. She saw two demons atop the bridge and decided to turn around and run back to the convent. When she returned, she noticed there were dozens of demons atop the convent!
Anyway, best of luck to you on your discerment quest.


#9

There was nothing wrong with the community I was discerning with either. They are fiercely loyal to Holy Mother Church and I really admire and respect all the Sisters, however, it was not the vocation for me. Since leaving, I have discerned with a few other communities, but I have come to the tough decision to end my discernment as I discovered I do not have a vocation to religious life.

God can be a little dramatic in His signs! LOL! I was freaking out the last day I was at the convent and felt like I really needed to get back home before I lost it. I don’t know if it was the devil adding to it, but I really did not feel well. I could not eat or sleep. :shrug:


#10

Thanks for this thread as it tells me im on the right track, your bad situation has told me that God is telling me im in a good place on my journey because I actually visited A group of nuns called Sister Disciples of the Divine Master and and although the community only consists of 3 ladies I think beyond the age of 50 and Im 25, I felt like I really was happy to be there, she even said you are looking really relaxed here.hahahha… :amen:


#11

youre not alone..

before i was stil confused of being a monk or a priest and had a "Want" without any reflections at all. My want was to be a Benedictine monk...

So i had a come and see in their community and i was a bit upset. I had the feeling i dont have any "comfortability" in their place and what they're tasks were... So i found out that it was not the place that Jesus wants me to be. It was also my fault because i havent relfected anything about it at all... I just found out that monastic life is not what i am for, that a lot of needy people needs me out there... so that was it :D


#12

[quote="child_of_God85, post:1, topic:210283"]
I'vAfter 2 hours I started to unravel. All I was feeling was a constant sense of wrongness. I really panicked.I felt more confused and distant from God than I've ever felt in my entire life. I worked myself into such a state that after being there for 7 hours I was physically sick and had to leave. I was literally on the verge of a panic attack.

Has this ever happened to anyone else, or is it just me? I feel kinda guilty about bailing like that:(

[/quote]

not specifically regarding vocation discernment, but yes in situations where I was attending for the purpose of getting direction or guidance--therapy, educational setting, interview etc--it happened more than once. I had never heard the term panic attack until recently as one of my grandchildren copes with this, and now think that is what was happening to me. the physical symptoms seem to confirm it. Very infrequent now, I can recognize it and deal with it when it does. Whatever spiritual roots there may be to this it would also pay to tell your doctor about it.


#13

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