Here's where I am with regards to vocation discernment. At this time, the answer for religious life is "no". I have prayed and visited the Blessed Sacrament and visited with a community of religious sisters. Now I never really thought that I had a religious call, but was prompted by others since I am a single woman (and recent convert, hence would not have associated the term "vocation" with religious life until about a year and a half ago) entering the upper age limits for vocations. Back when I was a student and nervous about making my way in an uncertain world, it seemed prudent to at least consider it. I went along with it, trusting their wisdom, but "be in the world, be among the people, I am there too" keeps coming up. My religious life vocation journey ended there. Now I'm focused on building a strong, faithful, secular Catholic life-- whether single or married, it's too soon to say.
I read the wisdom from one vocation site that one does not "find" a vocation per se, but rather uncovers what's been put there by God and has been with that person all along. Those words really gave me consolation, since I've gone through a period when I felt as though I did not have a vocation at all. My heart knew what was there all along but other people (namely religious and religious life discerners) seemed to stir me away from that (the "natural longings" argument). Another site suggested that our heart finds peace in our vocation, that God would not give us something that feels like a "monkey on our backs". Though I highly respect religious and their glorious call in this lifetime, for me it always seemed more like something I was pressured to pursue. Plus, I have a few major (major) impediments (serious student debt, family obligations, etc.). Next step is to find a good spiritual director (I may go on a retreat later in Feb. with spiritual direction) to work through all that's been said. I know that's the confirmation needed at this point, it needs to come from a director, not merely myself.
Feel free to share your own vocation journey here! No need to comment on or respond to specific questions- just a place to share and be heard (gentle words of encouragement OK :thumbsup:).