How are we suppose to truly know God's plan for us?


Hi everyone,

I apologize for this long post but I would really like to hear from other people if they went through something similar.

I am 22 years old and was the first person ever to graduate from not just a university, but a top tier one. This has brought tremendous joy to my family and I as it paves the road for a life of success for my future family and generation. My ultimate career path has always been dentistry. I love it because I get to study and apply the health sciences and to serve people. What better way than to study God’s masterworks (the sciences) and to serve His people? One of my later goals is that once I become a dentist and get some experience, I want to open up a dental clinic so that I can also help those who cannot afford basic dental care in my hometown. In addition to this, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to have children and to raise them. I know not too many men would admit this especially a 22 year old guy but I feel like nothing would make me more happier than to raise my own children and to teach them about the Faith and the love of God.

Unfortunately, I was rejected last year but I prayed and will apply again after I take some more classes to make my application stronger. Everyday, I think about dentistry and how I can make a difference in people’s lives. Most importantly, I think about God everyday and I basically just talk to Him about everything that goes through my mind. The priesthood does pop up in my mind every now and then but I just believed every Catholic young men gets this feeling as well. I would think, “How can I be a priest? My family has spent well over 100 grand to help fund my undergraduate education and we are just a middle class working family.” Now begins my problem.

I still love dentistry with a passion and I tell God that whenever I become a dentist, I will serve Him by serving others. However, what if I’m called for something else? What if God wants me to do something else? I ask myself: “Can this be true? Is this why I was rejected the first time around?” I believe God has pointed me in the direction of dentistry. y’all are probably asking me, “Why do you say that?”

Because one day when I was volunteering at a food pantry, a dental school bus 2 hours from my hometown has been conducting free clinics for those who cannot afford basic dental care. I was blessed enough to have been able to volunteer there where I met a local dentist who actually works with this dental school and was able to meet a member of the admissions committee who GAVE me her contact number and email. (I remember feeling quite ecstatic that day.)

With all of these signs, this looks like He is pointing me in this direction and that getting rejected the first time was another sign that I must continue to be persistent and to put all of my trust in Him. Instead of feeling disappointed and discouraged, the rejection has been a humbling experience.

But what if I’m wrong? What if I have “trained” myself to believe this and that God wants me to do something else?

I apologize if this post sounded confusing and long because frankly, my mind is quite cluttered right now.

Thank you and God bless


You sound like a truly good and caring man. In my own live, I am a retired women’s health nurse practitioner and midwife. When I began to apply for my post grad work, I think that I got 7 or 8 rejections before finally being accepted into the program I attended. There are many reasons for rejections and I don’t believe that you should feel that this is a message from God. The fact seems to be that dentistry is what appeals to you and excites you. I personally think that THAT is what you should listen to. God gives each of us talents. You apparently have been given a talent in this area. Just remember when you do become a dentist to give back by volunteering time to those who can’t afford it or by volunteering time with “doctors without borders” or the “Mercy Ship” or whatever works out best in your life. I think God has plans for you!


We do not have the qualifications to answer this, perhaps you should talk to the Director of Vocations in your diocese.

May God Bless you


I don’t think it’s possible to know everything that God has planned for us, but I do think there is a reason we have “strange” passions - like caring about dental health!

Both my sister & her husband are dentists & both volunteer their services. My sister thru a local clinic for low-income people, especially children. My brother-in-law thru Doctors Without Borders. Dental health is often neglected among the poor - even the working poor - as it is expensive and is only rarely covered by insurance.


I agree with Starrsmother that a rejection does not automatically mean God is slamming the door in your face and asking you to switch gears entirely. It may just mean that there is another opportunity for you to take advantage of in the mean time before you apply again.

The key to discernment is prayer. Keep praying. Get a spiritual director if possible. I had one when I was your age and it greatly helped me sort through things at that very transitory stage of life.

I don’t know how it is with dental school, but I’ve had friends in other competitive fields who got rejected two or three (or more) times before finally getting accepted. Remember the Parable of the Persistent Widow. :slight_smile:

Of course, I don’t know you, so I cannot tell you what God’s plan is for you (hence why I recommend getting a spiritual director). But I will say that (from what you have posted at least) it seems you are passionate about pursuing dentistry and I don’t really hear from you any alternative that is also on your radar screen. That strikes me as a sign that you are on the right track. But prayer is going to yield better fruit for you than my opinion. :wink:


Thank you everyone. I greatly appreciate your input. I feel like I am on the right path. I will talk to my priest about it soon.

God bless!


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