I can’t share with you any discernment advice from a priesthood perspective, but I am discerning a call to the permanent diaconate.
I am a very impatient person at times, and it is hard for me to deal with waiting. When this process started (actually that was over 10 years ago, but more recently, I started discerning again a year ago) I just wanted to be accepted into aspirancy and get on with it. I talked with a lot of people, many who were deacons, and they all told me the same thing, but maybe with different words. They all seemed to say enjoy the experience. I will grow in my understanding of myself, I will grow in my understanding and love for Jesus, and it will be over with before I know it.
I sat down one day and asked God if He would help me to curb my patience, to not get antsy, and just enjoy the process and trust His plans.
I remember going to the information night where we received the application packet, and I recall filling it out and sending it in. Surprisingly, I didn’t find myself running to check the mail everyday to see if I received a letter back from the diocese. In fact, one night, my wife and I had gone to see a movie, and we came back home, and while she was getting ready for bed, I was letting the dogs out and saw that someone brought the mail in. I almost didn’t check the stack, but I saw a large envelope and noticed it was from the diocese. I remember thinking to myself, “wow, that was quick” (this was about 2 - 3 weeks after I sent it in). It was a packet of all the things they wanted from me to continue the inquiry process.
I filled all that documentation out, sent it in by the due date, and again asked God to grant me patience. A few weeks go by, and I am surprised again by a letter stating that I will now be moving on into the interview phase. Again, it just snuck up on me. I know who I am, and I know that God is granting me patience in this experience. Maybe He isn’t calling me to the diaconate, or maybe He is, but I am okay either way, because as the people who I spoke with early on told me, it is His will, not mine that will decide if I am called.
Anyhow, bottom line is this, have patience. If you find that you don’t pray for it. God will help you.
God bless you in discerning your call,