Hello, I am new to the forum and I am looking for advice about a particular situation I find myself in now. I will try to be brief but if I blabber please forgive me. Firstly I am 20 years old, I am discerning a religious vocation to Christ’s priesthood and have never been in a relationship before. I have been praying about my vocation for the past year, have talked to a spiritual director and was convinced I was to be a priest. Recently something has come up as I go further into my discernment that has been quite troubling. I have developed feelings for a friend of mine that I’ve had for around a year. We’ve had some very deep conversations about many things including vocational discernment ( she was going to be a Carmelite nun but discerned that her true vocation was as a wife and mother) and I feel a very strong connection with her. She is very attractive, I find her absolutely beautiful in all honesty. Her and I talk to each other everyday, sometimes several times throughout the day and in the past couple of weeks the burner has been turned up to high. I am very self-conscious now when talking to her, and I just can’t get her out of my mind. Often times when I think of her I get this horrible fear of rejection and I despair at the thought of her not liking me. Also I fear being to young for her (she’s 25) and not having a career set up for myself (if I determine i do not have a vocation). I am filled with all of these doubts and worries but also I am overwhelmed with a longing to be with her and a sadness and frustration that I am not. I have all of these mixed feelings running through me, I don’t know what to do . Am I simply deceiving myself out of a vocation? Am I just infatuated with her and should I not go any further but let it pass? Should I go awhile without talking to her and see if the feelings are still there? Most of all is this the will of God or a snare of the devil? I would appreciate any help I could get with this because frankly I am lost.
Obviously it’s too early to say, but perhaps this is God’s way of telling you your vocation lies outside the priesthood. Or, perhaps it’s a test from Him for you to determine if you can give up a marital relationship. Either way, please don’t fret over these feelings for this girl; they are totally natural. As you are so uncertain, I wouldn’t tell the girl how you’re feeling…if she likes you and you later determine it’s just a passing thing…Well, you’ll hurt her and likely lose your friendship. I would keep praying. God will lead you where you need to be. Good luck and God Bless.
Have you spoken with anyone else about your discernment? (Someone impartial who knows the full extent of your situation)
It sounds to me like your are infatuated at this point – Keep in mind that infatuation (unlike lust) is not a sin. In fact, it’s the first step in many relationships.
I can’t offer advice as to what specific course of action you should take because there isn’t necessarily an incorrect path.
Pray about it. God will lead you–just make sure you’re not trying too hard to put words in His mouth.
Firstly, congratulations for trying to discern your vocation - I never did, and I regret it a bit.
It sounds to me like you’re at a critical point in your discernment process, so you should be very careful about what you do and why you do it. This could be a testing time for you, and if you come out having made the right decision (even if it is the harder one), you’ll be stronger for having been through it.
I can’t give you an answer because I don’t know your calling, but I can say that God has a plan for you an He will help you to figure it out, somehow.
My Mum always told me to make a decision and live with it for a few days. Then make the other decision and live with that for a few days. Then look at them both and decide which one gave you more peace.
Don’t forget to pray pray pray about it.
Thank you all for your help. It seems like all I can do is pray. I think I may try not talking to her for a few days (including facebook and all of that) and try to get my head on straight so that I can see things more clearly. This is a real test of trust in God’s providence, something that I struggle with allot. I need to let go and put this situation including my feelings for her in the hands of Our Lady and Her most Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. I have a tenancy to grasp at control of situations and that will only lead to failure. I still have all of those fears and doubts and that longing but I’ll have to just suffer through it, as difficult as it is and as impossible as it may seem. Like I said, I’ve never been in a relationship or had feelings for someone like this. It is all very new and strange to me. Thanks again for the help.