Yo. It's been a while since ive posted here. I've been checking in a lot, reading threads. But I wanted to write.
I've posted a lot about Vocation discernment. It's something I often think about. I'd been thinking a lot about if i had a calling to religious life. But i had many doubts if I was suited for that life, or if the Lord was even calling me at all, despite having some attractions to it. Some days the thought of being a lifelong Celibate made me sick with frustration that God could possibly call me to give up my greatest desire to be a husband and father. Then other days i would hate the idea of being married with all the crosses and struggles that come with it. All I've wanted is to live out Gods Will by living out my true vocation, and most of all, be joyful in it. I still feel as if im at a crossroad on my "discernment."
It could go either way at this point. I've tried and tried to be open to the possibility of religious life, but i just can't. No matter how i try, i can't make myself have a firm will to desire priesthood. But I'm not satisfied in believing that marriage is my vocation because i don't trust that it really is. The issue is that i don't trust that anything is my vocation. The reason i don't trust that marriage could be my vocation is because i haven't received a firm answer that priesthood ISN'T my calling. And the inverse applies to not trusting that priesthood could be my calling. All im left with is the desire to have a wife and to have children. But it doesn't settle my mind or my heart. I'm continually restless and rarely at peace with the thought of any vocation. I still wonder, what if i should become a priest. Its not an attraction to priesthood by any means..its like a disturbing, nagging, miserable feeling that it would be a mistake if i married..like God is telling me not to marry. You know when you do something wrong and you know its wrong but you try to justify it in your mind? And from time to time you might actually feel a false sense of peace about it but in your heart it eats at you and drives you crazy knowing that you're guilty of something. And you don't feel well again until you confess it? Well i always feel that way, from the moment i wake up to the moment i go to sleep. And i can't help but think its because God wants me to be a priest and i refuse to desire it too. But the fact is..im not hiding anything wrong. I'm not living a bad life. I'm trying my best to be a good Catholic. I go to confession every other week or so and i truly desire to live out Gods will for me. But i don't pray very often..and i really should. I do talk to God all the time when im driving in my car or tossing and turning in my bed trying to get back to sleep at 3 AM. The only thing that brings me any sense of joy in my life is kids. They have so much life in them and their love and curiosity for life makes me happy. So why wouldn't God want me to have Children of my own?
I've come to realize that im at my best when im dealing with children. Its like I feel most myself when my friends kids are sitting on my lap and im reading them a book, or im holding my baby nieces or nephews in my arms. I just wish so much that i could be a dad too.
God recently answered a prayer of mine and provided me with an amazing opportunity. I had been living with some friends in a town i had no particular care for, and no one i knew lived there, except for these two friends of mine. And honestly, one of the friends was very difficult for me to live with. He's a great friend, but living with him was impossible for me. Very different personalities to share a home. So a very trusted, good family friend and Catholic father of seven and farmer called me one evening two months ago and asked me if i wanted to move to his farm and live near his family in a very old farmhouse he owns right up the road from him. The house had been vacant for years and he can't afford to pay anyone to work on it and maintain it, but he can afford to have me live there and pay off my rent by doing the work it needs. It saves him money, and it saves me money as well. I'm a carpenter by trade anyway, so im very capable of doing the work. It has been a big adjustment living alone, in the middle of nowhere in a big, old, cold farmhouse. But its feeling more and more like home and im enjoying it more every day. I really believe Gods will has been at work and I trust there is a very good reason im living there now.
Its a beautiful place to live and my farming friends are awesome, Godly people. They are a young family, with the youngest being just under a year. The kids love it when i visit, and i love each one of them to pieces. I've also been making friends with some other young married couples in the area, and their kids love it when i visit and i could spend hours reading to them or just playing games, etc. But i have social anxiety too which is what makes me wonder how i could use my skills in a vocation if i can't be around people for too long. People, as much as i love them, stress me out after a while and i just have to be alone. But i also hate being alone and i can get kinda depressed if i go too long without interaction.
I also have a chance to meet a very pretty Catholic girl my age. A friend of mine went to college with her and he and his wife want me to meet her, and they have told her about me and she is willing to meet me as well. I'm just always overcome by the fear, though, that im subverting some other plan God could have for me. People tell me I'm WAY other thinking it and i just need to trust God. But i still don't know how to even begin trusting His plan. I could take a step of faith off the cliff and pursue religious life with no particular desire for it in hopes that God will open my eyes and i'd suddenly discover its my actual calling, or i could pursue marriage and family with the ever present question of "what if i actually was called to religious life?"