Although God gave us the gift of free will, do we really have the choice to decide for ourselves which Vocation we desire the most, that of course is pleasing to God & can reach our full potential (talents, abilities to share with others) in serving Him? How do we know which Vocations are not His plan for our lives? What are some characteristics/references (via Sacraments, Bible verses, CCC, etc) to learn more about this? As a scrupulous person, it would really bother me to make a decision that would be displeasing to God, in terms of deciphering which Vocation to pursue thru prayer and contemplation… I think about this stuff daily and quite often.
*Most of my life, I prayed daily for my future husband and our future marriage & family someday- I devoted much of my life thinking, praying, & talking to close friends about it to ensure I was preparing/planning the future well for meeting my soulmate. After awhile, I kept praying and continue saving myself for my future husband while not actually experiencing something real and authentic that I had always hoped for. A local priest that knows me had suggested that I take a break of the married life prep mentality and explore religious life (b/c when I was a child, the thought of becoming a nun crossed my mind once but I was scared that my parents would disapprove) and to also do a dating fast for at least 6 months. So I did the dating fast (it was very difficult for me to pass up dates, but it did help me to focus on my faith journey deeper and not look at guys as possibly being “the one” for me but rather as brothers-in-Christ~ and that made a difference). I continued discerning religious life (1 & 1/2 years) not necessarily for a particular religious community, but rather the way of life itself & living in the moment with religious nuns & sisters who were actually happy and at peace with their way of living that was so foreign to me. By seeking to explore religious life, God actually revealed to me Himself deeper (like never before), the healing within silence, Jesus & Mary’s presence always being present within our lives in everything, and that I am already loved by Him~ He loves me inside & out to the point that I don’t need to prove myself to anyone that would deter me from being who God intended me to be… meaning that I don’t need to change who I am in God to be accepted and loved by others. 1 John 2:17. This might seem odd, but after typing all of this, I understand God’s purpose in all of this. If I didn’t choose to explore religious life, I would’ve continued obsessing about my future husband and marriage stuff without really getting to know the One (Jesus) who has been with me all along in everything and how much healing of a process I need to experience gradually before He unfolds and fulfills my deep desire for the Vocation of married life (the way I continue to hope for & dedicate my entire life for in His time) with Him at the center, rather than at a distance. Recognizing and God revealing to me that Jesus & Mary are with us always truly helps me to invite Them into my daily struggles, good times & bad times- in everything, and pray more often than not. The Lord certainly works in mysterious ways that are more enjoyable to experience unexpectedly, in order for Him to show us all that He continues to have in mind for each one of our lives, when we choose to let Him be at the center of our lives truthfully.