Hello all- I have recently come into some distress about my vocation. I plan to talk to a priest/ spiritual director, but I am looking for some other feedback as well. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Throughout my life, I have always pictured myself as a school teacher, husband, and father. I have always drawn great comfort in that, and for a brief period of time during my undergraduate I was not studying to be a teacher. It was a very rough and uneasy time for me, and a peace came over me when I finally began my teacher education courses. Unfortunately for most of college (and a large part of high school for that matter) I fell away from the Lord. It wasn’t until my senior year that I started to accept Jesus in my life once again, in large part due to the girl I was dating. In the long run though, that relationship brought me little peace. In fact, even with a return to Christ, it still brought out many negative qualities in me such as anger and a lack of patience. About a year after we stopped dating, and I had made many strides to have a fulfilling faith life, I met another girl at a Church function. About the third time we ran into each other we were able to really talk and hit it off quite well. Even though we both attended Catholic Church in the same town I had never seen her at mass (there are two Church buildings and a total of 6 masses each Sunday), so I knew times to see her would be slim. So I began to pray about the situation and suddenly we were seeing each other at all kinds of functions, both Church and non-Church related. We started dating after a few months of spending time together. After about five months of dating, and several more of knowing her it has been a tremendous blessing. We attend mass together weekly, she encouraged me to attend adoration which I do almost weekly now, as well as join her young adult group. There was a time in my life when I would go days or even weeks without praying, now I find myself praying several times a day- sometimes with her. When I am with her I feel great peace and joy. When I told her how anger used to have a hold on me she was shocked, as in her words shes never seen me so much as much lose my temper. I know the relationship is young, but even thoughts of marriage have brought me great comfort as I know the effect she has had on me. She has become my best friend.
Recently though, I have began to wonder about other vocations and if I have been ignoring God’s call to something else. While I think they are beautiful vocations, thoughts and prayers about the priestly or religious life bring me great distress. Recently to the point of consuming me. I’m not sure if this distress comes from my own reluctance to fully 100% put God in control, the thought of a loss of things that have brought me comfort in life (being a husband, father, etc.), the loss of this wonderful young woman, a combination, or God telling me that this either isn’t my calling or isn’t right now. I think what scares me most is the potential of “missing” God’s calling for me. At times I have been so consumed that only one thing has been able to calm me down; talking with my girlfriend. I have been honest with her about this- about the effect she has on me as well as my distress, and she has been nothing but supporting.
Like I said above, I do plan to talk to a priest or spiritual director, but does anyone have any additional advice? Many thanks and blessings.