Still Waiting…

I’m heading to Ohio on Monday and I CANNOT WAIT.  In the mean time I was stalking the Sisters’ website and stumbled across their monthly newsletter.  The Reverend Mother wrote a beautiful Christmas message about opening our hearts to Christ during this season.  You can read it here: http://www.torsisters.org/newsletter/RMChristmas%202011%20Color%20for%20website.pdf

While I’m Waiting

I just heard this song on Pandora and was astounded at how perfectly it fits what’s happening in my life.  Also, I think it’s a great Advent song.

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Takeing every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve you while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

What About Africa?

For all of my readers asking this question, you should know that I am too.  For the longest time I was so sure that God was calling me to foreign missions, particularly in Africa.  But as I continue to surrender my dreams to His will, something strange is happening: he is calling me in completely unexpected ways.  When I went on the discernment retreat with the TOR Sisters in Ohio, the vocation director said that it is important to discover the deepest desires of our heart.  There are many things we want in life, but some of these are superficial and not really what God needs us to focus on.  It reminds me of this quote:  “There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart…pursue those.”

This definitely applies to me because I have many random passions and get easily distracted by good things.  So as I walk down this path of discernment, I’ve been asking myself what the deepest desires of my heart are.  What I came up with is: serve the poor – both spiritually and materially, reveal the truth of God’s love, make the redeeming love of Christ known and build up the Church.

At the same time God has been revealing to me the desperate need of the American people.  More than anything, we are spiritually poor and the spiritual state of our youth especially is disheartening.  I believe that he has important work for me to do here.

When I went to Tanzania, that is absolutely where I needed to be.  I learned many important things during my time there and it was huge leap of faith which helped solidify my relationship with God.  God took me to the other side of the world to confirm my vocation as a Sister, teach me the power of prayer and teach me to trust him in everything I do.

In the end, complete obedience is the only way to true freedom.  By completely abandoning myself to God’s will, I will allow him to fulfill all of my desires and beyond.  I may still end up in Africa one day, but the only way to find out is to be obedient and go to Ohio…

A God of Surprises

So I wrote a post about two months ago revealing I am discerning religious life.  It has become obvious that God is definitely calling me down that path and now that almost everyone in my life knows, I’ll be using this blog to track my journey towards sisterhood from now on.

God sure likes keeping me on my toes and keeps surprising me with blessing after blessing.  I’m learning that the more I give to him the more he will give back to me.  At the beginning of this school year I began actively and prayerfully seeking out which order of Sisters God wants me to join.  After a couple of months of searching though, I got frustrated.  With the internet all the orders in the world are at my fingertips and that is way too overwhelming.  Finally I stopped looking and told God that he was going to have to lead me to the right one in His own time.  I really should be careful what I wish for…

I decided to focus my energy on learning about other aspects of religious life instead.  One day, while browsing google to figure out how to pay off my loans in a record amount of time, I stumbled across the website of The Franciscan Sisters of the Penance of Our Sorrowful Mother. After perusing it for a couple of seconds I realized that I had met these sisters before!  My first interaction with them was on a retreat about a year ago.  I had a powerful experience of prayer with them and had talked to one of the novices about discernment.

I knew that God had led me to this website for a reason so I decided to check them out.  I contacted the vocation director and found out they were having a discernment retreat in early November.  I also found out that two girls from the retreat where I had met the sisters originally were going.  It seemed that everything fell into place for me to go out to Ohio.

It wasn’t love at first sight upon entering the convent, but as the weekend progressed I began to have a sneaking suspicion that my search might be over.  Their charism and life style really clicked and it seemed that everything they said was already on my heart.  The Holy Spirit continually bombarded me with signs throughout the weekend.

Throughout the weekend this phrase repeated itself over and over in my heart: Everything you long for, great and small, is found here.  Any doubts I have since returning to “real life” have been pushed aside by God’s great guidance.  It has already worked out for me to go back in January and I can’t wait!  I could go on and on about the incredible things God has been doing in my life in the past month but I’ll leave you with this for now.

This order is so far from where I thought I would end up (geographically and spiritually) but obviously God had other plans.  That’s a whole other blog post though…