Question from a blog reader …
Hi Sister, what motivation did you have to become a nun? Why did you choose that type of career/life??
You asked what my motivation was for becoming a nun. Well, I didn’t really plan on becoming a nun. My motivation was to live my life the best way I could as a young, single, Catholic woman. I knew my options were single life, married life, and religious life. I figured that I was destined for married life. I always wanted to be married and to be a mom. But, I decided I’d check out the religious thing just to say “been there, done that” … so I wouldn’t have any doubts about that NOT being my call. Well, that didn’t happen.
It turns out it was my call. I think deep down, I recognized that I was most fully myself when I was in tune with God. It just so happened that for me, that meant living the lifestyle of a religious. For others, it may mean living a married life, being a parent, becoming ordained or choosing single life. Whatever lifestyle God calls us to is IT, the best one for us. I realized that to be true to myself meant that I had to let go of something and let God do the driving. I still am quite a back seat driver, but more and more I am able to say “not my will, but yours be done.”
Being a nun is more of a way of life than it is a career. I think of a career as something that at the end of the day or week, I can come home and do my ordinary stuff. I’m “off duty” so to speak. Just like being married is not a career, being a nun is not really a career because being a nun is part of who I am. It’s like I’ve got this IHM “DNA” now that is as much a part of me as my family is. As with married life, our vows are for life — in good times and in bad.
In a way, I wasn’t the one who first chose this life of being a nun. It’s like it chose me. I know that sounds kinda weird, but it’s true. It’s not something I ever would have thought would “fit” me. Yet, by golly, it does. Once I realized that this is what God was calling me to, I had to take the time and space to choose it for myself, to make God’s call my own, to embrace it freely. After some major resisting, running, and denial, I was able to freely choose this life, knowing that it is the best way I can be me and serve God and the world.