Take a Chance on God
I was fifteen when, attending Mass, I began to understand how much God loves us. For the first time, I didn’t just know, but I felt God’s immense love in my heart. I was filled with joy! This truly ignited my compassion toward all those in need; I sensed an urge to let others know that God immensely cares for and loves them. Yet I realized too, I can only share this and then leave it up to them as to what they do with it.
I knew that proclaiming Christ is a call for all who are baptized, but how was I supposed to do this? How would I know whether I was to share the love and Word of God as a mother and/or as an associate of a religious order, or as a vowed religious? This is not something we set our mind to decide. Instead, it all comes from the heart, and I believe that it is a call coming from God.
When I said something at home about becoming a nun, the response was a definite “no”! Consequently, I did what I was told, and even tried to believe that my family was right. However, my prayer life continued to change, my relationship with God grew deeper, and the call felt like a consuming urge which kept nudging me.
One day in my late twenties, as I was watching Mamma Mia, I heard the song, “Take a Chance on Me” by ABBA. I felt my attention wandering away from the movie, and sensed being tapped on the heart by God. Thus, I chose to take a risk and see where God would take me.
So I read a lot about religious life by surfing the Internet, but I didn’t know how to sort all this out or to discern. In my searching I read the quote: “Stop thinking and go where God takes you.” This is when I decided to reach out for help.
I started the journey by walking with a spiritual director who later encouraged me to check out various orders as well as date. I utilized Vocationnetwork.org which helped me to get in contact with orders that seemed to fit my personality. I did this by taking the survey offered on their website to identify my preferences.
Prayerfully I continued walking the journey with spiritual directors, vocation directors, and formation directors who helped me reflect on and deepen my relationship with God. Discerning in this manner also helped me ponder what brings me to the point of feeling incredibly alive; so that I can be my best self and fully be there, where ever God and the world most need me. I felt so grateful, that I wished to offer my life to God in thanksgiving. I took my first vows last summer. I love being a Dominican Sister of Peace: we live a balanced life of prayer, study, ministry, and community while we serve God by building peace, being peace, and preaching peace.
Questions still persisted. How do I know whether I am serving God’s call? One sure sign is that I feel at peace, energized, and joyful. If you are reading this and you are still not at peace about God’s call for you, why not give God a chance?