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Go Ahead and Ring the Doorbell: A Post About Following God's Will

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I knocked on the front door of an old house, not knowing who was going to answer and what I was getting myself into. I was nervous but somehow knew this was something that I had to do. A small young Sister who looked slightly familiar answered and welcomed me in. That night would change the course of my life.

The doorbell on the Sisters house did NOT look like this.
But maybe the bell you have to ring will!
That was a year ago today, the first step in jumpstarting my discernment, the first time I ever visited a local community of the Daughters of Charity. The Sister who answered the door was the vocations director, Sr Denise, who had arranged the visit for me. I met her other housemates, prayed evening prayer and had meditation with them, and then ate supper with them. I left feeling strange, as if I knew God was working something in me. The Daughters were like nothing I had ever seen before. The atmosphere breathed unity, prayer, and mission. It felt like falling in love.

Now, the tables are turned. Sr Denise arrived yesterday to visit me. I never would have imagined a year ago that the same Sister who opened the door and welcomed me in would be visiting me as a prepostulant. A year ago, I never would have imagined moving to the South, leaving the school I was working at, teaching a new school subject and more specifically being in formation to be a Daughter of Charity.

Just a few days ago, I was talking to my sixth grade religion class about rejections that lead to blessings. We may not see it at the time, just as I never would have imagined myself here. Everything in my life – including those painful moments – led to here.
Leaving my Salesian community was very painful, though necessary...but it led me to this.
Leaving Bolivia was sad...but it led me to this.
My school closing was sad too...but it led me to this.

God chased me down and refused to let me drown in pain. He had me ring that doorbell, though I really had no idea what to expect. What an amazing image that is...to know that God loves me so much that He would give me all this, that He isn't satisfied with me simply surviving, that He has a special plan for me and only me. I once heard Fr. Jim Martin SJ speak in Baltimore. He said something that stuck with me: “We hear all the time 'God loves you' and it begins to mean little. But think of this – God likes you. He truly does like you” 

That isn't to say prepostulancy is perfect because it's not (nor is it apparently supposed to be), neither am I the perfect prepostulant – I have my frazzled days, my long days, my days where I wonder if I'm doing anything right and, as any human, I make lots of mistakes (and then get nervous about said mistakes). But I can't imagine myself anywhere else. I can't imagine myself in any other town besides Macon or in any other community besides the Daughters of Charity. And I thank God that I'm here, despite the crazy days. St. Vincent de Paul said the only thing necessary for sainthood was following the will of God, that everything lies in that. And well, I'm trying, Vincent...I really am!

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