I climbed into the van hesitantly while dreading the weekend ahead.
Oklahoma State University’s parish had put together a “Nun Run” for young women that felt a calling to a religious vocation.
I wouldn’t say I had heard the call, but I was …
- a young Catholic woman
- in love with God
- wanted zero kids
- did not want to be a nun at all
So, I just knew … I was destined for nundom.
I figured I was only fighting God on this so the only fair thing to do was give it a shot.
The weekend was awful.
Judge me all you want, I found out that trip that I do not like praying the Liturgy of the Hours at. all.
It was its own form of torture.
All of the Adoration time was beautiful, but then you’d go back to silence and work.
No, thank you.
I was counting down the hours for my “weekend of hell” (as I referred to it as the bus drove us from convent to convent) to be over.
At our last convent, during one of the Adoration times, I’ll never forget hearing the voice of God.
It wasn’t a loud, audible, thunder-like voice, but more of a strong thought in my head and heart that I knew wasn’t my own.
“You’re going to be a soccer mom,” are the words I heard.
They completely threw me off because I had been praying for God to open my heart to being a Sister AND then also the whole me not wanting kids thing.
It didn’t make any sense at all, until the peace came.
I knew in my soul that God was not calling me to be a nun.
And I was ecstatic!
I was okay with Him slowly unfolding the rest of that sentence to me in time because I heard the most important thing: My vocation was not in a convent. Hallelujah!
Late into the fall of my senior year at OSU I found myself praying another prayer of clarity.
I met a boy that took me by surprise.
I had already made plans to attend a Catholic missionary school in Australia after graduation and then saving souls while adventuring all over the world. A husband and kids would wait until I hit about 30.
I’ll never forgetting talking to God, “Okay God, you know how much I like him. I feel like I might be falling in love with him, so please, if you don’t want me to be with him stop these feelings and relationship right now. I want what you want. But please be clear.”
The feelings only became stronger and stronger. I couldn’t get this boy out of my head. I kept praying for direction and clarity and John kept filling up more and more of my heart.
As we spoke of marriage and a family three months into our relationship, I had to face the reality that was right in front of me.
Vocation time had arrived.
Did I want the dream of a husband and kids, a cozy home and homemade pie s… or the dream of adventure and missions all over the world.
The two dreams played tug-of-war with me, but God had made it so clear and strong in my heart that there wasn’t an actual decision to make.
I couldn’t wait to begin a life with John. I wanted, more than anything, to be his wife and have children one day.
The journey to finding my vocation has shown me the importance of praying for my boys’ vocations.
John and I have prayed for their future possible wives and for their “yes” to God if they are to be called to the priesthood. We pray for our kids to hear God’s call for their lives, no matter where it might take them. We pray that they have a deep love for God and the Eucharist.
There are so many directions this life can take them, I hope our prayers will help them stay on the path that leads them as close to God as possible. I hope our prayers will help lead them to their sainthood.
Another lesson, that I am still learning and asking God to show me, is about my vocation within my vocation. My spiritual director refers to the two as “your big V and little V.”
Big V= wife/mom, Little V= the other little missions that God has created me for.
A hot topic in mom circles is being “more than a just a mom.”
We all cringe at the “just a mom,” because being a mom is our Big V, our biggest job in this life, besides being a wife.
But, God has given us all kinds of talents and desires of the heart that are between just us and God and meant for the salvation of the world.
The Little V can be a hard thing to discern, many times even harder than the Big V.
I think a lot of times what gets in the way of us with a mom vocation is either mom guilt and just being plain tired.
We’re so busy keeping little humans alive and well: Who has time for anything else?!
Every soul is created completely different, so I can only speak for myself, but the times that I let my little humans completely rule my life, I wasn’t at peace. I wasn’t living my abundant life. That totally makes sense, because I was putting aside the other side of who God created me to be.
I see the little vocations as ever evolving. Think, Mother Teresa and her “call within a call.” She didn’t give up on her first calling; she just gave God her “yes” to expanding on that call. And what came to be was a saint.
Vocations Awareness week doesn’t solely belong to the young … what’s your little vocation in waiting? Is it time for the world to be graced by your own “call within a call”?
Copyright 2019 Stephanie Stovall