For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:25)
I feel so ‘tempted’ to do exactly that…to “lose my life” for God, in the hope of finding what it could really be. God the tempter… God has seduced me and I let myself be seduced (Jeremiah 20:7).
This is not an easy journey – finding an answer to the question if the fullness of my life is to be found in a religious community, under vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Sounds crazy? Yes, I think so too. And still – being a fool for God is much preferable, in my eyes, to being a fool for people.
It takes a long time to trust what is happening between God and me.
It’s taken many years already.
And it might be really difficult to understand for anyone who hasn’t gone through this process as well.
Fortunately for me, I know quite a few people who have, and I benefit from their understanding, their experience and their prayers for me.
I come from the opposite end of the spectrum in the religious context. I grew up in a place where the life I’m contemplating now is not even an existing option. I’ve had to travel a long way, geographically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, to arrive at this point.
And I would not have been able to do it without God. She made sure I was safe, even in the painful stretches of this process, and even on a minimum amount of faith from my side at times. I know she is faithful. I have no doubts anymore about that. And I do not need to pray for God not to leave me (as is the case in many a liturgy). She will not.
Apparently, she just really, really wants me to walk down this particular road.
And I hope by now that I will be able to surrender myself to what she wants for me. That I will trust her enough to let go of everything else – knowing that I will be given what I need. And if what I need is something that I’ve given away, she will hand it back to me in time.
For the moment, the discernment process is mine alone and I only allow those in who will be of help, open-minded and prayerful. I write about it here because the writing helps me clear my thoughts.
Everyone in my life who cannot be supportive during the discernment process will hear about this only if/when I indeed pack my bags and commit to life under religious vows. That is particularly true for my family. I need to know what is right for me first. Then we talk.
What do I need to be as close to God as I can be?
I find my answers. You find yours.