It has been quite some time since I updated last on the topic of my discernment journey and vocation to religious life, but since there are some people who are curious and would like to know what is happening…:
(please excuse possible grammar weirdness and mistakes. It is a long text and I have to leave for work now, but I hope most makes sense)
February, I went for another visit to “my” sisters/congregation. It was another wonderful visit.
Since my first visit there, when I (quite unexpectedly) hopelessly fell in love with their spirituality, it has been 16 months. Since then, I spent every single day of my vacation (and more – thanks to working overtime) to visit them or one of their other houses, getting to know their spirituality, their life and the sisters.
I prayed with them, lived with them, meditated with them, we talked, laughed, discussed – just everything you usually do with people when you feel a kind of connection – and then some more.
And I got my heart broken over and over again when I had to leave after each stay 😀
All the while waiting patiently (hah!) for the annulment of my marriage (a process that has been going on for 18 months now), doing exercises – with them and alone at home, and, on the way, implementing the contemplative way of life, which I got to know there, into my daily life – as much as was possible. But even what little was possible has been a blessing to my life already.
During the 16 months, I only fell further in love with everything.
And I talked to people around me, so most people know what I’m doing by now – and nobody was surprised, which was weird, but also a relief and a sign (for me), that I’m on the right way.
Last November, I got to meet the sister who founded the congregation and spent the day with her. Such an amazing woman! Anyway, at the end of that stay in November, I clearly told them that they are my congregation, that I couldn’t imagine joining any other. They were, as during the entire time, very kind, but also rather calm about my statement.
Then I went there again February.
I had a long talk with one of the sisters, who told me about her way (she was called to religious life my age as well, so there are some similarities – minus the marriage and adult child), the problems she faced and just everything, very openly.
At the end of my stay, during my last talk (just when I had decided to finally ask, how my way could continue, once the marriage annulment has been taken care of) with the sister who is responsible for visitors like me, who show up there to live with them — and then never go away anymore 😀 – she opened the topic herself and said that it has been some time since my first visit and asked how I see my future with them.
So, the feeling that I’m in the right place is mutual. If I want to join them, they want me as well.
Of course, there’s still the annulment (which is on a good way, I think), followed by me dissolving my life here and moving in with them, followed by a few months of really living with them (probably shorter than usual, since we have known each other that long already) and then – God willing – postulate, novitiate and so on.
So, yes, that it is.
It was a long talk, which still fills me with such joy, relief and gratefulness!