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Monday, September 28, 2009

Is it Over Yet?

The low-hanging clouds and cold wind on this gloomy morning perfectly fits my mood. I was hoping that I'd be able to shake it off while walking the dog, a task I truly enjoy.

But this morning, even that isn't enough.

A few years ago I looked at my life and asked, "Is THIS all there is? Is this IT?" And the answer came..."no, there's more." That question launched me off to grad school and eventually into vocational discernment. I think it was what I learned through grad school that enabled me to ask deeper questions, and, through coming to know God, somehow He got through to me.

But here I stand again, asking that very same question, looking at my largely-wasted life, and wondering, "Is this IT? Is THIS all there is?"

I don't think I'm called to religious life. When I consider it I don't have a sense of peace. In fact, the only thing the thought does is fill me with a deep, deep dread.

Several years ago when I had applied for the fire department, and finally received a hiring notification, I remember holding it, staring at it, realizing that...whoa...this was for real. I wanted to turn it down, but I couldn't. I had an innate sense in that moment that it was the wrong thing. And was an escape from the job I had, finally. I'd worked so hard to get there, and receiving that notice should, one would think, have been one of the happiest moments of my life. I'd actually wanted to be a firefighter ever since I was a little girl...and there it was, right there in my hand.

And I didn't want it. As it turned out..I was right not to want it. It wasn't wrong to dream, or to try, but that deep sense of wrongness never went away, not through months of training.

I feel that way about religious life. If I had applied and received a letter accepting me for entrance, the thought of that brings me right back to the moment when I held the hiring notice from the fire department. Dread.

I don't want this. I don't think I WANT to be a religious sister. I don't really care anymore whether God is calling me to it or not. Everyone asks me, "what do YOU want?" Not this. I don't know why...but I don't want it.

The problem is, I don't want marriage, either. And I don't want single life. I don't want to be a hermit.

So I'm stuck with the same question...what do I want?

I don't know. I don't know.

I. Don't. KNOW!

And this isolation is killing me. I have nothing and want nothing, so all I possess is that ever-circling question: Is THIS all there is? Isn't there something more? Was I created for....THIS?

It can't be.

And yet...maybe it is. And maybe this is the cross God is asking me to carry...for life.

So be it.