It was from the Vocations Director of one of the communities I visited, giving me an update on the local Sisters, and I was happy to learn that a couple I met during my visit are now in the area!
But there was more. Sister Vocations Director invited me, once again, to come out East to visit them, or, she offered, even better:
"Something to pray about," she said with a ;-).
My knee-jerk reaction was to scoff. September 8! That's only a couple weeks away! I have a house and I'm completely owned by my debt! Even if I COULD sell the house (right! Not in THIS market!) it would be of no help, for the negative equity is probably more than the house was ever worth.
So, of course, my initial reaction was to reject the entire idea out of hand.
But, I continued to think about it. What about the psychological entrants are required to make before entering a community? How would Sister even know I would pass? A friend of mine offered that some don't require the psychological; it becomes apparently very quickly if someone is not...uh....cut out for that way of life.
I also began to wonder if I was rejecting an experience of true Grace. What if God WANTS me there on September 8? Can't HE make things happen that quickly?
I've never been a Pollyanna, and have to admit that I have a hard time believing that anything like that could happen, especially to me. I don't deserve such a huge miracle, anyway.
Oh, right...none of us does. None of us merits ANYTHING, but Jesus suffered and died for us anyway, didn't He? This is certainly much less than the ransom He paid for each of us. My current situation isn't even a speck of dust in God's eye.
So...ok, I'm praying about it. I'm considering it. I had not planned to apply to or enter this community as I am neither a nurse nor a teacher (seriously, I do NOT have the gifts and have no desire to be a teacher or a nurse, as I have written of before, in depth). But it still comes down to: what does God want? Doesn't He know more about me than I do? Didn't He create me and call me into being from eternity to fulfill a particular purpose?
It seems that this door is not closed, and I have a very very direct invitation to walk through it.
Truly, if I could get rid of my house, my debt, my stuff, and find a home for my dog, I would go. After all, I have nothing to lose. My situation now can't really get much worse, and I'm on the verge of losing everything anyway. Such is life for anyone who works for the Church. Just ask around; we're all in this same boat.
I have nothing to lose by entering religious life, even with a community I would not have chosen for myself. Then again, I would not have chosen any of the communities I visited, and yet God sent me to them, and I'm GLAD He did, each and every one. I'm also grateful for the doors He gently closed as He ushered me through discernment.
I have nothing to lose, but everything to gain, and everything to give. Obviously they see something in me to offer to their Community and to God, as "worthless" as I think I would be...there must be something.
So there it is; I must take this seriously and pray. As of yesterday, discernment is being kicked into overdrive with the shift of a single gear.
So....there? Out East? Or one of the others I visited?
God will show the way. If out East, there is also a February entrance date. It wasn't listed in the letter from yesterday, but I know about it.
I believe that within the next year, I will be entering religious life at one of the communities I have already visited. I made the decision this summer to not visit any more; God has given me enough to consider and has closed further doors. He has made Himself clear in that regard. I'll be entering with the one that just invited me, or one of the others, if they will accept me.
OK, God....Thy Will be done.
I am the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to Thy Word.