Mother Frangelico and Father, too, have been after me to write my discernment story. I can't write a Vocation story because I haven't yet figured out if I'm really discerning or not, so I don't really have a Vocation. Or know if I have a Vocation. Whatever. You get the point.
So, since I've been working on this for a few years, this story will maybe take awhile but I'll give you at least the beginning part.
I haven't always been a good Catholic. I went to Catholic school and we went to church most Sundays and holidays, but when I went away to college, like a lot of other people I stopped practicing my faith. There were a lot of reasons for that, and I won't get into them now.
Anyway, my parents were divorced when I was young, and Mom remarried, and a couple years after that, they divorced. I haven't seen either one of my "fathers" for years, and Mom's kinda just doing her own thing. She had to work hard to raise me and my brother and other sister, so she wasn't around much. When she was, she was exhausted. So we grew up pretty much fending for ourselves. The only time we were together was when we went to Mass on Sunday. Neither of my fathers was Catholic, but they did go to church with us onChristmas. (Um, not at the same time. My real father when they were married, and my step-dad when they were married, but after Mom's remarriage our real dad wasn't around much anymore, not even for holidays.)
So, long story short, I grew up and moved away on to college and haven't really had a connection with my family ever since. Sure, we email and talk on the phone and get together at Christmas, but that's it. My brother and sister are not practicing Catholics anymore, at all. I'm not sure they've embraced any religion at all.
Anyway, at one point, thanks to some wonderful friends, I started coming to Church again, and they also took me to Eucharistic Adoration. At first I didn't "get" it and just itched to get out of the chapel and on to the rest of my life. But one day, I was struggling with something at work and I just didn't want to go to work. I couldn't even make myself go...every time I tried to walk through the door to go to my car, I burst into tears. I couldn't work like that! So I called in, feeling guilty, but knowing for some reason I was so stressed out that I had to stay home.
Then I felt a tug on my heart...to go to the chapel. To pray. To lay all this at Jesus' feet. And finally, I could walk through the garage door and get in my car and go...straight to church. I went to the chapel, immediately feeling better. All I did for about a half hour was cry, and I didn't even know why. But there it was, and there HE was. Jesus. Waiting for me.
I began writing in my journal about something that had come to mind from my years away from the faith, and that's when I saw it. A ring. Jesus was right there in front of me, in a ring (the monstrance). And He was offering me that ring.
I understood it clear as day...and was shocked. A ring? But that means...no...uh-uh! No WAY! I was NOT going to be a NUN!
I was head over heels in love with Jesus, I had that new shine of that first real conversion...and suddenly I thought Jesus was proposing to me? Um....no, I wasn't understanding correctly, or why the idea actually DID seem to have a sort of appeal.
That day I slammed my notebook closed and fled the chapel for the safe pastures of home. But I couldn't get that image or the idea out of my mind.
And that was the beginning.