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I am going on my 4th year at my job and for the past year and a half, without fail whenever this time of year comes up (well truthfully this happens at the beginning/end of every semester) I find myself growing more and more frustrated with having to wait to enter the convent. My frustration not only comes from the fact that I have a longing to start living my yes but also from a "enough of this already" mentality. I want to be done with the "my professor is unfair", "It's not my fault I failed my math class" and all the other day to day dealings. I usually spend a week or two being so frustrated at every little thing that I sometimes become pretty much impossible to deal with because I am too busy throwing myself a pity party for one. Weeks later I will reflect on it and realize that I should have accepted the here and now and recognize the Lord speaking to me.
This frustration comes from a lot of different places, it comes from my eagerness and true desire to begin life as a religious, to begin doing everything for Him alone (and then of course I realize I can start living my life for Him alone in my day-to-day dealings); my extremely impatient nature, the fear of not being able to protect my vocation any longer (I think that is my biggest fear - I feel this urgency to enter now in order not to "lose" my vocation.) Looking at my track record with relationships I now see I am a commitment-phobe and though at the beginning of my discernment I was ready to jump all in I am now afraid I will not be able to fully commit to the Lord; and then there is the fact that I just don't want to wait anymore. Though a part of me wanted to enter last year, I made the decision to wait because I felt that I wasn't spiritually ready. I couldn't wait for August 22, 2011 I was even counting down! And then I met with Mother and we both decided waiting until August 22, 2012 will be best. Yes I trust the Lord's timing but sometimes it can be hard to wake up everyday trusting the Lord when it feels like the one thing you want, the one thing you are called to be is getting further and further away.
Then I start to think about these "obstacles" and depending on my mood I either look at it as an opportunity to persevere and fight for my vocation or I see it as an indication that perhaps my commitment issues might get in the way of my persevering. This starts the frustration process all over again because then I start to want to enter immediately in an effort to squash these fears before I get in my way. Of course I recognize that I am not able to persevere on my own but that is usually down the road after freaking myself out ten times over.
This morning as I pulled in the parking lot I started thinking about this cycle of frustration, of feeling like I have had enough of this job already and then I realized that Jesus had to wait waaaay longer than I did. I mean the man was preaching and teaching others at the age of 12 so obviously he was ready. Yet he had to wait more than a decade before beginning his ministry because following and adhering to the Father's timing was more important. In His infinite wisdom God the Father wanted to truly prepare Christ for his ministry. Whatever the Lord is calling me to be - In what way is he is calling me to live as a religious? - I am realizing I am still not ready to fully live it out. I really need to continue to remember that; deep down I know the wait doesn't have much to do with commitment issues or "tests" I know it is another opportunity for the Lord to continue to shower me with graces and blessings because He's been doing just that; most importantly it is a time of preparation, deep preparation for whatever He is calling me to. Sadly, I have a tendency to give in to the negative thinking at the beginning and then start spiraling down before catching myself halfway through.
I thank the Lord for giving me the grace to realize what is going on and I know I need to double my prayers and lean on Him even more but that can get really hard to do at times. I wonder if this is how my sister-in-law feels when my brother goes on deployment for 7 months at a time. Deep down knowing you will be with the one you love but sometimes losing hope and starting to despair. I definitely sympathize with military families in a way I never had before. Please keep me in your prayers that I lean on the Lord even more during these times of "testing".