I had an interesting email exchange that I thought I would post on here. I do not know how helpful it is but I like the questions that are raised.
Here is part of the email I received:
I think another question I had was exactly how did you KNOW-KNOW God wanted you to become a priest? I just cant picture ever really KNOWING for sure there's something that God wants to tell me.
And I can't help feeling like it's all maybe in vain. And you might say "You can't expect Him to just be a booming voice in the clouds telling me what to do." But then I guess my main question is "What then CAN I expect?"
And it's just really hard for me to grasp that like if I don't know what God's calling me to do then how am I EVER going to know I'm "doing it right?" How am I EVER going to know I'm living my life and doing the job I'm supposed to be doing?
And if I don't know what He wants me to do, and I end up doing something I'm not called to do, would I...know? And would I realize that I'm not happy? Or would I think that I'm happy but actually not really be happy?
Or would I end up doing it even if I feel like I don't know what He wants me to do? I'm so confused.
photo by marcobellucci
This is part of my response:
These are tough questions. There is no "know-know". But there is definitely a strong sense that we are called. After I broke up with my girlfriend, I struggled for about two weeks after I told her, praying and crying, going back and forth, wanting to call her and tell her it was all a joke. But every night I kept praying. I trusted even though I didn't know why. Then one day this peace came over me. And I realized I had made the right decision. It was a lasting peace – a peace that still rests in my heart.
Where there is peace is where God is calling you. If you go out and do med school and have peace. Well there you go. But if you go out and go to law school and find yourself restless and anxious, well that's not where you are supposed to be.
That is why you should go out and find different internships, volunteer opportunities, work, and take different classes to figure out what draws you. I did all kinds of random stuff, working with disadvantaged kids, foster kids, homeless, migrants, driving a bus, working in food service, doing leadership and so on.
Just keep stretching out and keep your heart open to the interior movements of the spirit. Not on a superficial level of money, prestige, or power, but what draws you within, as something that could be fulfilling and what God asks of you. And you will know. If you continue in prayer and you are in touch with He who is, you'll know when you're happy with what your doing or dissatisfied.
This may not sound consoling but trust. He who calls us doesn't want to make it so blatant. Otherwise where is the adventure, where is the struggle, where is the joy in discovering that God has been calling you to this all your life? It is through this whole journey, of discovering yourself and your relationship with God and how you are called to impact the world that prepares you for the greatest joy of all, heaven.AMDG.