I used to wonder how I would ever know what to do with my life.
Many persons have asked this question. It is a huge struggle because each of us has many possible paths we could take and are generally young and inexperienced when we make some pretty major choices.
I remember looking at the wide range of my interests and abilities and despairing of ever figuring out what I was expected to do with all of that! Which way did God want me to go? Which way did I want to go? Were they the same? Were all decisions irrevocable? St. Josemaria Escriva wrote:
“There are so many ways!” you told me dejectedly. There need to be many, so that each soul can find its own in that wonderful variety. Bewildered? Make your choice once and for all: and the confusion will turn into certainty. (THE WAY #964)
So MANY ways, but which is my own? I realized that God made a LOT of ways for people to serve Him. I realized that God was OK with me choosing from my abilities and following the path of developing THAT talent and using it. God was letting me pick.
I chose to write poems, to ride horses, to get my BA in English, to minor in Art (photography), to take the newspaper internship, to work at a small private summer school, to add a teaching certificate, to marry, raise children, attend graduate school in Breeding Theory and revel in graduate level genetics and reproductive technologies, to drop out when my children needed more from me, to home school for 6 years, and finally to add a MA in Theological Studies.
All along this long path I used whatever I knew at that time to stay active: writing the Bichon Club newsletter, writing stories, creating a webpage, breeding and showing purebred dogs, writing about homeschooling, writing to fight against some bad legislation that my background made me ideal to dispute and teaching on our RCIA team.
These choices were good ones. Irrevocable in that not one can I go back and change. I see in each choice, made to the best of my understanding at the time, a “once and for all” aspect.
Along the way I often wondered if I were on the correct path. I persevered but wondered. About this feeling, St. Josemaria Escriva wrote:
Rejoice when you see others working in a good apostolate. And ask God to grant them abundant grace and correspondence to that grace. Then, you, on your way. Convince yourself that for you–yours is the only way. (THE WAY #965)
Today I recognize that my vocation has been shaped by each decision and that everything, my education and each activity I pursued (apostolate is an activity done to serve God) used my abilities and furthered my development as a human being.
But I don’t always know what decision to make, and sometimes I get stuck. NEXT: Unsticking a vocation.
Dear Lord, thank You for providing many ways and encouraging many apostolates. Thank You for the grace to discern well my path and for making something of each decision. Please guide every person into that unique vocation that will bring them the greatest satisfaction. Thank You for wanting our highest and best good. Amen.