I have come across several instances where people have been asked to wait before entering into the formation process or in between formation stages in Religious Life. It is not uncommon nowadays for people to be asked to wait for various different reasons. However, if you are feeling a bit lost as to what to do because you have been asked to wait, here is some useful (or at least, we hope it's useful!!) advice...
Time for God and Liminal Space...
For those times we didn't plan, the times of waiting, especially in our daily lives, turn to God and say a prayer. It doesn't have to be long or of a particular format. It could be very simple, just something like, "Jesus, thank you for this day, and for all its blessings. I trust you to help me through the rest of it. Amen".
Always be mindful of your mission for God's people...
A Tyburn Nun once said to me, "Be faithful in all the current duties of your life, because that is what will help you grow closer to God". If you are not faithful to the current duties of your life, then how can you expect to be faithful to your duties in Religious Life? Do everything you do whole heartedly, and the best you can. Don't worry about what others think. This is between YOU and GOD.
Learning to leave it all in God's hands...
Surrender to God and leave it in His hands. He is THE Father, and knows what is best for you, His Child. God is the perfect Father, so as long as you leave it to Him, then you should be fine.
Trusting in the Lord...
Our Mother Mary trusted in the Lord at all times. There were many times where she did not understand what was going on, yet she still trusted.
St Therese of Lisieux said, "Though he might kill me, yet I will still trust in Him". This faith is what you need in times of waiting and uncertainty.
Reflect on those two things above and see if you can do the same. Believe that "God works with all who love Him and turn all to their good". (Romans 8:28)
Time to grow closer to God, and to grow in maturity and fully as a person...
Sometimes time can help us to see the bigger picture, as well as to know ourselves better. Initially, it can be very frustrating if you know you desire to enter Religious Life, but for whatever reason, which may be out of your control, due to your circumstances, you cannot enter at this moment in time. However, you have to remember that if God's will is that you will enter, and you are open and willing to say YES to Him in HIS time, then your vocation is not going to suddenly "disappear into thin air".
Take time to learn more about yourself. What are your gifts? your hobbies? interests? Where do you find the most fulfilment? Where can you best serve the Lord in the current situation you are in? How can you grow closer to Him? Perhaps pray about having a spiritual director to help you grow in your prayer life? Ask yourself these questions and pray about them, then, with an open heart, attentively listening for the voice of God, wait for the answer. It might not come as you expect it, so be warned! There are many ways of finding out things. :P
- VOCATION REFLECTION: Sr Cecilia Ross SJW
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