A God of Surprises

So I wrote a post about two months ago revealing I am discerning religious life.  It has become obvious that God is definitely calling me down that path and now that almost everyone in my life knows, I’ll be using this blog to track my journey towards sisterhood from now on.

God sure likes keeping me on my toes and keeps surprising me with blessing after blessing.  I’m learning that the more I give to him the more he will give back to me.  At the beginning of this school year I began actively and prayerfully seeking out which order of Sisters God wants me to join.  After a couple of months of searching though, I got frustrated.  With the internet all the orders in the world are at my fingertips and that is way too overwhelming.  Finally I stopped looking and told God that he was going to have to lead me to the right one in His own time.  I really should be careful what I wish for…

I decided to focus my energy on learning about other aspects of religious life instead.  One day, while browsing google to figure out how to pay off my loans in a record amount of time, I stumbled across the website of The Franciscan Sisters of the Penance of Our Sorrowful Mother. After perusing it for a couple of seconds I realized that I had met these sisters before!  My first interaction with them was on a retreat about a year ago.  I had a powerful experience of prayer with them and had talked to one of the novices about discernment.

I knew that God had led me to this website for a reason so I decided to check them out.  I contacted the vocation director and found out they were having a discernment retreat in early November.  I also found out that two girls from the retreat where I had met the sisters originally were going.  It seemed that everything fell into place for me to go out to Ohio.

It wasn’t love at first sight upon entering the convent, but as the weekend progressed I began to have a sneaking suspicion that my search might be over.  Their charism and life style really clicked and it seemed that everything they said was already on my heart.  The Holy Spirit continually bombarded me with signs throughout the weekend.

Throughout the weekend this phrase repeated itself over and over in my heart: Everything you long for, great and small, is found here.  Any doubts I have since returning to “real life” have been pushed aside by God’s great guidance.  It has already worked out for me to go back in January and I can’t wait!  I could go on and on about the incredible things God has been doing in my life in the past month but I’ll leave you with this for now.

This order is so far from where I thought I would end up (geographically and spiritually) but obviously God had other plans.  That’s a whole other blog post though…


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