From the very beginning, even before I was a Catholic, I felt like I was called to smething. From the moment that my grandfather said to me, at a young age, “You should be a preacher,” I felt like I was called to a more consecrated vocation. So, In an attempted to realize that “calling,” I tried many different things. I tried everything I could think of, but nothing seemed to fill the void. I was never satisfied in the level of radical dedication that I felt like I wanted to give the Lord.
Many years later, I converted to Catholicism (from being a life-long Methodist); and I immediately fell in love with the faith… I fell in love with the church. It made my heart sing in a way I had never experienced in my life.
Once the Euphoria of conversion work off, I began to feel that all-too-familiar feeling of being pulled toward something more radical and immersive. At the time, I thought that it might have meant that I was longing for the priesthood; but I knew that I was far too young in the faith to make such a decision. So, once again, I pushed the desire (as intense as it was) to the back of my mind.
As the years passed, that desire and longing never completely went away. Time and time again, I felt like I was being called to be a part of something. I just didn’t know what that was. Each time it surfaced, I told myself that I was far too old to make such a decision or such a radical change. Still, no matter how hard I tried, I was never able to make that feeling completely leave me. I was almost always feeling pulled toward a future that I was too scared and filled with self-doubt to pursue.
That is really where this story of discernment, conversation, discernment, and conversion begins. It begins with a lifetime of drifting here and there, knowing that there was more. It begins with a lifetime of having a calling, but not knowing how to realize that calling.