Everyone has a vocation... A vocation is not a career, it is a pull into a specific state of being. Whether it be through marriage, single life, or the religious life, everyone is seeking a vocation which will one day lead him to God. Here is the story of my search...
First, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Joscelyn Voight, better known to some as Sadie. I am currently sixteen years old and pursuing a Poor Clare vocation.
I was first introduced to the religious life around eight years old by reading lives of the saints. I saw that they were happy and beautiful, and I began to see the religious life as the highest of all ambitions. I kept these things in my heart and developed my desire to enter the religious life faithfully over the space of five years.
When I began to visit convents at thirteen years old, I discovered much more to the religious life than I had anticipated. I walked into the Mystery. What had first attracted me to a marriage with Christ was purely material interest in beauty, love, happiness, security... I saw that the religious life offered all of this to me. Now, what I was coming to see, was so much more... deep love, intimacy with Jesus, and finally the fact that one would be infinitely happy to simply live life for Him even without the reward He offers for it.
If I should attempt to explain all the beauties of the religious life, you would not care to finish hearing about my story. Therefore, I will save that for later.
Sometimes when waiting for our future vocation, we forget the present one. We do not need a future vocation to fulfill us... rather, each present moment is our vocation. It took the realization of this to make me content with my current situations. I had to open my heart to other vocations than the one I desperately desired, and I had to be content to study and work.
For several years I did my best to develop myself into a responsible, learned, and skillful person who would be pleasing to God. I was careful not to tie any knots too tight for me to untie if ever He called. Over the years animal care, music, writing, sewing, and other things received my attention... but truly my attention was always on this Love I was pursuing.
As can be expected, one of my first acts in my discernment was to seek a convent. However, pursuing a vocation is not a search, but a following. I learned this very important thing early in my discernment. When trying to determine where God wants you, you must seek a way of giving yourself most completely. You must seek to follow His will, not search according to your own desires as one would seek out a college.
One thing I learned very early in my search was that God is omnipresent. This was important because if I did not believe Him near, and listen for His whispers in utter faith of receiving them, I should never have gotten as far as I am today. Prayer, patience, faith, and time before the Blessed Sacrament have led me to choose to join a Poor Clare Convent in VA.
This is indeed brief, considering all the information it might have contained. Seeking a vocation is difficult and there is always more to say! But the seeking of a religious vocation always unwinds into a story of love... love so pure and perfect that it is indeed above the human heart to understand it fully. This blog's sole purpose is to describe different aspects of a religious vocation so that some, perhaps, might find their own.