Life has a way of coming up and tossing you the unexpected, and I encountered a new twist in life just recently when I got engaged. You see, for years I had prayed, dreamed and waited for that special someone to come into my life. I surrounded myself with like-minded girlfriends and my beloved sisters. We prayed, laughed and cried together as we adapted to life as a single. The days were filled with work, studies and prayer, the evenings with young adult parties, volunteer events and more prayer. And in the middle of all of this books… I think every single young Catholic has read some type of books on relationships whether it is meaningful stuff when all is going well, like Men, Women and the Mystery of Love and The Jeweler’s Shop, or books like How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk. We stumble through the heartaches of life and try to remain open and loving often through unlikely sources of comfort.
Then HE came into my life: Handsome, hard-working, steady, and totally fun. Everything I had ever dreamed of in a guy. My life became a whirl-wind of joyful planning and new memories. I couldn’t, and still can’t believe he is real. Sometimes as we plan for our wedding I want to pinch him, just to make sure he is truly a human being.
And then came some surprising questions… Why am I so blessed? A feeling of almost guilt hit me, as I pondered why I was chosen for this blessing, and not my more qualified friends. After so many years of being the “single girls” and sharing the tears and hopes together it hurt to think that they couldn’t share my new-found joy… Or could they?
I found that just as before this new chapter required the same discipline from me. Prayer is not easier. Work still requires the same focus and drive. And all of this still requires the love and support of friends. We are still seeking the Lord though in different ways. It is like looking at the same picture from a different angle. God is working though our lives in fascinating and unique ways. As is stated in Isaiah, 55:
“Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
We all get caught up in obsessing over the future, but we can console ourselves that others have gone before us. A favorite saint of mine (St. Therese) worried about her vocation. She wrote in her diary. ” I feel in me the vocation of a priest. I have the vocation of the Apostles. Martyrdom was the dream of my youth and this dream has grown with me. Considering the mystical body of the Church, I desired to see myself in them all. Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that the Church had a heart and that this heart was burning with love. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places. in a word, that it was eternal! Then in the excess of my joy, I cried out: O Jesus, my Love… my vocation, at last I have found it… My vocation is Love! “
Taking her words to heart we can now see that no matter what our current state in life, no matter whether single or married, joyous or sad; our vocation is love. Because love unites us as one. One body in Christ.