postcard from the edge

CAUTION: If you're looking for a happy groovy nun post, you might want to skip this one. This post of more of the wondering in-my-head kind of post. You might even call it a musing of a discerning woman. It's the kind of post I hesitate to publish to the blog these days, knowing that people who are thinking about religious life are regular visitors. I don't want to scare anyone. But the spiritual journey is not all roses and ice cream sundaes. There are those moments, and I suppose sharing those moments as well as the discernment sundaes & bouquets is what this here blog is all about. So here you go ....

I talked with my good friend the
Turtle Lady today. It was our first on the phone chat since I left for Jersey, although we've been staying in touch via a little thing called e-mail. Anyway, half way through our conversation, I realized that she was walking and talking on her cell phone. Turns out she was walking in my/her old neighborhood, and at one point she said she was walking right by my old apartment! And wouldn't you know it, my former landlord was finally getting around to the landscaping he promised to do YEARS ago. Although I'm willing to bet he never actually finishes it.

But I digress. The end result of this lovely conversation with an old friend was, predictably, a bout of homesickness. And a twinge of the "what am I doing here's."

I KNOW what I'm doing here. I know in my heart that this is where I'm meant to be, to continue to discern my call to follow Jesus in the company of some very groovy sisters. But in this time of novitiate that's not a time and this place that's not a place, it's fairly easy to get into the wonderings. It's part of the package I think.

I left some wonderful friends, a dynamic parish community, an active social justice ministry and a City that I loved which the NYT told me today is attracting loads of young hipsters in the 18-34 range. I of course turned 34 and left Portland a month later.

And here I am on a Saturday night with a good group of people, with a roof over my head with an awesome view, with all my material needs met and the resources to follow this journey. But still I find myself wondering ...

I think the key is to remember that I didn't enter the community to be a novice. I have to be a novice to enter the community. I need to trust that Jesus knows, that the Holy Spirit is with me on this journey, that my Creator can and will do things I cannot even imagine.

Please pray for me, my fellow groovy novices and all novice of religious communities. All will be well I know, but a few prayers can't hurt!

Ok, heady musing over ... for now!


Lisa said...

:), peace, and warm fuzzies!

You're not alone in these musings. They are a normal part of an extraordinary journey. The point you make about not entering religious life to be a novice but needing to be a novice to enter the religious community is really an important distinction. For better and for worse, the novitiate is but a phase along the journey. May its many grace-filled moments linger long to sustain you throughout the journey ahead.

Sarah, OSB said...

I agree with you Lisa! I am in my second year of novitiate, and it is a drag at times. I find the separation from the professed to be difficult to navigate. It does get better. Yes, asking those questions is part of the journey. I am an extrovert in a community of mainly introverts, so that gets to me too. I keep going back to the original call, and looking at the vows, and I believe with all my heart that this is where the Lord is for me, so hang in there!

~pen~ said...

susan, i would be concerned for you if you didn't have these moments of musing, of wondering, of questioning. isn't that what this is all about?

you are doing what the Lord has called you to do...sure the stuff on the "outside" looks wonderful and inviting; however, you are doing a work that only He knows the results of and i am sure that when it comes to fruition, you will still be musing, even then.

(((susan rose))) hugs from your jersey friend :)

Katie said...

I know this has been and will continue to be one of your most challenging journeys... I remember when you first told me you were thinking of taking this journey and I was not surprised, in fact it seemed like the stars were aligning in your life. Since then, there has been a peace and center to you that wasn't there before. With all the ups and downs you will face in this journey, remember your friends/family and I will always be here if you need a little PDX fix and support from home.

Anonymous said...

Oh, praying for you!