I am involved in giving pastoral care to single women professionals. I have been serving in this community for almost six years now. Part of my service is to guide women who are in discernment in the major areas of a single woman’s life – career, state of life, family, and service.
I have heard real experiences of businesswomen who want to take up nursing; women who want to get out of relationships that seem to be going nowhere but to which they are attached; daughters who harbor resentments and issues towards their parents or siblings; Christians who struggle with surrendering their lives to the Lord repeatedly. It has been a blessing and a joy to be part of such rich experiences.
Whenever I talk to my sisters in Lingkod who are undergoing the process of discernment, I am amazed at how the Holy Spirit can give me the grace and the wisdom to help them see things in perspective and to offer encouragement, correction, advice, and enlightenment. If it were up to me I would be clueless on how to address the varied concerns of the women of today.
It is easy to tell them to take heart; to trust in the Lord; to go forth with great courage; to walk through fire and other obstacles. It comes naturally for me now to guide women in their blind spots and encourage them to be weaned from their attachments.
With the power of God’s love that I have witnessed, it would seem that I should have the answers. I am a living example, however, of how dependent on grace we all are. Despite the knowledge and experience that I have been blessed with regarding God’s mysterious ways, I find myself now still entangled in a web of confusion, resistance, denial, fear and anxiety in my own discernment.
I am utterly helpless and clueless and I have been begging for help for months now. I am so stubborn that I have not heeded God’s go signal for me to take up my cross and follow Him towards a new twist in my labyrinth.
The Lord has sent so many messengers to drive home His call in my doubting heart. I must have consulted close to fifty people and yet I am still in denial. They all said:
Follow your heart. If it is telling you that you need to put down full time legal work for a while in order to investigate missionary life, then you need not worry. There will be joy and peace if you walk down the best path that is laid down before you. If you don’t do this now, you might regret it. Listen to what you deem important, in a world where there are many ways to serve the Lord. Your lovedones will understand in time once they see you happy. You have to trust in the Lord who is calling you.
Oh, I can write a book already about everything that I heard since August of last year. Probably even as early as June. I’m discovering how stubborn I really am. How much of a control freak I still am. How much faith I lack. How limited my experience and knowledge really are of the ways of the Lord. How focused I am on people, positions, and other external circumstances. How I measure my love for the Lord and His love for me based on the setting of a family or a community. How much I still need to learn. How impatient I am at the very core of my being.
Tonight God sent another important person to deliver His message. As Kuya Raoul was speaking, I remembered all the people who had given me the same words and felt tears escaping from my eyes. There was Ate My. Father Steve. Sister Susay. Father Ted. Lou. Fr. Geoffrey. Gay. Mercy. Mirac. Karreen. Rommel. Ted. Shane. Tess. Alett. Abi. Mhel. Ayie. Riza. Pepot. Sonia. Bobby. Annabelle. Martha. Arvin. Ria. Paully. Glecy. Carla. I could go on and on with this list of beautiful people, who have listened to me, prayed for me, and encouraged me to take that leap of faith. How persistent, how passionate, how persevering the Lord is, especially when He wants us to listen to Him.
I am sorry to realize, and admit, that even if I have heard it said many times many ways, I am still afraid. I am learning to die to all these once more, just to be able to say yes to Jesus, who is calling me.
If this doesn’t make sense to you, I hope in time it will. When my heart has accepted it more fully, I would perhaps be able to share it more clearly. The ladies in our parish sing this song almost everyday during communion:
In His time, in His time
He makes all things beautiful in His time
Lord, please show me every day
As You're teaching me Your way
That You do just what You say
In His time.
In Your time, in Your time
You make all things beautiful in Your time
Lord, my life to You I bring
May each song I have to sing
Be to You a lovely thing
In Your time .
Today I have moved another inch. By perseverance, the snail reached the ark.