I am starting to think my confusion is not what I originally thought it was. I thought I was unsure of what my vocation is. I am realising more and more that I really do believe that God's will for my life is the religious life. My doubts are not so much about what my calling is but the realities of following that.
I loved the cloistered life. I realised that when I was writing my post on enclosure. I remembered how much I loved it there and how complete I felt living that life. I remembered how much I seemed to just fit into that life. I remembered Mother Mistress asking me if there was anything I didn't like about it and being totally unable to come up with anything. In the most literal sense, I had nothing bad to say. It was so wonderful in ways that I couldn't possibly imagine. And I was so sure there that God was calling me there.
Since I left I've become so much more aware of what I'm giving up for that life. I know the rewards of the life, I've seen it, but the doubt is whether I can do it. I feel terrible for thinking that. How can I be even thinking of not doing His will? There is only one thing holding me back, and I feel terrible that a human person could possibly be more important to me than doing the will of God. There are times when I think "okay, it will be hard but I can do it." Then there are times when I think "how can I be giving up someone who means this much to me?" But then God means even more to me! How can I possibly choose something else over him?
I'm reminded of something that happened at recreation one Sunday. I was sat next to one of the very elderly sisters, Sister MB. Sister E was sat on the other side of her and she said "Tell Emily how long you've been here." So Sister MB turns to me and says "I've been here for 63 years." She paused for a moment and said, "And you know what, I haven't regretted it for a moment." In this sweet elderly sister was this fierce passion and devotion to the life she had chosen. It was one of the most profound moments of my life, and I remembered thinking that I want my life to be like that. I want that. I want to be that old and be able to think "I made the right choice". I just wish I knew what the right choice was.