Nqobile Ngocobo I began discerning my vocation a year ago. It began as an attempt to see if God could be calling me to religious life. It soon turned into a journey of seeking God intensely as I sought to determine whether or not He called me at all. Although the idea of being a nun or consecrated sister scared me – a lot. The possibility of being called to religious life forced me to determine whether I was willing to give myself entirely to God. My year of discerning religious life had been filled with spiritual highs and lows. When I eventually told God that I was open to religious life, it freed me in a way I hadn’t been freed before. Thus it took me by surprise when suddenly, a few months ago, I began to feel that I may not be called to religious life. Oddly, the idea began to sadden me. I couldn’t tell if I no longer felt called to religious life because God willed it that way, or because I desired marriage more. The other day this desire for marriage took hold in my heart in a deeper and more profound way. This feeling stayed, and I hated myself for it. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t satisfied with God and being His bride, now, here on earth. On one particular day when this feeling took hold, I began to sob profusely. It was a deep sorrowful cry that I cannot truly explain. In the midst of my tears and pain I said the same prayer I’ve been repeating over the past few months, ‘Lord, help me be satisfied with You’. It was an attempt to tell God that I didn’t want to desire something that was not of His will. On this day when I repeated that prayer, I was suddenly hit with an intense realization and an immediate peace. I found myself thinking, ‘Wait. God knows that I love Him. He knows that all I want to do is please Him. He knows that I seek Him more than anything else’. It may seem like words that I should know, but in my years of being single, I had fallen into this narrative that a person only meets someone when they are satisfied with God. Therefore somehow this desire for relationship was an indication that I needed to seek God more. That I didn’t love Him enough or I’d be satisfied. I had convinced myself that my not feeling called to religious life was wrong because if He was enough, I’d be happy with it and not desire a relationship. But on that day after I sobbed, it was like Jesus came into my heart and said, ‘I know you love Me. You already give Me your all’. Yes, I love Him. That is why I want everyone to know Him. That’s why I’m passionate about youth ministry, and telling others about Him. I have a desire to make Him known, because as difficult as life and the last few years have been, my relationship with Jesus has saved me, again and again. He knows that. He knows everything! I realised then that the pain was not a pain for a relationship. It was a self inflicted pain in my heart because I thought desiring a relationship meant I didn’t love Him to my fullest ability. That I wasn’t satisfied with Him. That I was letting Him down. I still cannot believe that I thought I was letting God down! The truth is, He does satisfy me. So much. Whether it’s in the peace in my heart, the laughter shared with friends, the smile of a teen, or the hugs from the old ladies at church. I know when I open myself to Him, He satisfies me fully. I once heard the line, ‘When you long for love, it is Me you long for’. This line holds truth but it had made me think that this desire was here because I was still longing for God and I had not yet reached His full love. Of course I long for Him. I pray I always will, but that longing is one that will only be truly fulfilled in eternal life. The desire I have to love and be loved in relationship. The desire I have for family and children. The desire I have to live out life with one man. To cherish, and be cherished. To be part of God’s plan of Holy Matrimony. All that remains, because all that is God. My heart is His, and I have prayed and fought with God enough to know that this is of Him. The wait will always be hard. The uncertainty of His plan will be even harder. But I know He has a plan. A beautiful one. And so I will wait for him, knowing I can wait…. with Him “To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.” – St. Augustine About the Author Nqobile Ngcobo I studied geology but I currently work in youth ministry. I love Jesus, coffee and pink roses. Above all, I’m just a catholic young woman trying to make it to heaven. I think St Therése and I will hang out there. I haven’t figured out how to adult yet, so until I do, I keep reminding myself that “Each woman who lives in light of eternity, can fulfill her vocation” – Edith Stein. Please pray for me, I’ll be praying for you.