Just like anything in life, this isn’t going to be easy. No, I don’t have an exact formula for you or a full proof method. But I do have some practical steps to getting your life moving when you’re stuck. Maybe you’re asking, Will a career change make me happier? Or, I have a great career, but what else God? Perhaps, When will I meet my husband? Or even, Is God calling me to the religious life? Whether it’s a vocational question or a career path, the same principles can be applied. Just remember, Camarón que se duerme se lo lleva la corriente! (“You snooze, you lose!”).
First off, choices are hard because they’re usually between two goods. A choice would not be difficult to make if one choice was obviously no bueno while the other one was great! While seemingly obvious, it’s also extremely comforting to make note of this because, in a way, we can’t go wrong.
Yes, God has a plan, a specific one for just you. Yes, you have a specific vocation, but God also gives us reason and a free will so we can choose the good and, therefore, choose God. Because love isn’t love if it isn’t freely given.
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Maybe that’s comforting to you, or maybe it’s really annoying. To me, it’s a bit of both. I would love for God to tell me exactly what to do in a loud, booming voice echoing down from heaven! ¡No más dime already! (“Just tell me already!”). But, I’m also extremely grateful he gives me choices, that he is a true gentleman in allowing me to use the gifts he has given me — the reason, the intellect and will — to choose what I have discerned is best for my life. So, maybe the fact that you’re considering a big change in your career is the gift itself. Whatever you choose, God is giving you that wonderful choice, and he will be there as it unfolds.
I also find it comforting to note that we each have many gifts and things we are good at, desire and want to do. And in this lifetime we will not be able to fulfill them all; it’s impossible. I think these numerous desires come from the fact that we’re created in the image and likeness of God and have immortal souls, so our capacity for many things is great because God is infinite. And therein can lie confusion, when we have an overwhelming desire to do all the good things.
So knowing all this, what is the way to get unstuck and out of limbo? Simply this: choose. As long as it’s between two goods, just choose. I guarantee you, if you think you’ll go way off-base, God will reel you back in and redirect you. Remember, “God can write straight with crooked lines.”
So, if you want to meet your husband and start a family and build up a domestic Church, etc., that’s excellent! But take it one step at a time. Join a young adult group or start one if there isn’t one available in your area. If you’re facing the big question of a religious vocation, simply try it. Sign up for a few come-and-see visits and see where the attraction to religious life takes you. The discernment process will be 100% fruitful even if you don’t enter the convent. Whatever you choose now, let God help you grow little by little the many gifts he has given you.
I see so many people, especially Latinas, waiting and waiting for some big, neon-glowing sign that, unfortunately for them (or anyone), will never come. God rarely works in glaring ways. So stop waiting for a knocked-off-your-horse experience like St. Paul. Don’t wait, as they say, hasta que te caiga el veinte (“until the lightbulb goes off”). God whispers in the still small voice as he did with Elijah, in the quiet of your heart, in prayer, and in every good desire.
With confidence in knowing God has given you the graces, the intellect and will to discern properly, ask yourself what you really want, what your greatest desire between the choices you have is, and choose! Choose freely, choose confidently, knowing God knew what you would choose to do from before all time.