It was two weeks before the examination for the high-school diploma. I was looking at scattered books. With all my heart, I prayed to God for understanding of His plans toward my life. What should I choose: college, trip abroad, or, what I feared most, religious life?
I was submerged in my deep thoughts, when my Mom came to my room giving me the religious magazine, "The Knight of Immaculate". She said, "Read, here you will find what you were looking for." On suggested by my mom page, I saw a lot of addresses to religious congregations for women. Among them were also the ones with the goal of mission work. After graduating from elementary school, I confided in my Mom telling her about my desire to serve God and people as a missionary. At that time, we agreed that I will finish high school, and then make my decision. After that conversation, we never talked about my future.
The life went on with its regular rhythm. Like other girls, I was celebrating and enjoying my young life. The day hasn't passed by, though, that I would not ask God to help me in recognizing what He wanted from me. Often, in the middle of partying with the group of friends, I felt as if only my body was with them, but my soul was looking for something else. I couldn't understand my feelings, so I prayed even more eagerly, "Tell me, God, what is it that you want me to do with my life." I was also praying to Blessed Mother, who entrusted her young life and whole future to God. I believed that Lord will listen to His Mother's prayers when she will intercede for me.
Now, two weeks before the examination, Mom, as if reading my thoughts, brings me "what I looked for". As in hypnosis, I read the addresses in the order. My attention turned especially to one, "the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Family. The charismatic goal - "May they all be one". Mission work - the East, Africa, and America." Without any hesitation, I circled that address, put the magazine away, and got busy with preparing for the examination.
After the examination, I pushed away the thoughts of religious life. I explained to myself that it's impossible that Jesus would want this from me. He has a lot of other girls that are far better and wiser than I, so Jesus doesn't need me. I tried to convince myself. I thought about going to college. If I wouldn't get to college, I planned to go to England to learn English.
I felt anxious. Finally, one day, I reached again for that magazine and wrote the letter to the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Family. In that letter, I was sincere about my feelings, my anxieties, my family, and myself. After sending the letter, I was relieved and thought that sisters, after getting to know me, will say that religious life is not for me. What a surprise ! The answer came quickly, "come with a visit, we will talk about it." Then, everything happened very fast: long and sincere conversation with a sister, retreat in the novitiate's house where I argued with Jesus that He is mistaken about me, that I'm absolutely not fit to live religious life. Jesus looked at me with love and gently invited me, "If you want, come, follow me." One morning, I had nothing left for defense, Jesus had won. I whispered, "Yes, Lord, I want to follow you." The words can't describe the overwhelming feeling of happiness, peace, and joy that I felt after saying those words. This experience was my strength to stand by my decision. Suddenly, obstacles started to appear. According to the human thinking, I wouldn't be able to overcome them. I met with resistance where I expected understanding. It was hard to look at my Mom's tears. She wanted me to wait some more years before joining the convent. She accepted my decision, yet, she thought that I'm still too young. My dad turned his back on me; he couldn't accept the way of life that I chose. Among those piling difficulties, I repeated over and over, "I want to go after you, Jesus." Thanks to His help, I'm the Missionary Sister of the Holy Family.
After this first choice, always comes the next. Every day is the new confirmation of that first YES. The happiness that follows that choice is inconceivable.
"God, you called me...
I can't understand the love that you give me...
Thank You, O Lord!"
(13 years in religious life)