Dear Kianna: How can I discern God’s calling in my life? – Hopeful Discoverer
Dear Hopeful: Discerning the will of God is not a one-time decision, but rather a daily quest that we are called to embark on. Our primary calling as Christians is to love. This means putting others before ourselves, respecting and upholding the dignity of others, and choosing to reflect God’s love through our words and actions.
Through our calling to love, the Lord directs each of us on a unique path, in which we are to be living witnesses and examples of the love of Christ.
For example, God may be calling you to become a teacher, doctor, custodian, student, caretaker, missionary, priest or nun, father or mother. There’s no right or wrong path, as long as you are open to God’s calling and direction. A beautiful thing about our Christian lives is that we can minister, proclaim and share the love of Christ in all circumstances, situations, job paths and vocations.
Saying this, I do understand that discerning God’s will may bring hesitation, stress and uneasiness. I can relate to this as I am graduating from college this month, and while I am excited to start on a new adventure, I’m not positive what life will look like after graduation. I’ve been keeping this in prayer and opening my heart to be attentive to where God is leading. Perhaps you too can relate, and if you feel this way, know you are not alone, and Jesus will show you the way.
On a practical level, Father Bryan Dolejsi, the director of vocations for the archdiocese, offers these tips for discerning God’s call:
1. Pray to be open to God’s will in your life. Ask for the intercession of the saints, spend time with Scripture and spiritual reading, and (when possible) stay close to the sacraments.
2. Explore next steps and possibilities. Volunteer, apply for jobs and educational programs, and see what opportunities open up and what feels right.
3. Talk through your thoughts and feelings with others. As Jesus says, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
And remember, Father Dolejsi said, “All you have to figure out is the next step, not all of the steps — the Lord will lead you there eventually.”
Although it is much easier said than done, try not to stress about the future. Each day, each moment is an opportunity to spread God’s love. And right now, he has you in this place, at this time, for a reason — and that reason is to love those around you.
As you discern where God is leading you, remember that through you, God wishes to bring others to himself. Only you can fulfill the mission God has set out, and it is through your daily “yes” that our world will be changed. May the peace of Christ be with you and may the Holy Spirit always guide your ways. God bless!
Read the Spanish version of this column.
Northwest Catholic - May 2020
Kianna Garmanian is the youth minister at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Bothell. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kianna Garmanian es Ministra para Jóvenes en la Parroquia Santa Elizabeth Ann Seton de Bothell. Envíe sus preguntas a email@example.com.