Does it feel empty?
That’s the question I was asked recently during a holy conversation after my oldest was married. It took me off guard. Was she asking, does the house feel empty? Does it feel like we have less of a family now?
Remember, though, this was a holy conversation. This spiritual sister of mine and I video chat weekly to encourage each other in our spiritual life and catch up on how God is working in us and our situations.
It didn’t take long for me to respond that it felt like a fulfillment. I felt full of thanksgiving and full of the fruit of every prayer and act of love and sacrifice said and made throughout my son’s life. I felt so full of awe that my son stepped into his vocation having been formed in the Faith. I felt full of memories of all in our “village” and how they encouraged him and us in our vocations. I felt full of hope and excitement for my son and his wife and their newly formed union.
I know my choices in life to be a stay at home Catholic homeschool mom may raise a few eyebrows- my own included! I truly believe it was a calling for me, and I believe that has something to do with why it felt like a fulfillment and not an emptiness.
I am nudged by the Spirit to look at the other calls from God at which I raised my eyebrows. This Periodic Praise Report, regular group rosary, regular couples scripture and saint study, and submitting to my husband’s guidance on situations and decisions with which I do not agree are just a few calls I have received, some being ignored longer than others. Maybe that question asked by such a Spirit filled sister in Christ is a great way to discern if I am aligned with God’s will? Does it feel empty? Does it feel like a fulfillment?
I need to caution myself to remember that feelings are real, but they are not reality. Feelings change with moods and circumstances. For example, when writing my Periodic Praise Report, I often feel overwhelmed or anxious about the topic or if what I am writing even matters. I’m often feeling like I have so much more I could be doing, like dishes, laundry, cooking – all good things. Those feelings are fleeting. When I meet up with someone who has read these, and they comment on how it has impacted them, I feel in awe that God can use a simple sharing to touch someone. My feelings of anxiety were real, but the reality is that God has asked me to do something, and I want to do it regardless of how I feel at the moment. He has asked for my faithfulness, and He will do with it what He wills.
To what has God called you? Do you struggle with how to answer that call? Does it always feel good and easy? I already know the answer to that is no- am I right? Didn’t He say, take up your cross? Have you witnessed any fruit from following the call? Does it feel empty? Does it feel like a fulfillment?
Have that holy conversation! Discern the calls you believe He’s making to you, and share with your village how it feels to answer it.