Entering the Sisters of Life as a postulant was not only a ‘yes’ to God’s plan for my life, but a ‘no’ to the culture in which I had been immersed…
…a ‘no’ to the “create yourself” mentality that Facebook and social media had lured me into—promising me that I would be happier with myself if I was happy with the girl on the screen; a ‘no’ to the demands of fitting in to a society that was polite, casual, and looking for the woman who could do it all. Uttering these ‘no’s’ required a leap of faith into something unknown— my own self.
Through much of my 20’s, fear and restlessness filled my mind and heart. So often the voice of the world would say, “If they only knew who you were, they wouldn’t like you.” Or, “If you only knew who you were, you wouldn’t like you.” Maybe I would be boring without my degrees, cute dresses, and fancy parties. These lies kept me living in tension, each foot in paddle boats that were moving ever so slowly apart. But upon receiving the religious habit and entering novitiate, my whole being—both inside and out—revealed, for the first time, my best kept hope— that I am loved.
Beginning a life of integration brought peace. It stood in stark contrast to the effects of my attempts to create myself, feelings of “not enough”—not pretty enough, not fun enough, not appearing happy enough… On the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, at my Profession of First Vows, before my family and friends, the old self met the new me. My ‘yes’ to Jesus reached down into every crack of insecurity and fear of becoming the real me, and filled it with love. The pressure of creating myself was replaced by the knowledge that I am one who is deeply desired by her Creator. Jesus, on the day of my profession, invited me to discover that the true image of myself is a reflection of Someone good and beautiful—and that is more freeing than any Facebook post could convey.