Brett and Mary-Anne reflect on discerning a vocation to married life.
I always felt I’d just know what my calling was – but boy was I wrong!
I was lost after having finished Uni, moving home and the feeling of being stuck at a cross roads and not knowing where to turn. I’d describe it almost like trying to tune in to a radio station, and whilst I’d try to find the desired channel I could hear perfectly, I could hear from time to time noises from other channels, making me discern and try to listen. By doing this, I was able to then find that channel for me, my true calling.
There were many friends and family who have always inspired me on my journey to pray and listen, to stop and pause before action. As well as, Br Damien Lundy and the many De La Salle Brothers I have lived and worked with, inspired me to take time to listen to God, and to find God’s voice amongst all the interference in modern day life.
My greatest worry when discerning my vocation was that I would get it wrong and live unhappy – and from time to time, I have had moments when I’ve thought, did I hear that correctly, like we all do with any big decisions we make.
The lived reality of our vocation is different to how we had perceived it in some ways. It’s hard work! No vocation is one that when you say I do to Christ, the jigsaw is complete and the cliche happy ever ending is complete. That purely is the beginning. The start of where life will take you next.
It’s not often I stop to think about this, but it certainly was very difficult and far more work at the start of our marriage, especially having left home the day we married and never returning was such an emotional element I hadn’t even contemplated. But, now nearly 5 years on, we may have settled in to life, but we still have ups and downs, and never, can we put our feet up and say job done – as there are three in the marriage and it always needs TLC.
Our vocation has brought us joy in so many ways, from the small moments of companionship where you can feel Christ walking with us at the centre, to the amazing memorable moments and experiences we’ve shared exploring Gods creation. One time, incredibly special was the day that Brett turned and said, yes I do believe. We were in Krakow for WYD, which soon led to him becoming Catholic, and our marriage was enriched.
Sometimes, life can get so busy, but pausing to look at all the joy we encounter day to day is awesome. We try so hard to look at the small things, and count each of Gods blessings.
What have been the highlights of living out your vocation?
Our wedding day was a particular highlight of living out our vocation – it was amazing. Further highlights include: The many holiday adventures we’ve been lucky to experience, together. Being able to share with others and demonstrate, especially amongst friends and young people, that the sanctity of marriage is very much alive and when you are called by God, it’s ok to say yes, and to stand (perhaps against the modern norms) and live life in the manner you choose.
If I was providing advice to someone else considering following Jesus in the vocation of marriage, I’d tell them to pray, take time to listen. If you aren’t sure explore. Don’t feel like you can’t listen to the interference on the radio, for it’s only by doing this sometimes, we can understand that this isn’t our calling.
Don’t be afraid to follow what you have listened too. Have an open heart and mind, so that Christ can call and direct you, to enable you to fulfil his mission through his many disciples.