By Lucia Delgado

One of my favorite saints, St. Augustine of Hippo, said this: “Patience is the companion of wisdom.”

In my discernment process of becoming a Franciscan sister, I thought I was patient. However, as one friend would put it, I was “eloping.” My impatience was fueled by others who thought they knew I was meant to be a sister. I entered discernment with the thought of impressing others. I said to myself: Wouldn’t it be nice to be in a habit and change the West Coast? And influence others to go back to Church and promote a culture of life?

But I was fleeing from the marriage vocation.

Yes, I was running away. I thought would it be nice to be closer to Jesus in the convent. The atmosphere at the convent and retreat house was peaceful and beautiful. But my trembling soul was called to another vocation.

I kept in touch with the sisters after my abrupt departure last summer. They thought I was called to religious life. There were signs of a vocation but to different lifestyle.

Now, I am discerning the call to marriage; I feared that my relationship with Jesus would go sour if I took this route.

It was quite the opposite.

I am closer to the Lord and I get to share my love for Him with my Catholic boyfriend. I go to Bible studies at a nearby parish; I am able to sing in the choir and cantor the responsorial Psalms.

I will say that my discernment was a blessing. The experiences with the sisters made me a wiser Catholic: By singing in the choir, working in the retreat gift shop, and sharing knowledge with the sisters during community catechesis, I learned how to be courageous in sharing my Catholic faith in the world.

I am asking God for patience and wisdom during this next phase in my life. Remember that your experiences in the convent are not wasted but those experiences are full of pearls of wisdom.