The title is not a typo but the theme of a  reflection “Wait WatcherS” by S. Janet Gildea, SC

Late last August three of us decided it was time to get serious about losing some weight. Our insurance plan reimburses for the Weight Watchers program, so we joined and have been “weighing-in” and counting our “points” for more than eight months. We’ve had fairly dramatic success, thanks in no small part to the support of our other three community members who encouraged us, ate and cooked healthy with us, and celebrated the “biggest loser” every week. Our Monday night meeting mates have watched in amazement, envious of the support we have given and received because of our community lifestyle.

E-Voc June 2013Having a community of support, whether family or friends or co-discerners, is an important component of any discernment process.

First of all, we need people who are willing to let us explore the possibilities. They have a sincere desire for our well-being and will let us try out new “recipes” even if they are more comfortable with the old ones.

Second, they are cheerleaders. They remind us of the goal when we are stuck in the doldrums that can be prolonged in discernment. When we despair of ever being able to figure out this discernment-thing, they remind us (sometimes annoyingly) that the answer is within our deepest and truest heart’s desire. “Si! Se puede! Yes! You can!”

Perhaps, most importantly, a circle of support will hold us as we wait for “the slow work of God.”

There is no quick and easy discernment, just as there is no quick and easy weight loss plan that is sustainable. We need people who can be patient with us. Patient with our vacillations, with our frustrations, with God’s timing. They can wait and watch with us, not trying to hurry the process. They can even encourage us to slow down when we’re tempted to hurry toward a decision. Beware of those who try to push the process along. Remember the story of the child who tried to help the butterfly from the cocoon. The butterfly has to hang upside-down for a while after it emerges, pumping blood into its wings to inflate them. Then it waits some more, in some cases three hours, for the wings to dry before it can fly.

God has given each of us the capacity to recognize the way of our heart’s desire, but it can feel like a lonely path. Seek out trustworthy companions for the journey who will listen, encourage, watch and wait with you and with God.

The above is  from the latest issue of E-Voc, the electronic newsletter from the Vocations Team of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati for single women wondering what new thing God is calling forth in their lives.

E-voc June 2013


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