My Boyfriend Wants to be a Priest?

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Yeah, the title says it all. Okay, so a boyfriend/girlfriend discerning a religious vocation might not happen to all of us, but it does happen. And, go figure, it happened to me. My boyfriend wonders if he is called to the Priesthood.

Just to catch you up: My boyfriend (I’ll call him Alexander) and I had been friends for over ten years. As kids, we were part of the same homeschool group, hung out every Friday, went to teen groups together, etc. We are both deeply rooted in our faith and want nothing more than to serve God and fulfill His will. 

Over time, I started getting hints that Alexander had developed deeper feelings for me and over time the feelings became mutual, but we never told each other. We remained close friends, talking practically every day, and our families began to hang out more than ever. One night, we we decided to talk about it. After finally confessing, we decided to go on a date and soon after a relationship developed. 

Months into our relationship, I asked Alexander to join me for a daily Mass that I had to sing at. He agreed, and we drove there together, happy and having a good time. When we got to the church, I realized I had to sit separately from him because I had to sing with the other choir members. Not a big deal, I sat up front while he sat a few rows behind me.

Once we got to the sign of peace, I turned to wave to him. When I saw him, there was a look on his face that just didn’t sit right with me. It was solemn, filled with distress and sadness.  I wasn’t sure why but I got a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. 

Something wasn’t right.

Mass had ended and it was time to leave. Normally, I would attend the social gathering with the other young adults afterwards but something was bothering Alexander so we left. The first half of the car ride, we sat in silence. I tried to spark conversation as before, but he wasn’t as chatty. He tried to act like nothing was wrong but I could see it in his eyes and hear it in the tone of his voice. Some thing was up. Not wanting me to worry, he brushed it off and pretended like it never happened. 

The next day, Alexander and I were going on a date that would be the last time I would see him for a month. He was leaving for vacation that weekend and once he returned I would be leaving for mine. That night, he was happy, smiley, and we had a great time. However, in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but wonder what was bothering him the previous day. 

As the night came to a close, I mustered up the courage to ask him what was wrong. With a sigh, he looked me in the eyes and whispered,

“What if God is calling me to be a Priest?” 

Part of me knew this was what he was going to say. I knew he had studied in the seminary for two years in high school, but I thought he discerned that was not what God wanted for him. It took me a moment to take this in, but I knew how to respond. “Well,” I said, my voice cracking, “if that’s God’s will, I won’t keep you from it.” I only want what God wants for Alexander, even if that means letting him go. 

After that, Alexander left for his vacation. Our time apart actually gave us the space we needed to discern and think. We promised we would continue to pray for each other and our vocations and we began to be more open about faith and feelings. Ever since we made ourselves open to God’s will for both of us, we actually began to grow closer to each other. It was as if this is what God intended all along. We decided we would continue to love and care for each other chastely and humbly and let God do the rest. 

Of course things were hard for me at first. There would be times I would overthink and get myself worried about things I couldn’t control. But, over time, I realized that this was all part of God’s plan. This had to happen in order for us to grow closer to God and to each other.  

Throughout it all, I learned some valuable lessons that helped us to continue to grow and be open to where God was calling us. Discerning and navigating a relationship is not always easy, but it gives us a great opportunity to build stronger relationships, grow and learn about God, ourselves and our significant other.  

Here are 3 helpful tips that I’ve learned along the way… 

  1. PRAY
    Pray, pray, pray! This is always first and foremost. I have been praying for my future spouse every day since I was twelve years old. If you are in a relationship, pray together! Like Jesus said, “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there will I also be” (Matthew 18:20). Prayer is a powerful thing— take advantage of it. Go to Mass together, pray the Rosary, say grace before meals, whatever it is! Make your relationship a prayer. Together, dedicate yourselves to God.
  2. BE HONEST
    Don’t keep secrets— unless it’s about a surprise party or something. Sometimes you simply just need to ask them to tell you. Remain open with one another and be honest. Being in a relationship means being present to each other. Don’t be afraid to talk about things! Talk about what’s bothering you, what you’re thinking, whatever it may be. However, if you’re struggling with something and don’t know what to do, talk to a Priest or a knowledgeable friend/family member before approaching the one you’re in a relationship with. Get an outside perspective and some good advice. I spoke to my mom about this particular situation and she helped me see all the good that came out of it. She told me I shouldn’t worry, but rather trust God— which brings us to our last and final tip.
  3. TRUST
    Trust each other and most importantly, trust God. If I didn’t, I would be an absolute mess. I would be worried everyday that the relationship we had would soon crumble or that I would be in the way of a beautiful Priestly vocation. Having trust is an important part for any relationship. God has an amazing plan for each and every one of us. We just have to pray for the wisdom to know and understand what it is.  And remember— God only has three answers to our prayers – 

1 – Yes
2 – Not Yet 
3 – I have something better in mind.

So you are all probably wondering what happened with our relationship.  Did my boyfriend become a Priest?  Well, God is still writing our story,  and we do not know what is yet to come. However, Alexander and I are still together and we are happier than ever. Our relationship has blossomed, and we continue to grow closer through our open and honest dialogue. Though we do not know where God is leading us in our relationship, we continue to prayerfully entrust our lives in HIS hands. Our story is not over yet, and we look forward to seeing God’s beautiful plans for us unfold as we approach the next chapter in our life. For now, let’s just say that our future together is looking bright.

 

 

Sara Francis is a young Catholic author and media communicator. She is a member of the Array of Hope team and is the author of  the YA sci-fi trilogy The Terra Testimonies. She strives to bring Christ’s message to teens through everything she does. If she’s not writing, she’s making music or art. Sara also loves time with friends, French fries, martial arts, and making people smile. To check out her books, visit her author site: www.sara-francis.com. To see her work as a media communicator and more, visit her portfolio: saraannraciti.weebly.com   

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