Wondering Wayne wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • How do I know if God is directing me with these feelings?

I have made poor choices in my marriage, but my wife and I decided to work through it. I have prayed and firmly believe that, only thanks to God's graces and love, I still have a marriage and family.

I tend to over think things and sometimes this causes unnecessary doubts or stress which I put on myself. Recently, I felt this pit in my stomach possibly over thinking the issue, and sensed that maybe God's plan for me might be elsewhere . . . something which I definitely don't want.

Prior to this recent feeling, I had been reassured in Confession that my place is with my family since I chose the sacrament of Marriage (which I am very very happy with). Since then, everything is going great which makes me wonder [where and why] I am getting this feeling. Due to the problems my wife and I have faced, I have grown greatly in my faith and I am not sure if I am misreading or interpreting a message from God in recent Bible passages I have read.

In my over thinking and trying to understand my purpose, I wonder if this is a test, similar to Isaac's when he was told to sacrifice his son but was stopped at the last minute.

  • Is God testing me by asking me to go in a different path to see if I will leave all that I cherish behind to follow him?

The majority of the time, if I go with my gut feeling I am usually wrong. I just can't imagine that God would desire me to go down a path away from my family after showing me so much grace and love to heal us and our relationship.

I'm just not sure if I am incorrectly interpreting these Bible passages.

  • Do you have any thoughts on my situation?

Wayne

  { Is God asking me to go in a different path or am I incorrectly interpreting these Bible passages? }

Bob replied:

Wayne,

God wants you to be with your family plain and simple.

You have doubts, even temptations, but those ideas are not from God. The family is your domestic church where you can worship God with your daily life, being a faithful husband and father.

Trials and failures will come, but the blessings abound all the more.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Dear Wayne,

In addition to Bob's fine answer, I wanted to add my two cents. In another reply, to a question from someone discerning the religious life, I said:

If you have an inner call, definitely follow it. I think everyone of a religious nature can imagine the good side of each vocation we did not choose, whether as:

  • a priest
  • a brother
  • a husband,
  • or just a single Catholic man, like me.

I've often referred to the good parts of the other vocations, that we did not choose, as a type of vocation envy we have. I think it's normal. Though there may be cool things in other vocations we are drawn toward, it's important to remember that a vocation is a lifetime commitment.

For that reason, we have to focus on the question:

  • What vocation is the Lord Jesus calling me to?
  • For what purpose was I created?

This means sacrificing the goods of the other vocational callings to meet what we really feel called to do. This can take time and requires a regular prayer and sacramental life.

The Lord respects our free will so, seeing you have chosen married life, as Bob said, God wants you to be with your family.

If you have struggles or concerns talk to a good Confessor in the sacrament of Confession and if needed find a good spiritual Counselor (a priest who has a little time to counsel you with family issues) or even better join a marriage and family life ministry at a nearby Catholic parish.

Keep a good prayer life too. My preference is a 15-minute Rosary, the St. Michael prayer, and my daily prayer to St. Joseph, patron saint of workers.

I hope this helps,

Mike

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