Introduction: Betsy Joy

Friday, October 09, 2009

Hi everyone! My name is Betsy. I'm seventeen and am, God willing, going to enter the Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor. I am very excited to be able to share with others the amazing ways that God has blessed me and the lessons I have learned. Here is my story.

From the time I was very young the thought that maybe I was going to be a nun was there. This was due in part to the fact that five of my paternal great aunts were Sisters of Saint Joseph in London, Ontario. My aunt and uncle have a cottage in Canada that they let us use for family vacations and we would always spend a day in London at the motherhouse. While yes, it was only seven days of my life, it made such a huge impact on me that whenever someone asked me “What do you want to be when you grow up?” it was always “…or a nun”.

When I was twelve I was sitting on the couch making a bracelet and thinking and praying about my life. All of a sudden I knew that I was going to be one hundred percent God’s. I can’t say what happened, but I knew and have never doubted it since. The first year was very hard for me because I didn’t really understand what that meant. Instead of seeing everything I get when I give myself to God I was focused on everything I had to give up. At my Confirmation Mass, about a year later, my eyes were opened to the amazing thing that being a sister really is and that’s when my romance with God really began. I still had no idea how I was going to live it out.

In August of 2007 I was pretty sure that God was calling me to one of three orders: the Servants of God’s Love, The Sisters of Life, or The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. In November I was looking more into the Servants of God’s Love and was very attracted to their work with orphans and I was thinking that maybe that’s where God was calling me. Then the fact that they don’t wear a traditional habit started bugging me. I kept telling myself, “Betsy, that’s ridiculous, what they wear doesn’t matter at all, the important thing is the work they do,” but I was having a really hard time with it. Eventually I got so fed up with myself I said, “Okay God, I’m going to go back to discerning between these three orders and if you want me with the Servants of God’s Love you are going to have to change my heart because I’m having a really hard time with this” and He said ,“Okay, I’ll let you know, but not yet.”

In late November I got a phone call from one of my friends asking if I wanted to go on the March for Life in Washington D.C. I said yes, and thought that maybe this would decide the Sisters of Life one way or the other. I went on the trip and had an amazing time of course, but when I got home I couldn’t figure out if something had happened or if I only felt like something happened because I wanted something to happen. I kept going back and forth and just couldn’t figure it out. At the end of February I went on retreat with my youth group and was talking to my small group leader about what was going on and she said to me, “ Betsy, if you believe that God is calling you to the Sisters of Life, then pursue it and if He isn’t He will let you know before your final vows.” I started pursuing it, but there wasn’t anything I could really do about it because they ask you to go to college before you join.. I was just waiting.

My mom and I came to the profession of first vows in August and I was very moved. When the Sisters were prostrate in front of the altar, I saw myself at some point in the future, in a white habit and black veil prostrate in front of the altar at Christ the King. I just brushed it aside though because I was going to have a blue scapular and cape and it was going to be in New York. When we came to the motherhouse, the first thing we did was go into the chapel and right away I felt at home and at peace. One of the things that really stuck out to me was the joy and laughter of all of the sisters, even in the midst of hard work. What also struck me was the genuine beauty of all of you that has nothing to do with the outside.

On Friday, my first thought was “Maybe I’m not so sure about New York.” I told my mom this and she said “Yeah, I kind of thought that might happen.” Later in the day I was doing dishes and I asked God, “Okay, what happened yesterday? I thought you wanted me in New York?” He told me that the reason I thought He wanted me in New York was because He needed to know how much I am willing to give and if I was willing to wait. A few weeks prior to this I was in Adoration and had finally given Him everything and really meant it. He told me that because I had shown Him that I was ready to do anything for Him, He wasn’t asking me to go to New York and do theses hard things but He was asking me to go to Ann Arbor next year.

I am going on retreat with them in November and will talk to Sister Joseph then.
You are all constantly in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you all!

JMJ+
~Betsy

Totus tuus Maria!

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