Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Nun For Me

on October 9, 2014
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/africa

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/africa

Recently, an older single at church told me about the wonderful time that she had at a retreat where Sister Dawn Annette Mills, a Benedictine nun, was the retreat leader. Sister Dawn was colorful, candid about her sexuality, and hilarious, it seems.

Hearing about a nun who was dealing with her sexuality was a first for me. Nuns have sexuality? It made me think of how similar my life is to that of the cloistered. I began to wonder how, exactly, my life was different from the life of a nun. So I Googled it.

This is what I found:

You May Be A Nun If…

You want nothing to do with the idea of being a nun, but yet you find it strangely compelling too. … You know what it’s like to fall in love with a person or a lifework, yet it feels like all the pieces aren’t quite together–something is missing. … Your music mix has mostly Christian music and church hymns. … You de-clutter your life to the bare essentials, giving most of your belongings to the poor. … Your reading list has mostly titles including the words God or saint. … People are afraid to swear in front of you.

And so on.

It hit me for real then. I have ordered my life around devotion to God and service to the church. I prize time for contemplation and value living in intentional community. I am single. I am childless. I am property-less. For all intents and purposes, I am a nun!

The bigger shocker for me, though, is that I am surprisingly OK with the notion that I am a nun.

Maybe it’s all the church history I’ve read (the monastic life used to be a perfectly reasonable alternative to married life), and the feeling of having some context for where I fit in this coupled-up world. Maybe it’s the realization that there are a slew of contemporary women whose commitment to God has consumed their lives–just like it has mine! Maybe it’s because being a nun is a safe plan, since I can’t actually become a nun, non-Catholic that I am.

For whatever reason, I feel decidely content and will embrace this new identification.

At least for now.

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