“YES!!!!!!!!!” was the resounding cry from the tabernacle that I heard in my heart; I knew was the answer to the question I had just, hesitatingly, asked Our Lord in prayer. I was 14 years old and on a retreat with my high school youth group in Texas. Three Dominican Sisters were on the retreat with us just to be present over the weekend, and this was the first time I had ever spent a significant amount of time with religious sisters. Everything about them was instantly attractive to me—their radiant smiles, their exuberant joy, and their clear love for the Lord. Frankly, I couldn’t keep myself away from them—I followed them around like a lost puppy for the entire extent of the retreat. Finally, one of them asked me, “Have you ever thought about becoming a sister?” However, my instant reply was “Oh, no!” because I truly had never thought about it or considered it to be a desirable life. After that perplexing conversation, I went to confession and then entered the makeshift chapel which retreat coordinators had set up on our retreat site. It was just me, a tabernacle with the True Presence of Our Lord, and some folding chairs in one little room. I prayed my penance and then for some reason, as I sat in silence (a rare experience during my adolescence), I asked God, “Do you want me to consider religious life?” Immediately, I had my answer. It could not have been clearer if another person in the room had shouted the word “yes” at me. It was like Our Lord was longing for me to ask Him the question, just waiting for my heart to be open enough for Him to reveal His will. Upon hearing this totally unexpected response, I was instantly filled with a storm of emotions—joy, excitement, fear, confusion—and many questions like “What would my friends say?”, “What would my family say?”, “Can I really be happy if I don’t get married?”, “Who would believe God would call me to religious life?” As a result, I didn’t tell anyone about this call I had received for at least a year. However, the certainty that Our Lord was calling me to be set apart for Him alone never left me, and eventually I drew up enough courage to start looking online at various discernment guides, learning about different religious communities, and scheduling “Come and See” days. Over the years of high school and college, Jesus really worked on my heart and showed me that He was the only One that could completely fulfill all my desires. My desire to enter a religious community blossomed as I grew in my knowledge of our Catholic faith, and I finally met our sisters at a conference held for college students in 2017. As I asked them questions about their life, my heart started burning within me to be a part of consoling the Sacred Heart of Jesus and drawing other people to love His heart, too. Throughout the many visits I made to our community in St. Louis, Jesus showed me in clear ways that this is where He had been drawing me. Everything the sisters said seemed to fit into my heart perfectly like puzzle pieces–filling up spaces that I didn’t know were empty. I realized that God had made my heart Carmelite, and it just took me a long time to figure it out! Since entering with the sisters in July of 2019, I have gotten to live a life of prayer and work, a life centered on Our Lord in the Eucharist, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else the world could offer me.