Sr. Margaret Nelson
"I felt this inner tugging to be a sister, but I didn't want to give up what I thought was freedom."
From grade school on, I felt called to become a sister but it took a few years for me to say "yes" to that call. When I was 10 months old, I became sick with encephalitis, was in a coma for a week and not expected to live. But miraculously I survived. The only damage is that my tongue and lips are paralyzed, making it hard for me to talk.
Being physically challenged at such young age helped me develop a close relationship with God. I have a wonderful, supportive family, but sometimes only God could help me in tough situations.
Like any good friendship, one always wants it to go deeper. I was hungry for a deeper experience of God and thought living with others with the same focus would help me grow closer to God.
I went to high school operated by Annunciation Monastery and there I observed the sisters at close range. Some weeks when they were kind, gentle and loving, I'd go home and say, "Mom, I think I'll be a sister." She'd answer, "Fine, whatever you want." Other weeks, when the sisters would get angry or impatient, I'd go home and say, "Mom, I'm not going to be a sister." She'd answer, "Fine, whatever you want."
High school graduation arrived and I still didn't know what to do. I felt this inner tugging to be a sister, but I didn't want to give up what I thought was freedom. So I attended Minot University and there I got homesick, not for home, but for the monastery and the beauty of creation surrounding this place.
I said, "OK God, you can have your way, I'll be a sister." And guess what? I have found more freedom for spiritual growth, career opportunities and opportunities to love and care for people than I thought possible. My friendship with God continues to grow and deepen. I am glad I said "Yes" to that deepest desire within me, calling me to Annunciation Monastery.