This is a story I heard from one of our senior Sisters.
One day we visited your home to ask for Hamoko your older sister to join us. Your father replied that her life is already set but you may take this child. He pointed to the door where you stood bashfully watching us as we talked. I then told him sorry but she seems to be young for us. Although I do not remember the any part of the episode I believe those Sisters must have been praying for that little girl. As a result, ten years later I was given a benediction to join the convent (The Daughters of St. Paul).
I grew up on a small island in the Saga prefecture. I remember that someone once wrote it's a small island where the Genkai Sea sits between the oceans endless blue skies. The fields on the mountainsides and people's religious ways of life remind me of Jean-Francois Millet's "The Angelus".
I always remembered my parent's prayers for their children to be admitted to holy order if the Lord calls. I think my wish to become a Nun got stronger as I grew up surrounded by the environment in which people prayed for a calling. When I was fifteen years old I had a chance to read "Aroma of White Lily" a biography of Sr. Maria Asunta of Francis. I remember reading this book with aspiration and being fascinated by her love and devotion for God and her passion for the mission. I knew almost nothing about monastery life however I found myself praying for my vocation.
I met two Sister_Nuns from the Daughters of St. Paul when they visited our middle school in my senior year. I forgot what they had told us but I remember their smile and how they made us feel happy. "God must be calling me" I wanted to join the convent after graduation. I told my father after I failed to enter high school. My father encouraged me and said " You might miss your calling for vocation if you do not answer the Lord when he calls". On April 2and (the first day of school) I joined the convent with my heart full of joy.
Translated into English by Chieko Sekine from the original Japanese text written by Sr. Antoinetta Yoko Makiyama.