As I have said before, it is with great joy that I am preparing for vows. However, I figured it was only fair to share with you a few reflections on the fears that come with them.
I have heard it said that fear is "False Evidence Appearing Real." Going along with that, St. Ignatius teaches that when a person is following God's call for them in general or in specific circumstances (whatever they may be), it is the work of the evil spirit to suggest unnecessary hindrances to that path.
Thus, I am reminded that although it is "natural" to have worries, these concerns do not have the authority of God and thus should be taken with a grain of salt. In fact, just yesterday I was getting a haircut and as I told the stylist what I was doing and mentioned in honesty that some fears were coming up, the stylist point-blank said, "You're giving yourself to God--what is there to be afraid of?"
In any case, as with any major decision, there can be that hissing doubt of "what if I am making the wrong one?" "What if I haven't appropriately discerned this?" "What if I mess this up?" "What if I am unhappy with the results of this decision?"
It is then that I must remind myself that I have been intensely pondering this call for years, especially through all the "experiments" of the past two in novitiate, and that through-thick-and-thin, I have consistently been led back to this as my deepest desire, despite the doubts that have presented themselves at various points. It is that deepest desire that will not disappoint, because it is God who has given that desire and that will fulfill it.
As one of my brothers often says, "God cannot be outdone in generosity." As with any gift of self to God (as scary as it may be), it is swallowed up in the riches of His generosity.