Final Countdown: Getting nostalgic

I graduate in 25 days. 

So I have 25 measly days left to soak in all the collegiate I can before I (hopefully, please Jesus) get my diploma, walk across a stage, and begin paying back all my student loans.

I’m naturally a sarcastic, slightly cynical, maybe even pessimistic person, but I would like to take some time to wax poetically on my college career and then close with the greatest lesson I’ve learned in college: why Truth and Love is so gosh darn important.

I’m getting a BA in Spanish (so use the formal usted when you speak to me) and I’m minoring in Religious Studies, yes, from a public university. Because of my choice to minor in Religious Studies I’ve taken a lot of diverse classes and been involved in a lot of very interesting discussions. I’ve been “That Girl” in the class, I’ve learned how to be that girl respectfully, how to pick my battles, and learned that I need to love unceasingly because without love, truth just sounds like judgement.

Of course I’ve fallen flat on my face like a million times. My teachers have torn me apart, disregarded my comments, my classmates have been less than kind, I’ve been downgraded on essays for being less than objective, and I’ve left some classes feeling like a big fat failure. But, praise God.

I’ve gone to class with sections of the Catechism highlighted, Bible verses organized based on topic, and even some lofty quotes by Church Fathers. I’ve researched the Inquisition and the Crusades and gone to every FOCUS Conference and taken frantic notes in order to dialogue with my classmates. Truth-wise, I was prepared, and maybe some of those facts stuck to my classmates or my professors, but maybe not. 

But if it’s not wrapped in the perfect Love of Christ, and your imperfect attempt at Love, then people won’t care. So, by all means, study and know your facts, but pray that Jesus will give you a heart for His people, because when someone spends 15 minutes in class tearing apart everything you love about your faith, the last thing you want to do is love them. 

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I recently listened to this fascinating interview on NPR (neeeerd) with comic Julia Sweeney. It’s all about her journey from Catholicism to Atheism. It’s fascinating and you should listen to it (it’s only 10 minutes long) and I think it’s a great testament to why we need Truth and Love.

So, thank you UNL for providing Religious Studies courses, for making me take challenging courses (Tibetan Buddhism, Modern day Islam, Literature of Western Civilization), for challenging my beliefs, for making me fall in love with them even more, for showing me how to evangelize, for keeping me humble, for reminding me to rely on Jesus and the Holy Spirit in times of need, for introducing me to fascinating people, for making me procrastinate on many essays which led me to write blog posts instead, and for educating me. 

As much as I gripe about school and tests and assignments and frustrating courses, I know how blessed to receive a college education and act upon my freedom of speech and religion.

Thank you for reading these posts and for challenging me as well. 

I realize this post has no real substance, but I’m getting nostalgic and I wanted to say “wax poetically” in a post, so thank you for humoring me.

I love you all,

Caitlin

 

 

 

 

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A quick summary

We’ve gotten a lot of new followers and lots of traffic recently (which certainly has to do with the fact that we created a Facebook page) so I thought I’d make a quick summary post, a Cliffnotes of the blog so you can catch up if you are new!

First, welcome.

Here is an interview with Hannah.

Here is an interview with Caitlin.

Here is Hannah’s most popular (based on number of views) post.

Here is Caitlin’s most popular (ditto) post.

And finally; the most recent post of Hannah’s, and the most recent post of Caitlin’s.

Or you can just read them all, but there are a lot (we are almost two years old…out of control).

Comment on other posts you think are important for summarizing purposes!

Peace!

Mountain Spirituality: Guest Author Katherine

This past weekend I drove to see one of the greatest human beings in the world; Katherine. She is a FOCUS missionary in Ft. Collins, CO and I surprised her and she cried and collapsed on the floor and it was great.

One of the adventures we took part in was driving to St. Walburga’s Abbey and doing nature things. We looked at mountains, climbed rocks, used walking sticks, spit into some rapids, etc.

While it was all fun and good, Katherine is never one to just have a fun time. She is intentional to a T, and took a moment to drop some theological brilliance on me. So afterwards I asked her to write it down, send it to me, and (without her permission) I’m posting it to our blog. Friendship!

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One of my first days in Fort Collins, my friend Devon took me on a mini hike to watch the sun set behind a mountain range that sat behind Horsetooth Reservoir. It was breath-takingly beautiful. Devon, an artist, sat and sketched the scene while I sat, taking part in one of my personal past-times; silently crying.

I looked at the mountains and felt an ache deep in the pit of my stomach. Coming from someone who has never lived anywhere other than the flatlands of Nebraska, the mountains were such a beautiful and glorious reminder of God’s magnificence and majesty. Then it hit me. Those mountains only exist to give God glory. They never offend Him, never betray Him. The mountains never cease to move hearts to wonder and awe and gratitude toward their creator. I thought of Christ and His love for me, and couldn’t understand that He loves me more than he loves those mountains. So I cried.

Those mountains never sin. The mountains never choose to do anything other than glorify God. But God didn’t become man to draw those mountains into a loving relationship with Him. Christ died for me, not the mountains. Even though I routinely choose to turn from God and sin against Him, He never stops choosing me. He always chooses me, and He chooses to sacrifice Himself for me, and not the mountains. That realization is what brought me to tears. The frustration at why God would choose me, a sinner, over the ever-glorifying mountains, in all honesty, pissed me off. Why would He ever choose me? Why don’t I always choose Him? So I cried.

That night God revealed a bit more of His love to me through that sunset behind those mountains. And maybe that’s why He made the mountains, too. Not just to show off his own grandeur, but to showcase His preference for you and for me. His glory is the love He has for His children. So, look at the mountains and know that God chooses you, just as you are, over the mountains.

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