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Monday, March 11, 2013

Love & Blessings

I had a wonderful, refreshing day today, which leaves me reflecting on the many blessings God continuously pours down upon me as well as His never-ending love for all people. I wish to share one example of where I've seen God's love radiating in my life. 

So far this final semester of college has proven quite difficult for me and admittedly I have not handled it well. I'm taking 5 classes, plus an internship, which is a lot for someone who usually only takes 4 classes/semester, but I need to get those final few credit hours in so I can graduate on time! They are all English classes, 2 literature, 2 writing, and 1 on grammar. While it has been extremely stressful (especially as I battle that senioritis disease), I still sense God's presence through His blessings, one of whom is my Romanticism professor and mentor, Dr. Prescott. 

I still remember meeting him for the first time during the spring of my freshman year. I came to Bradley undecided and it took me until the spring to start talking to various professors from majors in which I was interested. At first I was kinda intimidated by him, but that ended pretty quickly as I found out he's also from Naperville, shares my interest in Gilmore Girls, and best of all, is a fellow Catholic! I got to know him a little more during spring of sophomore year when I initially tried taking the Romantics class, which I ultimately ended up dropping since I realized I wasn't quite ready for a 300 level class as a sophomore. I also spent all of sophomore year debating whether I wanted to stay at Bradley or not since I do struggle with academics and at the time, truly did not think I could survive all 4 years. I was mostly decided on dropping out, when, during my weekly time spent praying in Eucharistic Adoration, I distinctly heard God tell me to "stay at Bradley", of course, I then tried asking God "why" since I really could not see myself handling another 2 years, but all God would say is "stay at Bradley" and for me to trust Him. Now, this was awkward, since I had already told people (including Dr. Prescott as well as my parents) that I was leaving Bradley, now I would have to tell them the opposite. Funnily enough, I tried emailing Prescott about my decision reversal, but he never got the email, which I didn't find out about until fall of junior year when one of my friends told me to go talk to Prescott since he didn't know I was still at Bradley, whoops! 

During the past two years, that one Tuesday afternoon in Adoration has stayed with me and I have enjoyed seeing the effects of my staying at Bradley play out. Honestly, one of the only reasons I'm on the verge of achieving a Bachelor's degree, is putting all my trust in God as He guides me through college. It's been a rough journey, where I have many times angrily questioned why God wants me here, but I cherish the moments when I do realize God's little reasons. As I've increasingly grown in the Catholic faith and delved deeper into Christ's teachings, I've come to increasingly resent a lot of secularism and am now hoping that I'll eventually be able to attend a Catholic graduate school, like the Augustine Institute, that will focus solely on Catholic theology. In order to get there though, I need to have an undergraduate degree first. Coming back to my main point, it is an absolute joy to have even just one professor with whom I can share my devotion to Catholicism. Truly, God did not me alone here at Bradley, He led me to discover my love/hate relationship with English as well as to the professor who has helped me so much and has genuinely cared for me, going beyond just being a professor, to being a true mentor and friend. 

I got an assignment back from Prescott today, one with which I really struggled and probably would have received a low grade. However, he recognized my issues with analyzing and summarizing, and offered to help me through the journal articles. He commented on my paper that he knows I have plenty to say, if I have someone to help me and ask discussion-type questions as I read the articles. And yes, that is exactly what I need and have been praying about. I do have the tendency to get overwhelmed easily and never quite mastered the skill of summarizing and analyzing. (how am I senior in college again? Grace of God, that's all I can say) 
Most professors probably would have just given me a low grade and been done with it. As busy as Prescott is, especially as department chair, he's still willing to make time to help me. Maybe it's not really that big of a deal, but it really means a lot to me. I truly believe that God has a reason for putting Prescott in my life and even vice-versa. I can only pray that God's love is visible to others through me. 

I guess God loves me too much to leave me alone to struggle through college. And guess what? He loves YOU too, yes you, the person who has made it through this whole post! God's love is truly a gift, all that is required is for us to be open to receiving it. I can honestly say that I have done nothing to deserve it, the miserable sinner that I am (darn you laziness/selfishness), but I can also say how grateful I am for God's love and blessings. 

Back to studying for midterms and praying/waiting for the next pope...God bless :)

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