a jumble of thoughts about courage and faith

A few weeks ago, it was really early in the morning and I was submitting the last parts of my grad apps. Bleary-eyed, I started to tear up as I pushed submit on the last one...feeling all the courage and all the doubt in the world all at once. Feeling every moment that brought me to this point and all the moments I can't predict, the ones that lie ahead of me. 

Today, I attended the mission farewell of one of my friends, Sarah, from my major. I looked around the chapel at just a few of the girls in my major that have blessed my life with their friendship and examples. We've literally (said as Lindsay says it) cried, laughed, and worked until we are so delirious we can't even speak correctly ourselves. I can't begin to fully express my love for each of them and I'm sure everyone will get sick of reading about them as I approach graduation in May. 

Another thing I loved about today was one of Sarah's main messages to the congregation was "becoming and overcoming". I am grateful for the things I have overcome and the person I hope I've become over the past few years. I am very different, yet very much the same as I was when I was applying to colleges and getting ready to leave high school four years ago. I feel as if my soul has grown about forty years older, while outwardly, I look as if I'm the same. I have learned so much, both temporally and spiritually. And as I thought about it more, I truly will never be the same as I was the day before. Each day, I have the opportunity to learn new things, to change while using the Atonement more fully in my life, and to become a better person. For that, I am forever grateful. 

I recognize that I still have many hurdles to jump, things to experience, heartaches to overcome right now. While the challenges in my life seem to have been weighing down (maybe even crushing down?) on me for quite some time, they will help me to become. Right now, I need to remember that this courageous toiling through life does lead to something wonderful and priceless--an indomitable faith, one that comes only from the refining processes and trials of life. 

After I pushed submit on the last application, my heart and mind raced with all of those emotions mentioned before (which only become even more heightened when you feel sleep deprived). I walked into my room to see three signs I had made for my mom's lesson in YW about three or four months ago. I had no idea when my mom had set them on my bed or why they were in my room now, but I picked them up and tried to bring my eyes into focus to read them. 

One of them read, "What are some worthwhile things you might need courage to do?"
The next read, "We are strengthened as we show courage and face new opportunities."
Finally, the third read, "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. -Joshua 1:9"

These three signs were like an answer to an unsaid prayer. These three thoughts are things I have carried in my heart the past few weeks to combat the moments when I'm feeling doubt and fear. Because, I have no idea what is in store for me in the next few months and frankly, it terrifies me. However, I do know that wherever life takes us, we must face it with courage and faith. 

Thank you, girls {and like...the four or five guys in our major}, for constantly reminding me that we are in an incredible and useful field of study. It is something that I want to always have the courage to pursue, because it brings so much genuine happiness into my life. And having that in my life is something truly special just as each of you are to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 


  1. Oh my word, Catherine.

    I am sitting here all teary-eyed with a crazy case of the shivies (what we call goosebumps in my friend group). This was such a beautiful post, and something I really needed.

    Thank you so much! You will be so good at what you do and who you are. I have full faith in that, and I've never even met you outside the blog world! Thank you again.

  2. love. love. love.
    such a great post! i feel so much the same about the past few years. i feel so very different, and yet, not so different at all.
    thank you so much for sharing!

  3. You are wise and wonderful. You always bless and brighten as you teach me. Love your faith and outlook. Gratitude blesses all.


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