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Keeping Myself Grounded in God

This past week celebrated two months since moving in for Sophomore year! It has been a wild roller coaster ride for sure, filled with some exhilarating and some exhausting moments, but I think it’s starting to even out a bit.

One of my biggest goals for the past few weeks has been to remain positive and focus on the good. If you know me, you know this can be a real struggle, especially surrounded by the stress that college can be.

The easiest way for me to do this is to give everything to God. Now, this is easy to say but one of the hardest things for me to do. Theoretically it should be easy to trust the God who created you and your life, but honestly, it’s terrifying. I love to have everything planned for weeks, months, and even years in advance and lately blindly trusting has been closer to that plan.

The best way for me to do this is by listening to those around me. I know God has placed each person in my life because each and every day they help bring my relationship back to him and I see his love constantly through them. It could be something as simple as a smile or watching Magic School Bus or laughing over dinner at Dales or sending emails during Theology or life talks while avoiding Calc homework or an hour and a half long phone conversations instead of going to bed. All of these little moments help me remember God’s perfect and unconditional love for me.

One of the biggest transitions this year has not been living with and next to some of my best friends. Last year was truly special and a unique situation and I miss some parts of it. I will say I am not sure how anything got done last year with the countless hours in the lounge and movie nights because now all of my free moments are spent doing homework. However, when I do get to see everyone it is a time I truly cherish and I know if we see each other 5 hours a day or 5 hours a semester we will still remain close. I love them will all of my heart and do truly miss each one of them endlessly.

Another thing I have tried to make a conscious effort about is believing what those around me tell me. I used to think everyone around me was just being nice to my face but secretly couldn’t stand me. It seems crazy, right? Well, my brain told me otherwise. I am now trying to always remember that they aren’t lying to me. They do truly love me and care for me and my success.

This past week during dinner some of my friends gave me what Father Mike would call “my wake up call from God.” It really just consisted of them having a full conversation of telling me what I needed to hear but believe me, I didn’t want to. The conversation focused on one central topic: I complain a lot. Now, this isn’t new at all (see above) but it is something I am trying to work on.

I have found out the root of the problem usually lies in the little moments. The moments that I could easily let annoy me and upset me and ruin my day but that have no real effect on my overall life are where I am trying to find God the most. Instead of complaining I’m trying to breathe and smile and find something good in my life at that moment. Lately, that has been focusing on the beauty outside that is the fall season or spending time in church. These little moments are the times that I find God the most. Simple prayers when I feel stressed instead of complaints are the easiest ways I am trying to ground myself back into my faith.

Here are some photos showing the beauty of fall across campus!

Now, it may seem like my whole life is stressful right now and it sometimes feels that way, but I am still able to get out and have some fun. The main activity I love being involved with is Chiara. It is the Catholic women’s group on campus and I love being able to be the Treasurer and help plan the events. The women in that group constantly help me turn back to God and are continuously teaching me more about my faith while simultaneously becoming some of my closest friends.

I have also had the ability to join pep band and play for the homecoming game last weekend! This was a great relaxing few hours away from homework and brought back loads of memories.

My favorite weekly tradition, however, continues to be Knight Mass and Dales. Each Wednesday at 9pm we celebrate mass in one of the residence halls on the 4th floor in the chapel. It is just a great hour of fellowship with students and centers my focus back on God for the second half of the week. Afterward, we all head to Dales for wing night and just lots of laughs and friendship.

Life can easily become overwhelming and stressful in a blink of an eye, but taking it one minute at a time sometimes is the best option. Always seeing God in the little moments has helped me to relax and trust a little bit more.

As much of a whirlwind that life can seem like, it has become important for me to look back at how far I have come on my life journey. I understand why the phrase is “hindsight is 20/20” but I can honestly say I don’t regret many of the decisions I have made because they continue to be what has shaped me into who I am today and who I am happy I am becoming.

Please do not take this post the wrong way to say “I am a perfect Catholic” and “She has it all together” because I will be the first to tell you that is so far from the truth. I continue to find peace and understanding in my faith and some of the most faithful people in my life are the most broken and I fit right into that fact. In my life I have found that the most stressful moments are the most important to bring myself back into my faith and remind myself what is really important overall.

If you would have told me five years ago how faithful I would be today, I probably would have laughed at you. However, the incredible support around me has helped me grow towards God. Coming to college, many students fall away from their faith, but I am the exact opposite. Because of all of the faith opportunities and people around me, especially the girls in Chiara, I am continuously pushed deeper into my faith, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I honestly never thought I would be in this position in my life, and I still continue to pinch myself sometimes.

Hello! My name is Cassie Nooyen and I am a sophomore at St. Norbert College double majoring in Computer Science with an emphasis in Graphic Design and Mathematics. Explore my blog and learn a little bit about my adventure called life!

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