Any of you have memories of this music? It's the closing title from the Little Women soundtrack. Every time I sit up late at night with a book and a pen I become Jo March all over again.
Throughout this school year, at the most critical moments I have been visited by memories of how intensely and singularly I wanted to go to graduate school in the years before I applied. As soon as I graduated from college - really within weeks - I had a fervent longing to be back in the classroom.
While I was home for a few days over spring break, I ran into a good friend Kamron who was a few years behind me at Pepperdine. He and I were once in a 12 passenger van together with 9 other people to drive the entire length of historic Route 66 in the dead of winter. There was a lot of time to chat.
He asked me all about my life at Yale and I filled him in on every detail - my areas of study, my professors, my apartment, my friends - and after a few minutes I noticed he had tears in his eyes and his face lit up in a giant smile. When I was through, he said, "Catherine, you spent that entire road trip telling us about everything you hoped for your future - CS Lewis, medieval literature, theology and biblical studies training, good friends, a world-class institution, gorgeous libraries, your own little apartment with a fireplace. Sometimes God does answer our prayers exactly as we have asked him to."
Kamron's reaction caught me in the chest. I marveled first that Kamron had remembered those conversations so well, and then that he turned the memory into praise.
This is the happiest finals season ever. I am not terrified the way I was last term. I know already how much I will love having written about these topics and how these writers will stay with me always. I am relying on a lot of the research I did last semester, and it is extremely encouraging to see that I am building the beginnings of expertise about this area. It must be a lot of fun to be a professor and have a whole PhD's worth of knowledge to work with with every new article. This job is just going to get better and better.
I see myself at seven, ten, fifteen, and twenty-one, sitting in a silent, dark house with a single candle burning on my desk - dreaming, hoping, and longing for my life to follow a course that will fulfill my deep wishes. I can't bring myself to dread this grueling week of writing because I cannot tune out its testament that God is who He says He is and His promises are true. What joy.