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The Familiar Melodies

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.


  1. Thank you for sharing this Catherine! I am so happy for you there are hardly words!

    And thank you for reminding me that sometimes God does indeed hear our prayers and delight in answering them as we have hoped :) I've truly needed to be reassured of that lately

    (p.s that song always gets me, how have we never watched LW together?)

  2. What joy, indeed (at seven, ten, fifteen, and twenty-one) for me to have seen you in that candle glow and felt the same way about God answering far beyond what I could have ever dreamed or imagined in the prayers for my own life.


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