Last night was a lot of fun, and I think it was a moment of realization for me. I realized that I made my Catholic faith out to be something that its not, and it was never supposed to be. I made it a wall around my heart, a wall that kept love out. I had made it so that I couldn’t possibly be around people who weren’t like me. I made it a source of shame. I was too ashamed of my conversion to stay connected in my old circle, or I was too ashamed to be seen in my old circle. In any case, I was wrong.
Surprisingly, virtually everyone was there last night. It was almost “magical”. Only two were missing: Amanda is Ghana, and Ness already had another engagement. Otherwise, everyone from our 2006-2007 freshman circle was there. A lot has changed. There are four marriages, one engagement, and I’m sure one close to engaged couple. Despite these changes, and despite my absence for the last two years, it felt that all was the same again. The people I cut off haven’t cut me off. They talked to me, laughed with me, reminisced with me as if I had never been gone. It was a complete Prodigal Son moment for me, and I was really sad that I had selfishly and foolishly missed out on the last two years. I was sad that I had found the greatest thing in the world and was too selfish to share that with them, that I failed to live it before their eyes.
But we always get a chance to start again. We always get the chance to cover old wounds, to let bygones be bygones and to forge a new trail. The mercy of God runs deep and there isn’t a single area of life that it cannot heal. I’ve heard this for a long time from one of my friends, but I didn’t believe him or want to believe him. I wasn’t ready. But I am now. I’m ready. I’m ready to come back into that circle. I’m ready to admit that they were all one of the most important things of my life when I came to NDSU.