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“FOR IT IS IN GIVING THAT WE RECEIVE”

October 22, 2018

I went with my friend Sarah to the “Kickoff Cookout” in the parking lot of the JPII Newman Center my freshman year of college. Little did I know that I was walking into God’s perfect plan for my life. While there, Sarah ran into her friend Anna who was friends with Molly who leads a FOCUS Bible Study. I knew that when I entered college I wanted to join a Bible Study so I asked Molly if Sarah and I could join hers. She smiled and said “yes.”

Molly always took the time to hang out with us outside of Bible Study to make sure we knew that she wasn’t just our Bible Study leader, but also our friend.

From left to right: Sarah Kreber, Molly Fitzpatrick, Anna Finger, and me.

Whenever Molly lead prayer before Bible Study I was always inspired by her and filled with peace. Molly knew who the Lord was because she spent time with Him daily. She told us once that He is her peace amidst the craziness of everyday life. I yearned for that peace.

The first semester we did “The Crux” Bible Study which explores Adam and Eve and who we are as children of God in His Church. The second semester we did “Story of Salvation” which is about God’s covenant with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, and us. Through attending these Bible Studies, I began to see my identity as a beloved daughter of God. I also learned that God is faithful even when I am not.

I can still remember watching She’s the Man as a “fun day” in Bible Study. Laughing and forming lifelong relationships with my Sisters in Christ has forever changed me. I was always waiting for Bible Study every week because once I stepped into that study room I found peace and I was able to be myself. I was surrounded by people who cared about what I had to say and who cared about me.

My first year of college Molly asked me to go grab coffee with her on campus and she asked me into discipleship. At first, I didn’t understand what it was, but I began to realize that wasting time with Molly and telling her how my week was going was healing me and making me more holy.

I now disciple two girls named Erin and Madison who show me every day how good the Lord is. It has been so beautiful to walk with them in friendship and to see the virtuous women we are becoming together. There is nothing more priceless than the free gift of authentic friendship.

From left to right: Me, Erin Jones, Madison Richter-Egger

I led a Bible Study my sophomore year using the same two Bible Studies (“The Crux” and “Story of Salvation”) with three consistent beloved daughters of the Father, including my two disciples.

From left to right: Erin Jones, Madison Richter-Egger, Teresa Wier, me.

I remember one moment in particular last year when I decided to lead Lectio Divina on John 15 for Bible Study. It was the last Bible Study of the school year and I had invited my best friend to come. As we dove into God’s Word I could feel the Holy Spirit among us. We all joined hands during the ending prayer and I was so grateful to have met and formed relationships with these women.

There is something so powerful about recognizing your own littleness when you lead a Bible Study. Last year I would pray the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi before every Bible Study I led to remind myself that I was a channel of God’s peace and not God himself. “For it is in giving that we receive”. Oh, how true this statement is.

Lauren Kopp

Junior, UNO | Parishioner, St. John Paul II Newman Center | Resident, Newman Hall

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