Colorado Recap

It wasn’t that long ago that the mere sight of a mountain far off in the distance made me want to slam my brakes and stare at the snowy peaks for hours. Now, two months later, the large masterpieces that stand proudly in the distance have become a normal, albeit awe-inspiring, part of my life.

It’s hard to believe that today I begin my last week working at FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) in Colorado. As dramatic as it might sound, I’m not exaggerating when I say that it has been the most fruitful, amazing summer I’ve ever had. Every single day was filled with beautiful sights, crazy adventures, and fun, loving relationships.

A Look Back on Summer ’19

I’ve shared pictures here and there on social media of our adventures here in Colorado, but I haven’t really taken the time to write out how much this summer has meant to me. It’s been a whirlwind, and the other interns and I have been told that our social lives sound “exhausting,” but what else are you supposed to do when you only have two months in a place like Colorado? Here’s a short recap of the highlights of Summer 2019:

Life at FOCUS

At work, I get to spend time with some of the most loving, passionate people I’ve ever met. I am doing work that benefits the mission of FOCUS, and everyday we have the option to participate in Rosary, mass, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and a half hour of prayer in the chapel.

I don’t know what I did to deserve such an insanely wonderful group of interns, but we have all become friends incredibly fast. The friendships we have formed are deep, authentic, and so life-giving. I have no way to explain it except as a sweet, beautiful gift from God. They have showed me what it means to love authentically and selflessly, strive for sainthood everyday, make every situation fun, and live out our call as sons and daughters of God. They love me so well, and I can only hope that I’ve done the same for them. We’re all moving back to our own corners of the country (or to Belize — ahem, Taryn) this week, but I know I have plenty of memories and inside jokes to hold onto long after we’ve all gone our separate ways.

Adventures

Imagine this: every Saturday you wake up early in the morning to meet anywhere from 6 to 14 pals to adventure with. One weekend it’s a camping trip (with tents, the “old fashioned way”) in another state; the next weekend, it’s a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park to hike the longest and highest you’ve ever gone. Yep, that’s been my life for the past two months. Every single weekend was jam packed with adventure. If we weren’t hiking a mountain, we were singing along around a campfire. If we weren’t on another road trip, we were making dinner together at someone’s house. We hiked, we kayaked, we cooked, and we sang all summer long. I could never explain all of the adventures we had together, but here are the highlights:

  • Camping trip to Sugarite Canyon State Park in New Mexico
  • Weekend spent hiking (and summit-ing Mt. Ida!) in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Countless dinners and jam sessions by the fire and at each other’s houses
  • Ft. Collins and Horsetooth Resevoir with Liv
  • Rocky Mountain National Park and downtown Denver with Ryan

Every single day, I fell asleep (and continue to fall asleep) feeling exceptionally grateful. God has showered me with blessings at every single turn, and I feel so completely unworthy of it all. I guess that’s the most beautiful part, though, isn’t it? I am so unworthy of this summer and of this beautiful life, yet God chooses to give it to me anyway.

I am extremely sad to leave this place and these people. I know a part of my heart will always be here in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. At the same time, I’m excited to take the many blessings and lessons I’ve learned this year back home to my family, friends, and fiance. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me and my summer with FOCUS. I ask that you continue to pray for FOCUS and their mission as they reach the hearts of college students all over the world!


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