My name is Nikita Nathan and I’m a senior Speech Pathology major from Euless, Texas. I’m also in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Program and work at the Piper Child Development Center as a teacher’s assistant for a class of two-year-olds. I love the hot weather, sweet tea, and getting lost in a juicy book.
I grew up practicing Catholicism with my parent in the way most kids do. We went to Church every Sunday, saying Grace before meals, attending VBS every summer, and going to a private Catholic school. In high school I started attending a public school for the first time, and had to make more of an effort to be involved with Teen Life. My parents insisted that I attend all the events offered at church, but I dreaded going simply because I didn’t feel like it was an efficient use of my time. My parents told me that once I was Confirmed I could do whatever I please regarding church. So I was enrolled in the coming Confirmation class, thinking that I will just get this out of the way so my parents would leave me alone.
The Confirmation program was the first of many things that would change my life. Through this program and retreat, I made friends with those who shared the same faith as me and experienced the same things I did. I came to appreciate the presence of a real Catholic community for the first time and I was hooked.
For the rest of my high school life, I continued to be involved in Church with the friends I made through the Confirmation program, and I’m still good friends with most of those people today.
When I came to college, I found St. Peter’s the first Sunday after moving in , and proceeded to go to 9pm mass every Sunday night. I didn’t know anyone, and no one introduced themselves to me. I don’t know why I continued to go to mass every Sunday night, but it just felt like the thing to do.
Like many other college girls, I would go out Thursday, Friday, Saturday night and attempt to find fulfillment in “friends” and boys and alcohol. I would still go to mass every Sunday night, but I would compartmentalize my activities into “Faith Life” and “Everything Else.” In the Spring of my freshman year, I started dating this guy, and all our relationship consisted of was drinking and partying. He kept trying to make me say “I Love You” to him. And when I wouldn’t say it in return, he would get angry and try to manipulate me into doing so. It is an understatement to say that it was an unhealthy relationship.
Looking back, I can see that I was looking for that Catholic community that I experienced in high school, but I was searching in the wrong places. Even in my relationship with my boyfriend, I felt absolutely unfulfilled, which is why I would not say that I loved him.
Then I went on Bear Awakening 9. Oh my goodness.
On this amazing retreat, I had the opportunity to take a good hard look at my faith life and how it overflows into the rest of my life. Over that weekend, I finally felt loved. I felt fulfilled by the love of God through the community I found in those I came to know that weekend.
After Awakening, I broke up with my boyfriend and immersed myself in the St. Peter’s community. There is nothing more amazing to me then being able to walk the journey of life with friends who go through the same temptations and have the same vices to struggle with. It’s so uplifting to have the supportive community that the Catholic faith encompasses.
Through my past couple of years, embracing the Catholic faith, I have encountered forever friendships, love, and a net to catch me when I feel like I’m falling. This community pushes me to pursue my relationship with Christ in a real and applicable way.
Before I thought I could make the journey alone.
Now I know that having a community to support me is invaluable in making the journey.