By Katy Vanderkwaak
There are so many new things all the time in the Capital Fellows program so far. I love it. I am always going somewhere, meeting new people, seeing historic sights, riding the metro, and then figuring out how to make all of it feel normal. The day-to-day life can be a lot to process along with everything we have been learning about Christ through the seminary classes we are taking.
Learning to love and being image-bearers are two things that have been brought up in almost every class (other than Jesus and grace, of course). These are really important things that I do not dwell on nearly enough. In the past three weeks, we have truly been learning who to love and how to love. We read the book “You Are What You Love” by James K.A. Smith that brought to light how Christ should be our ultimate love because we are shaped by what we truly love. If He is not our foundation, we idolize the things of the world, which are temporary and do not satisfy our souls’ need for Christ. This has challenged me to identify what I love, to question where I find my worth, and reevaluate the things my heart clings to in everyday life.
Secondly, we have been studying what it means for us to be image bearers of God. This has always been a huge concept for me to wrap my mind around. I am amazed at how the Creator of the universe, in His love and grace, wants us to rule over and cultivate the earth that He made, despite all the ways we constantly mess up. It’s humbling to know that God uses us in our brokenness to bear His image and live for His glory. As individual reflections of our perfect, loving, holy Father, we are called to be excellent in the work that we do. We get to be a part of the work that God is doing in the world. I have been learning to love all the various tasks that make up the Fellows program. They are all so meaningful and I know that they strive to teach us more about our relationship to God and each other. It's amazing to see how the Lord is already changing my heart to be closer to His.
Even just three weeks in, this program can be a lot at times, but being rooted in Christ, I know that the Lord is using this year to shape me and the rest of the fellows to live lives full of grace and truth.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Capital Fellow Class of 2019
Graduate of the University of Alabama
Pictures from the Week