By Allan Kiplagat

BSE 2016
Software Engineer at Google
Mountain View, CA

After graduating in 2016 and getting the job of my dreams, I felt like I had made it.

I had leaned much on God for help in getting a Duke degree and a job, and now that both had happened, I turned to him less and less. I still knew God was important, but allowed other worldly goods to compete for priority with him.

One year into my job that was no longer so dreamy, a deep emptiness overwhelmed me. The pursuit of a successful career that had so intrigued me no longer felt worthwhile. I kept thinking, “Does this work even matter?” Thanks be to God for giving me the grace to realize that my neglected relationship with him was at the heart of my dissatisfaction.

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
– St. Augustine’s Confessions

I started going to Mass at a local parish and found out that they had Encounter Christ Small Groups. Recalling having a great experience in Duke’s Small Groups, I joined one, and that decision turned out to be a pivotal point in my faith journey.

Every week, I heard how my friends were seeing God at work in their lives; their personal stories of encounters with Christ helped me understand that God desired to have a relationship with me…that he loved me and was eagerly waiting for my reciprocating love.

“But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
– Romans 5:8

Many Small Group meetings later, God continues to reveal his love through these friends; they journeyed with me to the sacrament of Confirmation in 2018 and continue to walk with me as I prepare for the sacrament of Marriage in a few weeks.

How blessed I am to have these people! I pray that God blesses you, dear reader, with such friends for the journey who can help illumine God’s love for you on this side of heaven as we eagerly await the full experience of his love in the afterlife.

“At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
– 1 Corinthians 12-13