Anna Catherine Bradley: A Life Lived with an Open Heart

Anna Catherine

Anna Catherine's story can be defined as one of passion and devotion to finding her calling in life: "I've learned from experience that our faith is not about what titles we accomplish here on earth; our faith is about how God can be glorified and magnified, despite what false earthly things we have attained to find our worth or fulfillment."

Originally from Lubbock, Texas, Anna Catherine traded West Texas dirt mounds for some concrete buildings when she moved to the DBU campus four years ago. She grew up a part of a small family that she loves dearly. As she moved to DBU, she was expectant of what God would do throughout her college years, not knowing that God would exceed all her expectations.

Anna Catherine has been serving as a mentor in the new Ford Village housing community. Each mentor has the responsibility to live and disciple seven younger students, but they also enjoy doing fun activities together. Anna Catherine shares that the seven younger girls she mentored this past year were some of the boldest girls she has ever met, having grown in service and discipleship towards one another in their actions.

"This past year was quite the journey because it was the opening year for Ford Village. Chris Holloway, our director, my co-mentors and I, spent a lot of time dedicated to building the programmatic side of Ford Village. That being said, my favorite part of this year was Friday's at 10:00 a.m. when Chris and all of the mentors met up to encourage each other, share what we are thankful for, give advice from our discipleship experiences, and pray (and cry) on behalf of the students living in our homes. Getting to walk alongside this specific group of mentors allowed me to see men and women willingly choosing to die to themselves, their own preferences, their own sleep schedules and agendas, their own (truly) everything, and that gave my heart a better understanding of the great sacrifice Christ gave for us. This year was my most joyful year yet in my relationship with Christ because my heart was so sweetly softened to understand the truth of just how much we are loved by Jesus."

Anna Catherine looks forward to continuing mentoring students this coming school year and will graduate next May 2021 with an accelerated master's and B.A. degree in Communication Leadership. Seeing all of Anna Catherine's involvement and leadership, and when asked what her plans after graduation are, she stated her interest in policy/government work or the external relations side of non-profit work.

With the aim to grow professionally this summer, she started serving as an intern in the External Affairs division at Both Ends Believing, a global non-profit located in Plano, Texas, that utilizes software technology and collaboration with national governments to improve services to vulnerable children and connecting them with loving families.

She explains, "I specifically do communications and branding, along with event planning. At non-profits you wear more than one hat, and I love that type of responsibility. Also known as BEB, it is a one-of-a-kind non-profit because we have redefined what it looks like to effectively change the systematic root issue of child welfare within institutions and orphanages. To us, it begins with giving the children we work with the identity they deserve: every child really does matter."

However, by not having anything set in stone and after serving in various roles at DBU, she shares the deepest learning God has allowed her to experience.

"What I've come to realize is that if God asked me to pick up park trash, which no one will notice, instead of opening doors to my dream career that everyone will notice, then with a joyful attitude, I'll be the best park trash picker-upper there ever was! I want to be just as thankful to Him about getting my dream job as I would be about serving in the background. It sounds quite crazy, but I truly am so content with wherever I end up, and I am grateful to Him for His continuous work in my life and heart. Here's to job praying and hunting."

DBU is grateful and proud to have students like Anna Catherine who passionately care about others and who seek to use their talents to glorify God above everything else.

Written by Kathleen Sotomayor

Kathleen Sotomayor is a member of University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.