Pushing, Leading, or Walking?

Before coming to TWU, I saw myself as the author of my own story and made decisions accordingly. I can honestly say that I never really stopped to consider whether or not God was pushing, pulling, leading or walking beside me. I was interested in studying politics and was well aware when making the decision of which university to attend, that the next 4 years of my education could be shaped in very different ways according to the biases of the professors and of the school that I chose to attend. Since the possibility of finding a completely objective school and professor seemed impossible, I had to begin the process of discerning where my inevitable educational bias should stand. TWU was, in a way, my “solution” to the dilemma of which educational institution in possession of a bias would my next four years be shaped in. In fact, its Christ-centeredness was something I was (and am!) proud to have fused into my understanding of politics and the world.

During my time at TWU, friends and I would swap notes about our experiences at different institutions. Certain friends would talk about their experience at other universities in the 100+ students lecture halls, and sometimes I would be a little jealous. Giant lecture halls would have allowed me to stay anonymous, to listen to the class and then leave unnoticed. Fortunately, anonymity within the educational sphere was not a reality that would be mine. TWU’s small class sizes invited me to engage critically with the course opinions and pushed me to create my own opinions and to actively participate in the learning process. The professors and students in my small French and Political Science classes acted as the living catalysts I needed to further explore politics, and even my faith.

I had plans to take my studies further and travel parts of West Africa and Europe with Canadian Mennonite University in my third year. However, only two months prior to the trip I fell off a horse and injured my right leg. Backpacking on crutches seemed like a less-than-ideal plan, and yet, I felt an inexplicable sense that this was the right thing to do. I went, injured leg and all, and I will never forget the things we observed beyond the Political Science classroom classes! Hobbling along on a cane (I quickly ditched the crutches), I encountered my own vulnerability and glimpsed the heart of those who would stop to chat or slowly walk beside me, as we each leaned into this opportunity to acknowledge our dependence on the other and on God.

Social, economic and political dependence became a theme in my life that I continued to reflect upon as I returned to regular classes at TWU. Classroom discussions and course assignments held more weight now that I had friends living in poverty and political insecurity. I wrestled with a sense of despair at the number of people around the world dependent on their corrupt leaders for even life’s basic necessities. Throughout my studies of politics at TWU and at the Laurentian Leadership Centre in Ottawa, however, I had the opportunity to witness quality leaders who gave me great hope for political freedom and security at home and abroad.

Spring 2015 I officially graduated from Trinity Western University. While I know I have already forgotten a lot of the information covered in the courses I have taken over the years, I know that there are lessons from both within and beyond TWU that I will never forget. The knowledge of what to do with information, how to act upon and process it, is a tool I utilize daily both locally and internationally and believe to be very valuable. Choosing to study at TWU was definitely a large investment for me, and yet, now that my time here is complete, I am more mindful of the large investment of time others gave to me. I’ll be honest, today I still don’t know whether God is pushing, leading or walking beside me. My university education didn’t help me figure that question out. What it did help me discover, however, is that whether pushing, leading or walking beside me, He is never far off.