‘Glory to God!!’
Most people know that I’m a Tar Heel grad. I attended UNC Chapel Hill for undergrad. Few people, though, know that I received my Master’s Degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. Although the campus is located in Marion, IN (about an hour north of Indy), I completed my degree just right across the bridge in New Albany. It was a great experience because we were in a cohort with the same people throughout the program, all class dates were set in advance and our books were mailed directly to us. The added bonus was that IWU is a Christian University so we opened every class with prayer. For once in my life, it was acceptable to be in an educational setting while also discussing your faith.
The only time I went to Marion (previously) was to get my degree in 2002. I continued to get literature from them over the years. Sometimes I would glance at the them, other times it went straight to the trash. I enjoyed my experience but I wasn’t able to build that strong attachment.
Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from IWU. They read some information about me online and wanted to set up a meeting. Cool. During the meeting they asked about my life experience and about my passion for helping others. At the end of the discussion, they let me know that they wanted to honor me with the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award at their Homecoming Banquet. Me? Wow! Big things poppin’!
I drove to Marion to the service both humbled, curious and nervous. I walked on this beautiful, I mean simply amazing, campus. What was this all about? I quickly looked at the program. Those being honored were two reverends, a chaplain, a Bishop – and ME! Something just doesn’t seem right. The program started and God’s presence was definitely in the room. As they called my name, I walked on the stage and listened to my description. And then it hit me. I was being recognized for being one of God’s servants and my dedication to helping others. A friend of mine helped me realize this in a conversation earlier that week. He asked about the things I like to do, after discussion he said ‘I see, you really just like people. Even when you take pictures I can tell you enjoy what you’re doing’. Indiana Wesleyan University helped me further realize this. Philippians 4 says: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.’ ‘Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’ There’s only one word to really say to the experience ‘Amen’!
M.Y. October 2008