In 2009 I graduated from Mac with a BA in Religious Studies. I moved to Toronto that summer to begin a Masters of Theological Studies in International and Urban Development with Wycliffe College. My 3 years at Wycliffe were incredibly formative (as were my years at McMaster) in my journey of vocation and faith. I spent 6 months in San Jose, Costa Rica, doing an internship with an organization that supported women who wished to exit the sex trade, but did not have the resources to do so. That experience was life-changing for me and it was that internship that further paved the way to my pursuit of social work.
I graduated from Wycliffe in 2012 and went on to work as a front-line worker in various Salvation Army shelters for men in the downtown core of Toronto. After 4 years of working front line, I felt that God was leading me to move in “deeper” with this population. I applied to a Masters of Social Work program and I began the 2 year program at Laurier last September. My husband and I moved back to Hamilton as I will be a placement student at the Aboriginal Health Centre for my last year of school. I’m continually excited to see where God leads me through the next year as I graduate and begin looking for work.
The past 10 years can be summarized by so many good things yet so many hard things. God is good, God is consistent, God challenges and purifies, God comforts; always.
I enjoyed living in residence at Wycliffe college, where I developed life-long friendships with people I’m honoured to walk with. I met my favourite human at a Church community breakfast and we got married in 2015. Marriage is crazy, it is joyful, it is purifying [through God’s grace], it is challenging, and it is awesome. I’m grateful for my partnership with Jared and all of the ways in which our marriage has been shaping us both. I’m grateful for the ways in which my communities and my relationship with God bring joy into the seasons of my life.
When I moved to Toronto in 2009 I became introduced to, and slowly became part of, The Sanctuary Community (check it out: http://sanctuarytoronto.ca/who-we-are/). The nature of this Church community is unlike any other I had experienced before and it has radically challenged, shaped and enriched my journey of faith and relationship with God. Sanctuary is a community that was formed to be a space where everyone but particularly those who are marginalized and excluded in society can find a welcoming space to worship and form friendships.
God has challenged and enriched my understanding of The Good News through this community. I believe that those who have experienced deep suffering, deep regret and/or the stronghold of addiction can have a far more profound grasp of God’s grace, forgiveness, goodness and comfort, than I ever could. Seeing the Gospel through the eyes of my friends in this community has given my faith new life. I am ever-grateful to God for my friends there and for the lessons He continues to teach me.
Moving into a new season of life in Hamilton means a difficult transition out of the Sanctuary community. It’s been very hard to leave Sanctuary, but I trust that God will continue to challenge, enrich, and strengthen our engagement with the Word and the Church, wherever He leads us, thanks be to God!