Senior Spotlight: Stephanie Swick
Each and every member of Axiom holds a special place in the heart of the ministry. Whether you are a part of the leadership team,serve on campus with us, join us for retreats, or just worship with us Thursday nights, your presence makes a difference, and when you leave, you are missed. We want to give our graduating seniors the opportunity to speak their wisdom into our lives, and give our underclassmen the chance to meet, and be influenced by, the students who have come before them. (If you’re a part of Axiom and graduating this spring, please send us an email!)
Put in the simplest terms, God used Axiom to save my faith.
I’m a senior (really?!?!?!?!?!) at Axiom. By now, I’ve been playing on the worship band for almost 3 years and this past year, I had the great opportunity of being the worship and missions intern. Looking back on my college experience, I really can’t imagine what it would have been like without the great community I’ve found at Axiom. I’ve spent amazing weekends learning cool things about God with these people. I’ve had some crazy awesome conversations, lead worship for thousands, handed out water bottles, raked leaves, sat around bonfires, cried, gone on road trips, had coffee, and celebrated holidays….to name a few. And soon, I’ll be experiencing what it is to be Jesus’ hands and feet in Romania with 15 of them. Because of the community I found at Axiom, I have been able to truly transform and grow in my faith in Jesus.
Funny to think that at the beginning of it all, I was pretty hesitant. When I transferred to U of I from Seattle Pacific University as a sophomore, I was running. I’d spent my previous year (at a Christian university) running from Christ’s call to be an active follower. I was struggling with my feelings about the Church that had caused a lot of heartbreak during high school. I wanted little to do with the Church, though I couldn’t reject God all together. Basically, I was trying to live with no convictions and no consequences. I wasn’t failing out of school or partying every night. I just wasn’t living for anything meaningful. And I kinda liked it. I came to Axiom willing to sit in the chairs and listen, but not willing to get up and do something. Funny how things change.
As I started attending Axiom weekly, I was reminded of some important things. I began to remember the value of having community and I started learning exactly why Christians are called to look different than this world. Not long after I started going regularly, I somehow found myself playing piano for the worship band. I was still hesitant to truly engage in worship, still hesitant to really give God my heart in praise or truly plug in to a community, but He found a way to get me to stay. I’ve found that some of my most fantastic moments with God have happened through music. This was completely true of the way God started to work in me. As the year continued, I found myself building community, worshiping God and actually applying his teaching to my life. Much of my Junior year and basically all of Senior year, I joined the worship planning team and began actually designing services. I became passionate again, not only about music, but about making sure that the music we were playing was worship. I’m not sure that there are many things greater than worshiping God with music. And at the end of these few years, I have felt myself being awakened.
So, what’s next? In some recent conversations with fellow seniors, we’ve discussed the difficulty of telling this part of our story. I’m an English major. Why? Because it was the quickest route to graduation. I love literature, but I’m not planning to invest my life into it. As of this moment, I’m planning to head to Nashville for the summer to work with an Anti-slavery organization to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking. I’ll be working specifically with trafficking in Nashville, though it’s a problem everywhere. I am more than excited to begin serving and fighting for justice for the oppressed. This is something Jesus fought for too. As I imagine what this future will look like, I just stand in awe of what God has done to bring me here.
As excited as I am for the next chapter, I’m getting really sad about leaving my Axiom family. They are a group of movers and shakers who are gonna make cool things happen on this campus. I’m just a little jealous that I won’t be around to see it all happen. I also want to echo the advice given by last semester’s Axiom alum, Michelle Husz. If you want to get involved at Axiom, just do it. Axiom is place that relies a great deal on the gifts, time and abilities of its students. If you have gifts you want to share or see a need, fill it! Sharing in that kind of community, and seeing awesome things come from it is seriously one of the most valuable experiences you’ll get from your college experience. And it’s this community that gets me pumped to see what Axiom will look like in a couple years. Can’t wait!
So Much Love!
Stephanie Swick, Graduated: May 2011