Senior Q&A: Beth Benschoter

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What attribute of God has been the most evident in your time at NWC?

In the past four years at Northwestern God’s faithfulness has been overwhelmingly evident. When I look back on my time here, I see the ways in which God has orchestrated every detail to lead to the plans he has for me, with every event and life decision effortlessly connecting to the next before I was even made aware of the opportunities that would be presented to me. When I chose Northwestern, I had a lot of hesitations about the cost, the location, and my major. Despite every hesitation I had, God continued to lead me to Northwestern. I started my time at Northwestern as a Social Work/Youth Ministry double major and a member of the softball team. I remember feeling so confused most of my freshman year because I was at the place God had clearly brought me to, but I wasn’t enjoying my classes and even after playing softball for 13 years of my life, I struggled to find the same passion for the sport and a sense of belonging on the team. I began praying for the things I thought I needed like affirmation, passion, and a sense of belonging. However, I wasn’t expecting God to completely change the trajectory of my college experience through these prayers.

At the end of my first year, I was offered a youth ministry internship at American Reformed Church, literally by the grace of God, which was not even a little bit a part of my plan. I had already accepted a position in Campus Ministry for my sophomore year, so that summer I prayed for discernment about whether or not to accept the internship, knowing that if I accepted it I would have to quit the softball team because I wouldn’t have time to do all three. It became clear very quickly that this was where God was leading me. When I came back to school in the fall, I met with my coach and hung up my cleats, closing the door on my softball career. I also dropped my social work major and continued as a youth ministry major. Throughout my sophomore year, I realized that this closed door was the beginning of my future, and as I look back at it now it was in this single act of obedience that God opened up a multitude of doors for my future.

After my sophomore year of working on CMT, I discovered a love for pouring into my peers and into the NWC community. I decided to apply for an RA position in Steg, where I have worked for the past two years. In these two years as an RA, God’s faithfulness has sustained me and caused me to fall so in love with residence life and student development. Now, as I am anticipating graduate school in the fall for a Master’s in Higher Education & Student Affairs. I look back at the journey that led me to this point and stand in awe of how God gave me so many opportunities to say yes to his plan, not knowing what it would eventually grow to be. I can reflect on these events with confidence that God has been and always will be faithful when I remain obedient to his voice.

In what ways is God challenging you to grow now?

As I prepare to move on from Northwestern, God has been challenging me to dig in deeper with those around me and begin to reflect on the ways he has transformed me over the last four years. I cherish Northwestern deeply, and as God is preparing me to move on, he is challenging me to think about what it means to move forward and discern how to use the lessons I have learned throughout my time at Northwestern to continue to grow deeper and form new community in the next chapter of life.

How has your view of God changed or been strengthened since coming to NWC?

My view of God has definitely become more holistic since coming to NWC. I think before I got here, my view of God was limited to an understanding of my personal relationship with God, but lacking an understanding of the powerful, missionally minded God of the universe. My experiences with SSPs really changed my view of God. My sophomore year, on an SSP to Amsterdam, I became aware of the vastness of the Kingdom. I was amazed by the work that God was doing all over the world and began to truly

understand what it means to be the Church in the world. We were able to join with people from all different countries to share the Gospel with travelers and hear about the ways God is working in so many areas of the world. This trip taught me that the same God that is working in my personal life, is aggressively at work in every corner of our world, too. Being a part of the Northwestern community invites us into the lives of others to experience our God at work in so many ways outside of ourselves. To summarize this change I would say that I came into Northwestern open to God changing my heart and pulling me closer to him. Now, I’m leaving Northwestern excited to participate in God’s work in the world because of the joy and love of God that I have experienced in my personal faith walk at Northwestern.

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