Senior Reflection: Hannah Wamhoff

Processed with VSCO with b5 presetI came to Northwestern wary of Christianity. Although I grew up in a Christian family and was saved at a young age, I came in as a freshman with a lot of skepticism and even cynicism about organized religion. I had seen and experienced spiritual abuse and hypocrisy in the church, so I was very unsure of what my commitment to the church would be during college. 

However, God has used those experiences and my skepticism in transformative ways and shown me what authentic Jesus-followers look like through my theatre professors and peers. This year in particular, the fall retreat, the middle school retreat, and my SSP to Compton had incredible impacts on me and how I view God. I understand better than ever that God does not expect perfection but desires authenticity. As the song “Pieces” by Bethel goes, “You don’t give Your heart in pieces/You don’t hide Yourself to tease us/Uncontrolled, uncontained/Your love is a fire, burning bright for me” God’s love is all-consuming, unconditional, and redemptive. 

It has been this redemptive, powerful love of God that became the resounding theme from my time here at NWC. Mistakes, pain, loss, hurt, are all transformed by God’s redemption. I used to believe that redemption was the one-time event that happened with Christ on the cross, but I’ve learned that redemption is an ongoing force in the world, wherein God restores and transforms his people for the building of his Kingdom. 

One person who really showcased the authenticity of God’s redemptive love in the past few years is Julie Vermeer Elliot. She is my all-time hero and has been a huge source of support for me. She’s walked alongside some of my toughest journeys without ever judging me or shaming me but rather cheering me on to restoration, health, and community. She’s set such an example for being a Godly and female leader and I so appreciate her contributions to my journey and to our community at large. 

After graduation, I’ll be making the terrifying transition to adulting in Orlando, FL. There’s so much uncertainty surrounding post-grad life, but God keeps gently reminding me that He has provided my every need during college and He’ll only continue to provide for my needs and surround me with a community of support and love. It’s not easy to trust Him in new and unknown territory, but I’m so much better for it when I surrender to Him. 

As for my remaining days at NWC, I’m looking forward to spending the last few weeks living in the moment and finding the joy and love in every situation. Even though graduation is bittersweet, I want to actively seek “King-sightings” and relish in the joy of our God. It is through His love and strength alone that I made it thus far, and I look forward to seeing how He continues to transform my life. 

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