STEGGY STORIES TEACH EMPATHY
About two or three times each semester, 50-60 Stegenga Hall residents come together on Saturday mornings to eat pancakes, drink coffee and listen to other women share their stories of struggle and the impact that God has had on their lives.
Madison Godfredsen, the discipleship coordinator in Steggy, helped create this casual time for testimonies called “Steggy Stories.”
“We used to do what was called ‘Lobby Lessons’,” Godfredsen said, “where women around campus and the community would give their testimonies or life advice within Steggy. We really liked the concept but decided to change it in order for women living in the dorm to provide their own stories.”
Each “Steggy Stories” session lasts for about an hour, and two to three women within the dorm give their narratives while others listen.
Godfredsen stated that some of the women delivering their stories volunteer while others are asked to share their powerful testimonies.
Previous speakers have shared past struggles and trials, or how they have seen God’s redemption and overcome various difficulties during their years at Northwestern. By inviting Steggy residents to hear about the speaker’s background and situation, aspects of which may be similar to their own, listeners are able to relate to and appreciate the speaker more.
Steggy Resident Director Celeste Ryan believes that “Steggy Stories” has been an excellent way to cultivate community within the dorm. “There’s something about eating pancakes in your pajamas on a Saturday morning that feels like home and family,” Ryan said. “I love that we do that together a couple times a semester.”
Ryan also talked about the power of listening to other people’s stories and being vulnerable within a community. She said that these stories allow Steggy women to realize that they are not the only ones with hard experiences, teaching them how to better empathize with others.
“Knowing the experiences of others gives us a better understanding of who people are and what things shape them,” Ryan said. “We learn so much about who God is together as we hear stories of his faithfulness.”
Godfredsen recognizes that the environment of “Steggy Stories” enables Steggy residents to be more intentional about building relationships with one another.
“The testimonies being given show how God is working within the lives of multiple people, and I like hearing how everyone has their own story from the same God,” Godfredsen said.
Godfredsen also explained that “Steggy Stories” is not closed off to the rest of campus.
“The ladies of Fern or the apartments and complexes are also welcomed to come to these events if they would like,” Godfredsen said.