You are enough.
The first time I heard those words it felt like water was flowing over and through and all around my parched soul. I could finally fully inhale and feel like I had a place in this world just for existing.
You, yes, actually and truly, are enough.
Ever since I was little, I believed that I would change the world. I knew that I was different than other people in this way and that made me want to be the best version of myself that I could be, so I could accomplish those dreams.
High school happened, and I unconsciously shut down that part of me to limit attracting any unwarranted attention to myself if I could help it. I always felt different than everyone else, so making myself smaller was a simple solution to that. I had never felt so low in my life upon coming to high school, and I felt like I was being stripped of my identity every time I stepped into school. I slowly became whittled down into an inconsequential piece of wood on the floor of the bullies’ wood shop.
While this was happening, a depression that I could not even fathom began to cover me like a slow-moving cloud comes across a clear sky. My repressed desires to be different were slowly yet surely suffocating me. I could not live up to the dreams I had no matter how hard I tried. It was like I was sharing my body with someone else who was relentless in destroying my own dreams (no matter how unrealistic they were).
To be honest, this depression has only recently started to lift. For far too long I have been pushed into the cold, hard ground for the sake of meeting these expectations to be my perfect self. Only in the past 9 months have I really begun to recognize that Jesus is the one who knows me, who says, “I made you in my version of perfection from the start. Oh my beautiful daughter, you, yes, actually and truly, are enough.”
It is so profoundly powerful when you realize that Jesus is crazily and wildly okay with you – no, fascinated with you - no matter what you do. Even if you are at your lowest, or in your doubts, in your anger, or in your betrayal. It comes down to letting Jesus love you and refusing to let your shame push you into the darkest of places. But don’t worry – if you’re in that place right now, in this moment He is bringing you back home.
Every day is a fight against my shame and my expectations of perfection, but all I know is that there is never going to be a time when Jesus doesn’t show up to fight that battle for me. There’s nothing that His grace won’t do.
So hear me, even if it is for the first time in this post - you, yes, actually and truly, ARE enough.
Ice cream fanatic, Future doctor, Book nerd
"The picture is from this past week at Clear Lake, IA over the 4th of July! Watching the sunset on the lake is one of the places where I hear Jesus tell me that I am enough and where I see His beauty and power so clearly." - Mollie Sherman
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- Urbana 2018 // December 27th - January 1st // St. Louis, Missouri // InterVarsity invites you to join over 13,000 students in worship. You'll get to hear amazing speakers, mingle with over 250 missions organizations (both international and global), and dive into the book of Revelation. Click the graphic below for more details!
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Have you ever been in a class where you know you’re supposed to be paying attention but can’t? Maybe the room’s too warm and the lights are dimmed to the perfect napping conditions. Or, perhaps, there’s a big beautiful window across from where you’re sitting and you just can’t help but stare out into the calming, chaotic world outside. I want you all to take a moment to think back to a specific time where you were in this sort of environment. Imagine the lights. The temperature. The thing you focused your attention on the most. Close your eyes and remember that moment.
Can you see it? Good.
Now remember what the lecture was about. Can you recall any specific details from it? Not what was going on in the power point slide, but what the teacher was actually saying. Most of you probably can’t. You’ll probably find that you missed out on the important things you were supposed be learning in the lecture. Why? Because you were distracted.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone in your distraction. Even people in Biblical times found themselves distracted from the important things. In Luke 10:38 – 42 we see how two sisters, Mary and Martha, listen to Jesus’ teachings. Mary continues to sit by Jesus throughout the whole time he’s with them. Martha on the other hand, takes it upon herself to serve her guests instead of listening to Jesus’ teachings. She becomes distracted by the little things within her environment instead of focusing on the one thing that is far more important than anything else she could be distracted by.
Like Martha, I often allow myself to get distracted by the little things in my environment. School. Friends. Social media. The list goes on and on. The more distractions I add, the more I can feel myself letting my faith take the backseat in my life. This is especially true during the summer time. When I should be listening to the teachings of Christ, I’m staring out the window watching the beautiful chaos ensue.
So how can we combat distractions?
One way is to get involved. Join a Life Group, a book club, or something else that can help stimulate your learning and exercise your faith. Becoming a part of a community is the best way to do so. Another thing you can do is take notes over the sermons you listen to. It may seem boring, but even just writing down the three most important points of the sermon, you’ll have something you can reflect on when the distractions are at their worst. It’s something I haven’t done since middle school, but if it means fighting off my distractions, it might just be worth it.
Dog lover, art enthusiast, author in training
- THIS WEEKEND // On June 30th you can join BASIC on a day trip to Decorah for just $10. This includes lunch, a tube float down the Iowa river, and transportation. Contact Andrea Pingel at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot! Click the graphic below for more information! #AllAreWelcome
- Looking for a Getaway? // Backus, Minnesota // Join us for a Summer Retreat to Lake Hattie July 9th -12th. There's fishing, swimming, boating, and more! Only $50 for lodging, food, and transportation. The fun you'll have while you're there? Priceless. Contact Carter Moore at email@example.com to sign up, and see the graphic below for more information!
- Take a Trip to Pella // Jet skiing, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and more! Invite your friends to come hangout at this free event. Contact Derek Kimball at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot! #SummerAdventures
- Missing BASIC? // Don't worry! BASIC is all summer long! Check out the graphic below for details!
- Want to get Involved?// Fight distractions by coming together as a community. Join a Life Group today!
- Urbana 2018 // December 27th - January 1st // St. Louis, Missouri // InterVarsity invites you to join over 13,000 students in worship. You'll get to hear amazing speakers, mingle with over 250 missions organizations (both international and global), and dive into the book of Revelations. The registration price goes up on July 1st, so make sure to register as soon as possible! Click the graphic below for more details!
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Hey guys. Hi. Hello there.
Summers are a funny thing. And not to be pessimistic, but I’m not really a fan. I find this particular season exhausting -- there’s just so much to understand: Ice cream is at its most vulnerable, yet also in the highest of demands, pumpkins are growing, but we’re not allowed to flavor lattes with them yet, and black skinny jeans with sweaters aren’t received by society very well.
But now that I’ve thoroughly given my two cents on the season we’re all in, listen to this relevant gem here while I do the same with the season that we’re individually in.
Currently, I’m paying a visit to a place where I tend to find the idea of our God a little unfathomable, or perhaps, doubtful. If you take a second, you can probably think of a similar place in your own life, whether it be a state of mind, or a physical place. I’m certain you’ll recognize it, but if not, just hit rewind until you find the part where there’s a lot of staring into space and questions you won’t ask yourself.
That place--I’m a frequent visitor.
Jesus, this is the part where I stop talking to you, and I get up early on Sundays, so I can catch my reflection, and watch myself stay home again this week, too. This is the part where I don’t know where my Bible is. It’s not gone, it probably just fell under the bed a few weeks ago, and I haven’t bothered to reach for it yet.
When David wrote Psalm 63 in the desert of Judah, there were probably a thousand other places he’d have rather been. We can probably relate, because as Christians we’ve all kind of capitalized on the desert as a symbol of despair. The place without water, where everything just really sucks.
Where is your desert? Are you there now? Or maybe on your way? Whatever the case, answer this: How long is your stay?
David’s body is giving out in the desert. He’s a king that has suddenly become very little. He’s scared. And he stares into space a lot. Still, he writes this:
“I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.”
David’s body is giving out in the desert. And yet he recalls a time in which this wasn’t the case. A time when he was in the sanctuary, with a great and powerful God. And suddenly, he remembered that not one person ever said that the sanctuary wasn’t mobile.
Screw the desert.
This is not the time to forget what God's done before because you’re skeptical of what He can do now.
So until the next Thursday evening on campus, if you find yourself in the desert, take a second to assess how deep you are in the sand--then establish and put in the work that is needed to get back to a new place--one where you’re confident in the water your great and powerful God will bring. The one where you have enough strength to know that you’re already in the sanctuary -- with God.
BASIC Prayer Team Leader
Dog lover, chai tea addict, A.A. Milne enthusiast.
- Summer BASIC // BASIC is all summer long! Check out the graphic below for details.
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Summer is approaching fast, and you know what that means. Change. Now, change isn’t really my thing and I’m sure at least some of you can relate. You may be moving your whole dorm room back to your homes. Your best friends may be leaving while you remain in Cedar Falls. You may be going overseas for 3 months. Whatever it may be, things are changing.
In the past I’ve struggled with change. It seems like whenever I move places, God doesn’t come with me. He seems to disappear altogether and it takes me days, weeks, even months to get in touch with Him again. And right when I find Him and things get comfortable, something else changes. This whole process is ongoing. It’s stuck in a continuous loop and… I’m tired. It’s exhausting. And I don’t want my life to be exhausting. It should be full of Life. So how can I.. how can WE make a change in how we handle change?
Friends, the answer is Jesus of course. Now, this seems like super simple. Mostly all of us have heard, “Jesus is with you wherever you go!” And man He sure is, but do you recognize that every day? Do you act like Jesus is with you every second of your lives? Heck, I sure don’t. It is for sure a daily decision you have to make. Every time you wake up in the morning you have to say to yourself, this day is for Him. You have to make your eyes open to what He has for you. And you have to know that no matter where you go in life, God is with you throughout all of it. He’s there when you fail a test. He’s there when a family member passes away. He’s there when you are at BASIC, sitting in those familiar seats. He’s there when you fill up your car with gas. He’s there for every..stinking..moment.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
He’s in our midst. He will show Himself. You just have to wake up and say, “My eyes are open for You, Jesus.” So please remember that this summer, friends. Even though you might not have that intentional friend that asks you for coffee every other week to talk about Jesus, know that God wants to talk to you all the time. Even though we won’t meet for BASIC every week, know that He goes beyond BASIC. And He goes beyond UNI. And He goes beyond the oceans you might be crossing. And He can go beyond the chained gates of any heart that wakes up and says, “Today is for you, Lord. And I know you’re in the midst of everything I do.” There is nowhere His Spirit won’t go. There is nowhere you can hide from His immense love for you.
So let’s get out there, and live this finals week, live this summer, and live this life for Jesus. Who’s with me?
UNI Sophomore (in 3 dayzz!!), thrift store expert, owner of 20 hats
- SUMMER FUN // BASIC hosts various events throughout the SUMMER--including LIFE GROUPS (click here to sign up!)! Check out the graphic below for details! #outdoors #fun #friends
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- URBANA CONFERENCE // December 27th - 31st // St. Louis Missouri // As Moriah Cooper shrieks, “This is a LIFE changing experience!!” Step out of your comfort zone with cultural musical worship, challenging teaching, and SO MANY PALS during Christmas Break. Email Tate or click on graphic below for more details!!
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a couple thursday nights ago, i was at BASIC. and i usually sit on the left, in the front row, four rows in, but this night i chose to sit by myself in the back. i was feeling kind of sad and was looking forward to simply sitting and listening to stories from spring break.
once the final story was shared, the band started the intro to the song “reckless love” and i was PUMPED. i’m honestly someone who is constantly worried about those around me and i was really really ready to focus on me and Jesus.
and then. out of NOWHERE -- i had to go to the bathroom. so bad.
it was almost as if my insides were screaming: BLADDER BLADDER BLADDER BLADDER.
i tried to convince myself to hold it -- cause honestly i’m pretty good at that.
but then it happened again: BLADDER BLADDER BLADDER.
i told myself that if i ran fast that i could make it to the bathroom and back before the end of the first verse of the song. so i sprinted.
and i went to the bathroom. and i noticed the faucet was left on…THAT’S WHY GOD HAD ME GO TO THE BATHROOM. #savewater #savetheearth
jk. but i did turn off the faucet. and i walked out of the bathroom.
and at the SAME TIME one of my pals was walking out the other bathroom.
he’s name was jack** (changed name for confidentiality reasons).
and i could tell that something was up. and that he wasn't okay.
long story short, jack and i ended up sitting in the hallway in lang. he told me about some really really hard family news that he had just found out and he hadn’t told anybody yet. he was honest. and real. it was definitely a conversation that the Holy Spirit knew that we both needed.
my point? JESUS USED MY BLADDER FOR HIS GLORY.
jk. but in all seriousness…
it is so powerful to take a step back and see how God’s timing is always perfect. (Isaiah 55:8-9) sometimes it might not make sense to us (aka: needing to go to the bathroom on the middle of your fav worship song). but, He is always up to something. He knows the bigger picture. and He knows exactly what each of HIs Children need (aka: a honest conversation in the middle of BASIC in the hall of lang).
soooo….here’s my encouragement:
pay attention to the little nudges that God puts on your heart. whether that’s to walk a different way to class or to call your mom or to bring your classmate a donut or to sit in a hallway with a friend.
and then engage in conversation. ask people how they, God's Child, are doing. tell them that Jesus cares about them.
or tell them that you, God's child, are having a hard day. that you need to hear some Truth. that you need a hug.
God works in the most unexpected, beautiful ways, friends.
pray that He would nudge you in new way today and then share stories of what He does!!!!
post-grad, enneagram type 2 wing 3, culver's cheeseballs eater (join me!!)
What's Happening? (Click on any of the graphics for more information!!)
- ONLY TWO WEEKS LEFT // Thursday, April 19 at 8pm // Lang Hall // Erica Fernandez, a senior communications major, will be teaching about how Jesus calls each of us! Challenge: bring someone NEW -- your group project members, your roommate, your coworker.
- HIGH SCHOOLERS // All high schoolers are welcome to Picnic on the Porch and/or BASIC. What an INCREDIBLE way to experience what it can look like to continue your relationship with Jesus in college!!
- FREE SUPPER // Thursday, April 19 at 6:30pm // 604 W. Seerley // BASIC students are opening their home to FEED YOU egg bake, toast, fruit, and juice. Plz come.
- SERVING AT A NURSING HOME // Saturday, April 21 at 9am // Click here to see how a few hours of your time can share God’s love with the folks at the nursing home!
- FREE LUNCH // Sunday, April 29 after 10:45a service // Orchard Hill Church // Picnic Party and BBQ. You will want to be there. ‘Nough said.
- FREE DONUTS // Sunday, April 29 from 10 - 10:45a // Nazareth Lutheran Church // Start off finals week by hanging out with Sara Rockow and Kristina McBurney in the Fellowship Hall between services!
- URBANA CONFERENCE // December 27-31 // St. Louis, Missouri // You don’t want to miss this. Incredible musical worship, speakers, and atmosphere. INVITE ALL YO FRIENDS. (Scholarships available! Email Tate.)