I believe that success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm, by Leosi Kaloso

Unlike Alexis Guadalupe, who had been playing basketball since first grade, I had never even touched a basketball until I decided to play in an intramural league in the ninth grade.  My friends, who were on the team last year, motivated me to tryout. Therefore, after school I went to the tryouts and surprisingly, I saw most of my friends there. The head girl basketball coach, Coach Abigail Hare, had us do layups, free throws, running up the bleachers, three-point line shooting, two-point line shooting, and suicides. Then we had to run a couple of plays and I was so tired I could barely keep up with the other girls. I started breathing fast, my legs were shaking, and I could barely speak. I started to think that maybe basketball was not just for me. Also other girls told me that I was so weak to be able to play for the team, all those compliment really brought me down. When Coach Hare substituted me out with Molly Gonzales, my attitude transformed from happy into heart broken and aggravated. Molly was a year younger than I was; she had never played basketball before, but she was strong enough to run all the plays until the end of the tryout which I could not.

I told myself if she can do it, I can as well. I knew the next day of the try out was not going to be easy, but I had show up on time ready to go, I kept up with other players until the end of the tryout, I was supporting myself to never quit. My number one goal was to support and be there for myself. I never tried to be a a killer but a hard working fighter.

I believe in hard work and I told myself that there are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

The next day I heard that my name was on the team list.  I made the team! I was on my first school team! My teammates rushed up to me, high-fived and slapped me on the back. I announced this novel concept to my mother. She was proud of me. She hugged and kissed my head. She congratulated me and wished me the best. When I moved into the tenth grade, we played against Tremble Tech high school. I still had no concept of the game, but I was fast and played with hustle and enthusiasm, so I got some playing time. I fondly remember being able to jump high enough to get my fingers over the edge of the rim. Not so fondly, I remember the fateful day I jumped incredibly high to make a pass over the outstretched arms of the defenders and came down wrong on my foot.  I sprained my ankle. It instantly swelled up to about the size of a basketball.   This injury was painful and took weeks to recover from. That was the end of the season. I was scared that I may not be able to play again, basketball was my dream career, A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. My injury did not stop me from playing basketball, since I could not use my legs I was still going to the gym to work on my hand skills with the ball.

Coming back as a junior, I recovered from my ankle injury and the doctor said that my ankle was good enough to play basketball again. I showed the notes to coach Hare and she welcomed me back to the team. I told myself not to venture off my current path, but keep practicing, because I was going to get better. That motivated me to obtain the knowledge I needed and gave me momentum to keep practicing and working harder every time I was the gym. It was bizarre because, I started to see improvement in my game and started to believe that I could do it. I was not weak as they use to describe me on the second day of the tryout. I just needed a lot of hard working in practice.

I took my previous failure and used it in everything I did. I believe that success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. I knew I could overcome anything. I had to go through a lot in my experience. First, I had to get over my fear and approach the tryouts. Then I had to go out onto the court and show my skills for a whole week. Even though I was looking a little worn, I still had to show up to check if my name was on the team list.

My success was due to good luck, and support and advice from friends and mentors. But most importantly, it depended on me to keep trying after I had failed and my hard working. My hard work paid me with benefits.

…………………………………………….

TIB Leosi

I am Leosi Kaloso from the Fort Worth Area. I am an international student from central Africa. My country’s name is the Democratic Republic of Congo, I have made a choice to come to America to study biology and to move on deep with it into med school, i am also interested in meeting new people and developing a relationship that will last for ever. Mostly i am interested in helping people with disabilities.  Vision disabilities are the one I like to get people out of. Vision is the most important sense in the human body, and i like to take care of it. we can’t make change if we can’t see the change and we can’t be the change we hope to see in the world. Going  to Med school i will study ophthalmology so i will be able to accomplish my goal of helping people with any type of vision problem.

I Believe in Getting Dirty, by Abby Henegar

As I type, I am currently waiting out these next few hours before I can enroll in my fall semester classes for my senior year. It is crazy to believe that in just a few weeks, I will be a senior in college. I am graduating early in order to save a few bucks but mainly I am graduating early to have a few years to get my hands dirty. For once in my life, I finally understand what it means to get your hands dirty.

This past spring break I had an amazing opportunity to go to Nashville, Tennessee to learn about social justice and putting faith into action through TCU’s Faith Acts organization.  Over the course of the week, I was able to meet some of the most amazing, God loving people.  I hung on to every word these passionate and inspirational people spoke.  The most important word of advice this diverse group of people gave was: jump right in, be willing to scrub toilets, and don’t be afraid to get dirty.

I’ve never been afraid of a little dirt, but I always had this feeling that the world was telling me that I should be afraid of dirt. Dictionary.com defines dirt as any foul or filthy substance. Our world is terribly afraid of getting dirty and being seen as foul or filth. The term dirty is used to describe the sick, the poor, mentally ill, minorities, and the marginalized.  There is pressure in today’s age to rid ourselves of all our dirt so that we can be perfect, clean individuals.

It took long conversations with God for me to accept and embrace myself getting dirty.  I realized that the desire to be a perfect, clean individual was something that I didn’t want. The desire for perfection came from the world around me.  Perfection is impossible and it takes too much effort to be constantly giving off the impression that I have my life together.  Life is messy and the wasted time and effort spent trying to clean up life can be used for something more important and in line with God’s purpose for my life.   Real, honest life requires getting dirty.  While I have learned some things in the classroom, I have learned so much more about myself, others, God, and the world outside of the classroom, with my hands in the dirt.

I believe in getting dirty.  I prefer it.  It doesn’t line up with what society deems a perfect clean life, however I’d much rather spend my life with my hands in the dirt trying to make sense of the world than have the world tell me how to make sense of myself. Getting dirty, serving others and putting my faith into action is what I want in life.  It is all I’ve ever wanted.

So while I’m still waiting for that class portal to open and for senior year and all that it brings, I’m looking forward to getting dirty the most. Get dirty with me.  Go try something you’ve always wanted to try but were too afraid to go through with.  Go smile at a stranger.  Go call  someone you haven’t talked to in a while.  Go volunteer. Go make disciples. Go for a run.  Go do what your heart tells you.  After all,  the Lord God formed a man from the DIRT of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being [Genesis 2:7].

………………………………

GA TIB BOOK Abby HenegarAbby Henegar is a rising senior at Texas Christian University from Centralia, Illinois.  She is a psychology major, sociology minor involved in Disciples on Campus and Faith Acts.  She is very thankful for the amazing opportunities TCU has and will continue to provide for her to live out her faith.

I Believe in More

Author: Courtney Heier, TCU Student, Fall 2014

I believe in MORE.

I believe in doing more, in giving more, in being more. I was raised in an area where everybody did the same thing—everybody went to college, got a degree, got a job, got married, raised a family, and lived a life “happily ever after.” But I’ve been stuck. What if I can do more? What if that doesn’t seem like my “happily ever after” life? I want to be more. Maybe I’m involved in something every night of the week. Maybe I don’t sit down until 10PM some nights. In all reality, though, I can’t function otherwise. But now, I’m surrounded by people who live up to this dream of “doing more.” And that’s exactly where the distinguishing factor is—that dream. That dream isn’t so much a dream anymore. It’s reality. I have this dream of traveling to a developing country to volunteer in a clinic for children with developmental disabilities. I have this dream of opening my own occupational therapy clinic and operating it for a few years, ultimately working towards a goal of a bakery in the entrance, staffed by the kids who have grown up in the program. Some people will say I’m crazy, they’ll say that it’s just a dream. I won’t accept that. I live a life dedicated to fulfilling one single word’s expectations: agape. Agape: an unchanging love, a love that expects no re-payment, a love so generous that it can be given to the unlovable, a love that gives everything it has to give. So why let dreams be just that—dreams? Why settle with the ordinary? Maybe dreams are trajectories; maybe they’re plans for the future. Who says dreams have to stay in that realm of imaginations and impossibility? If you want to do more, do more. If you want to give more, give more. If you want to be more, be more. The only limitations for your dream are the ones set in your own mind. You’re worth more than being ordinary. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”—Romans 12:2.

I Believe in Living Moment to Moment

Author: Danielle Howard, TCU Student, Fall 2014

I did not have a typical High School experience. After dropping out of school and returning a year later, my only goal was to graduate as fast as possible. Senior year, I spent all of my time going to school and work, and going home to study. I wasn’t concerned with building relationships or having the social life that most teenagers have, and I didn’t realize that I was missing out on so many memories. Many people have stories of near death experiences and life-changing moments that led to clarification and inspiration, but my experience was much more than that. One single moment caused me to completely change the way I live.

Early one December morning during my Senior year, I woke up in excruciating pain. I could hear the steady beep of a heart monitor, and the muffled whispers of people nearby. When I opened my eyes, the fluorescent hospital lights made my headache spike to an unbearable level of pain. My mind was racing as I tried to summon up any memory from the previous night, but I came up blank. When I tried to turn my head, I realized that I had a neck brace on, and I was strapped to the bed, restricting my movement. This was the scariest moment of my life. My body was numb, and I was terrified and alone. I could hear the beep of the heart monitor picking up speed with my panic. When I opened my mouth I couldn’t form words, I could only cry.

Late the night before, I was in an accident that resulted in a Grade 3 Concussion. The impact paralyzed my diaphragm, leaving me unable to breathe. When I ran out of oxygen, my heart stopped. I didn’t regain a heartbeat for the eight minutes that it took the paramedics to arrive and begin defibrillation. When they shocked me for the fourth time, my heart miraculously restarted.

I don’t remember most of that night or the following weeks of recovery, but I do vividly remember the overwhelming regret that filled me when I realized that had the paramedics arrived just a few minutes later, that would have been the end of my life and up to that point, I hadn’t accomplished anything significant. I was stuck dwelling on the past and worrying about the future, and I was so busy trying to grow up that I forgot to live.

Because of that moment of impact, I am a living, breathing cliché. I believe in putting my all into everything I do, and never turning down an opportunity to make memories. I believe in living moment to moment and making peace with the past. I believe in acting now and thinking later, but never looking back with regret. I believe that sorrow is just as significant as joy because every experience we have shapes who we are. I believe in taking advantage of every moment we are blessed with, because one instant of impact can end everything.

I believe in Servitude

Author: Alex Nied, TCU Student, Fall 2014

I believe in servitude.

How do you define a great person? Is it by their education, wealth, power or maybe accomplishments? I believe that in order to be great one must be a servant to others. Martin Luther King Jr. said that everyone can be great because everyone has the ability to serve.

I had the opportunity to work with women in the RISE program this summer. These ladies have 3 or more felony counts of prostitution against them. They chose to enter the program rather than going to prison and are now healing from year’s worth of psychological and physical damage with the help of therapy, group classes and service. I understood my job to be helping them, but it turns out they became my teachers. I was getting the most out of the relationship – not the other way around. These women have lost everything – their families, jobs, privileges, even themselves – and yet they continue to love and serve with their entire beings. MLK also said all you need to serve is a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love. The RISE ladies revealed to me the importance of serving others. They taught me that service is a privilege and if you are able – you must serve. The feeling of helping someone and receiving no fame for that service – is the ultimate reward we will ever attain. The women continually reminded me that when they lost themselves in the service of others that is truly when they found themselves.

I believe that service to others is a privilege and a path to greatness. We don’t have to have everything figured out to serve. There is no college degree or manual for servitude, all we need is a heart full of grace. As the author of 1st Peter says, everyone should use their gifts to serve others in order to administer God’s grace. So ask yourself, what have you done for the service of others lately?

I believe in getting yourself in over your head

Author: Alexis Lohse, TCU Student, Political Science Major, Published Fall 2012

I believe in getting yourself in over your head. I can say with all honesty that the best decisions in my life have been made during situations of extreme discomfort or duress. These have been times when I was confronted with new and sometimes frightening circumstances, often of my own making and sometimes quite intentional. Eleanor Roosevelt once quipped, “A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” Thanks to these trials, I have learned the true strength of my intelligence, patience, and perseverance.

The first time I was truly tested was at the age of 23 when I was married to an alcoholic and became pregnant. Up to that point, my life had been an aimless string of events and dead-end jobs, a period of time marked by a distinct lack of concern for my present and even less concern for my future. With the unexpected appearance of a “+” on the test strip, I instantly realized the gravity of my situation. Everything had changed. It was time for me to step up, whether I felt ready or not, because life was no longer just about me.

The subsequent 2 years of my life were an arduous metamorphosis. I managed a healthy pregnancy (without insurance), I gave birth to an 8 lb. baby (at home), I got a real grown-up job at an insurance company, and I divorced my husband. It was scary, it was difficult, and it was absolutely worth it.

More recently, I have intentionally created situations where I had to succeed under threat of fantastic failure. In the last 4 years, my life has undergone yet another total metamorphosis. After working in the marketing department of that same insurance company for over 5 years, I realized a change had to happen. I wanted more from life and it was time to challenge myself again. On a whim, I bought a house from my (new) in-laws and moved my family to Fort Worth. After trying for 10 months to find local employment, I eventually quit my steady job in Austin and went back to school at the age of 30.

The increased responsibility of a mortgage and the decreased security of a steady corporate job have made for some ulcer-inducing months, for sure. More than once I have wondered if I am being unreasonably selfish by pursuing my education at the expense of the financial security of my family. My parents never went to college, so I am striving to set a good example for my girls by getting my degree. I can only hope my daughters see how hard I am trying and are internalizing the same work ethic.

I know this is not the last time I will challenge myself. Even at my advanced age (31!), I will have many more opportunities to get myself out of (self-inflicted) hot water. I may not always succeed, but I am certain I will be better for having tried.