I Believe in the Power of the AHA, by Mikaela Miller

The patient sat on a piece of plywood resting on two school desks, hand exposed through sterile blue sheeting. The surgeon leaned over, allowing the sunlight streaming through the barred window to be his guide as he carefully pulled a scalpel through the skin around the man’s knuckle. The man stared calmly off into the light, willing his stomach to settle, but there was a certain look of relief and thrill in his eyes. Today was the day that a piece of shrapnel that had made its home inside his thumb for 8 years would finally be removed. There was a resounding ding as the sliver hit the bucket, and the man glanced down and expelled a sigh.

Fast forward a few hours and we are packing up for the day, passing boxes of prescriptions, glasses, and linens towards the bus assembly line style. The man reappears, a huge grin consuming his face despite the pain that is slowly overcoming him from the fading anesthesia. “Gracias, gracias” are the words falling, falling from his mouth when the ‘aha!’ moment strikes.

This is what I want to do. This is who I want to forever serve.

For a girl that had dreamed of doing anything but medicine, this was a huge revelation. It came exactly two weeks before I checked “Biology — Pre-Med” on my first college application, and long after that life-changing trip, I am still wearing the pre-med badge and dreaming of the day that I can return and be the life-changer.


TIB Mikaela Miller

Mikaela Miller is a junior Biology major, minoring in Mathematics and Chemistry, on the Pre-Medicine track. Originally from Chandler, Arizona with roots in Seattle, Washington and a new home in Fort Worth, Texas, she hopes to find a little piece of “home” across the nations through travel and medical mission work. 


I Believe in Having Vision, by Brian Niebuhr

I believe in having vision.

I must first clarify that what I am saying is not that I don’t believe in the glasses, contacts, and vision impaired population and also am in no way attempting to promote vision correction as a way of boosting my beliefs. What I believe in is vision past the big E on the eye chart. A vision from the mind, for a plan, and with a purpose.

The first step, as with any first step, is dreaming up the goal, that ultimate vision that is going to invigorate involvement, instigate choices, and carry through challenges. And I believe with that first step comes action. The first step puts the vision into action. Like the swimmer who desperately wants to smash that big record to bits starts with buying that first pair of goggles, or the runner with his first pair of spikes, or the lawyer with that first Law and Order: SVU episode (a debatable first step). I believe that having a clear vision provides the goal and that the surface of a vision dictates the first step.

The second step, however, digs into the meat of the vision as it establishes the direction—it is where the vision dictates the path. This is where vision for a plan comes in. I believe each activity, each class, and each step should be guided by vision, by purpose. Without a vision behind that practice plan, that time delegation among many commitments, and that second step, each consecutive step loses its direction in the absence of purpose.

Vision supplies this purpose.

And a strong, clear vision with direction helps keep the mind focused on the end goal rather than getting hung up on minute failures. Vision keeps the eyes on the destination and less on the swerves in the road.

I believe in having a vision because having a vision helps me to believe. To believe in my goals, my plan, and my purpose in every responsibility I take on. And, luckily, the vision I believe in does not require the use of corrective lenses.


TIB Brian NiebhurBrian is from Fort Wayne, Indiana and this is his first year at Texas Christian University. He is majoring in Biochemistry on the Pre-Medicine track

I Believe Everything Happens for a Reason by Regina Andonie

Out of all people, why me? The question I would always ask my doctors. A moment of silence would always come after my question. As I begin changing my lifestyle into a healthier one, my symptoms get worst every time, pain increases and doctors have not solutions for it.

I believe everything happens for a reason. As we all know it, life is like a puzzle. We see our own life as a mess most of the time.  Just take a moment to close your eyes, take a deep breathe and picture yourself in the future. Where do you see yourself a couple of years from now?

As no one ever was able to answer my one question, I began to see these “problems” as challenges. From that moment on, I understood that challenges will always appear on the road, some will be bigger than others, and some will be more challenging than others. However, every challenge has a purpose and that purpose is to make us stronger and lead us to the road of success.

What if we fail? The question most of us fear. I believe failure is the best part of it. Actually, it is the first and most important step to success. Behind failures come learned lessons and strengthened weaknesses that will prepare us for greater challenges.

As I am still in my journey of understanding myself and getting to know my own body, I realize how beautiful life is and try to look at the bright side of everything. What I mean is, the problem is there and will always be there. The only option is learning how to live with it, but that depends on how you want to deal with it. Look at it as something positive, as a challenge that God has put in your life and take it slowly. At the end, it will always make sense and see all the puzzle pieces put together.

During that moment, challenges may sound irrational and unnecessary. Once you overcome them and look back at them, you will finally understand the reason behind it, you will then realize that every piece of the puzzle is coming together.

You are the only person who can build your own story and it all depends on how you want to write it. Therefore, I challenge you from now on to completely change your mind about how you see real life and just think about the present, which will make the story of your past and define your future. At the end, you will be able to think back, and see how everything perfectly fits together, just like a puzzle.


TIB Regina Andonie

I am Regina Andonie, current sophomore at Texas Christian University majoring in Interior Design with a minor in Lighting. 

I Believe in Kindness, by Tobi Carter

I believe in kindness.

I went to visit my grandfather the week before he died, not realizing that he was about to pass away. I knew he had stage 4 lung cancer and I knew he was fighting hard. But no one ever knows when someone else is going to pass away.

It was one of those days that cancer patients look forward to – a day where he got out of bed. We went for a slow walk around his neighborhood so he could get some fresh air. I’m not the closest to my grandfather but he always taught me kindness, even through his actions.

We were walking down the street when a car zoomed by and, like a scene from the movies, splashed water all over my dying grandfather. I expected him to get angry (he was a grouchy old man) but instead, he sighed and said, “Well.”

“Pops?” I asked to make sure he was okay.

Unprompted, he said, “You know, usually I would get mad. But one thing I’ve been taught throughout my time with cancer is niceness. People didn’t realize I was given only three months to live and would get angry at me because I was distracted.”

My grandfather left me alone with my thoughts for a bit until he said, “Always be kind. You never know what people are going through.”

I believe in kindness because you never truly know someone’s story. They could be going through hell but still have a smile on his or her face.


TIB Tobi Carter

Tobi Carter is a junior journalism major with an anthropology minor. She hopes to work for a publication such as National Geographic. She’s a part of Eta Iota Sigma sorority, TCU 360, the Women’s Club Volleyball Team, and the Adventure Trip Program with TCU. Tobi’s originally from Lewisville, Texas but is happy to make Fort Worth her new home.

I Believe in the Church, by Rev. Allison Lanza

Dear Church,

I was watching you this weekend. It was early on a Saturday morning. 20 of you were holding hands in a circle in that old fellowship hall.  I noticed how diverse you were.  In that circle some of you were children, some young adults, some weathered and wise from many years on this planet.  Some of you were black and some white. Some had large houses, some 1 room apartments, and some of you had nowhere to call home.  Some of you have been going to church since you were babies and others walked into this strange community just a few months ago. In that circle you were CEO’s, janitors, marathon runners, chemo patients, addicts, granddads and moms.  I saw how different you were, but I don’t think you noticed the differences.  I could see in the way you treated each other that you saw the other faces around the circle just as fellow church members, as equal, beloved children of God.  Standing there you prayed that God’s love might be known through bread and smiles.  Then you went outside.  You spent the morning giving out free fresh produce to your neighbors.  When folks asked if they qualified for food, you told them, “yes, this is for everyone!”  When they asked how much food they could take, you said, “as much as you want, take some for your friends and neighbors too.”

Church, this weekend, I saw you at your best.  You were following in Jesus’ footsteps as you gave food to the hungry and loved your neighbors as yourself, no questions asked.  You trusted in God’s abundance and generosity instead of trusting in your own fear that there might not be enough.  It was beautiful.

A lot of folks are losing faith in you church.  I see where they are coming from.  Too often you have chosen shame instead of grace.  You have closed your doors and told some members of the body of Christ that they are not welcome because of who they love, or because they ask questions, or because they do not believe exactly the same way that you do. You have tried too hard to be cool and powerful and in doing so you have sometimes left Jesus and his teachings behind. You have gotten stuck in your ways, unwilling to change.

In spite of this, I still believe in you.  I don’t believe this is who you really are.  I just think this is what you act like when you are afraid.  You are better than this.  Church, I believe in you because I have seen you when you are at your very best.

I have seen you baptize a child and promise to raise them in God’s love, and then I have watched you follow through.  I have seen you bring casseroles to a devastated family and read psalms beside the hospital bed.  I have seen you show up when the tornado hits and stay long after the news cameras have left.  I have watched you help teenagers hear God’s still, small voice and I have seen you whisper to the outcast, “you are God’s beloved child and you are welcome here.”

I have heard your prophetic voice crying for justice, your hymns sung out in praise and your quiet prayers whispered into the silence.  I have watched as you fed the hungry, visited the imprisoned, healed the sick, and let the oppressed go free.  I watched you knock down the walls that divide us and invite us into one community as sisters and brothers in God.  When the world says, be afraid, I have heard you whisper, love.  I have seen you proclaim that love has overcome hate, life has overcome death, and that hope will have the final say. I have watched you live as if you really believe, in spite of the evidence otherwise, that this might be true.

I believe in you church.

I believe in you because you raised me.  I have seen you come alive.

So, let go of your fear.  Be God’s church in this world again.

We need you.

You can do it.

I believe in you.


GA TIB BOOK Allison LanzaRev. Allison Lanza serves as an Associate Chaplain at TCU.  Prior to this she served at Hillyer Memorial Christian Church in Raleigh NC.  She graduated from Trinity University and Vanderbilt Divinity School.  She is a part of Ridglea Christian Church in Fort Worth.  The daughter of a TCU professor, she has been a horned frog since birth!

I Believe Little Things Make a Big Difference

Author: Gregory Chambers, TCU Student, Spring 2015

Growing up as a minister’s kid, I often heard the phrase to whom much is given, much is expected.  As with a lot of things that my parents said when I was younger it went in one ear and right back out the other.  Yet as I grew in both size and understanding of the greater working of the world, this simple yet complicated phrase began to become ingrained in me, a part of who I am.

I believe in giving back, I believe in happiness, I believe that the little things make a big impact, I believe that God calls us to do His works here on Earth.  As I reflect on my twenty years on Earth many great memories come flooding back, yet the ones that are the most memorable, and the ones that have had the deepest impact on me, are the ones where I was in the service of others.

One of my most cherished memories occurred when I was helping my father prepare for a Maundy Thursday service.  The night before the youth had done an Easter musical, so my dad and I were not expecting a very high attendance, yet we carefully prepared for whoever came.  As expected only fifteen or so came to the Church to pray and partake in communion, yet one individual stood out from the rest.  An older woman in the congregation came to the service; she sat down in the pew and prayed, then took communion.  As she was leaving she came back to where my dad and I were standing and said “This is the most beautiful service that I have ever been to.”  She then left, as I was standing there it hit me, if we had not prepared diligently even though we were not expecting much we would have never received the greatest gift of all that night.  The fact that we made a difference for just one person was all the satisfaction that we needed.  Just by opening the sanctuary for a time of pray and reflection, we had made a huge impact.

I learned a lesson that night, the lesson is that the little things we do for others in life, often have the biggest impact on our lives.  As I stood their listening to the clock tick in the quiet of the sanctuary I realized that although our time on Earth is short in the grand scheme of things, it is up to us to use that time to make little impacts on the lives of others.  I believe that the little things we do for others have big impacts, and I think back to all the times I heard that simple, yet complicated phrase, to whom much is given much is expected

TCU Believes!

This I Believe partnered with Better Together to host a TCU Believes photo shoot on campus to highlight dthe iversity of beliefs on TCU’s campus and to encourage the TCU community to articulate the beliefs and values that guide them daily!  Check out some of the pictures here!

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I Believe in Happiness

Author: Anonymous, TCU Student, Fall 2014

I believe in happiness. I believe that there are so many different ways to be happy. Throughout my life so far there have been significant influences that have made me think this. The three biggest influences are the movie Happy, travel, and my experiences with my family.

I first saw Happy two years ago. This is a documentary focused on looking at people across the world and what makes them happy. As well as looking at how love comes more naturally to humans than war and hate. It was originally extra credit for one of my classes that I was taking at the time. This movie examines how love and compassion come more naturally to people than hate does. It looks at what people in different countries and cultures think make a person happy; as well as, looking at their overall happiness levels. Throughout this movie they look at cultures all around the world, while everyone has their own idea of what will make them happy. This had a significant impact on me because before seeing this movie I always though that violence was a more powerful driving force in the world. However, after Happy I started looking at the world and how I thought about things differently.

The next greatest influence for me was having the opportunity to travel and live in different areas of the world. It is quite evident in other cultures that, while they do not have the resources that we have, they appreciate what they have. The biggest difference that I see between Western culture and many Eastern cultures is that Western cultures puts a greater emphasis on things where as with many Eastern cultures they may live in shack with a few possession but feel like they are very rich because they have family and friends to spend time with. Likewise, it is interesting that in our culture we expect people to be happy all the time. For me seeing how other people in many different cultures have found happiness has helped me develop and learn what makes me happy.

Lastly, I have seen my sister find happiness depression. This is probably the greatest driving force that has shaped my view and understanding of happiness. My sister is younger but for the past few years I have gone through the battle of depression with her and watched her become healthy again and seen her make her own happiness even on her worst days.

These aspects have shaped how I view happiness and how I think about it. While I believe being happy and finding happiness is important I also realize that being happy all the time is impractical.  I believe that being happy is important because if someone cannot find things in their life that makes them happy and enjoy life then that makes life more difficult, as I have experienced with my sister. For me what is important is finding what makes you happy no matter what our resources or life circumstance is.


I Believe in a Third Culture

Author: Dana Nottingham, TCU Student, Fall 2014

I believe in a third culture.

Finding out I was white came as quite a shock. After four and a half years of believing I was Salvadoran, my nationality was revoked. Everyone around me thought it was so funny that I had mistaken my very fair skin as brown, and my very blond hair as black. Kids. They’re so cute. They laughed and I let them, neither one of us realizing quite the impact that moment would make.

When my family moved back to The States, I went ahead and conformed. I unconsciously forgot an entire identity; I let go of my Spanish, forgot El Salvador, and attempted to proceed as usual. I faked it very well—for most of my life I even had myself convinced that I was American. Yet something just wouldn’t click. There were so many aspects of life in the US that I tried desperately to distance myself from; I began to hate the association, wondering why there was so much I didn’t understand and so much I couldn’t get other people to understand. I looked the part, but I couldn’t play it. Just hearing someone say “El Salvador” made me jump, desperately trying to become a part of the conversation. I kept meeting girls from San Salvador who didn’t understand why I considered their country to be mine as well. I didn’t even speak Spanish anymore, so in most eyes I had no credible claim to the Latin American culture.  Even I started feeling like I didn’t, and between losing a nationality and a language, I lost a big part of who I was. It is only recently that I began to come to terms with the fact that I don’t really belong to any culture. And it was in expressing this to someone that I found out there was a third culture, for people who felt just like me.

Being classified as a “third culture kid” means living outside your passport country for a significant portion of your developmental years. Essentially, TCKs are people who don’t have a country because they were never able to firmly establish their roots. When asked, most people can tell you where they are from. I can tell you where I live, but where I’m from has always been tricky. Because, true to the TCK formula, I’m not from anywhere. I belong to two countries, two cultures, two languages. I cannot define myself by either one, and I learn everyday that I don’t have to. I’m developing an entirely new perspective, coming to understand that weaving together both parts of who I am connects me with people on an entirely different level. Suddenly I understand the plight of the foreigner, I get the loneliness of the outcast, I appreciate the importance of origin—and it isn’t merely from an empathetic standpoint. I am on the same journey of self discovery, to reclaim my identity, and it has been incredible to see just how many others are on it too.


I Believe in Love

Author: Bobbi Clemmer, TCU Student, Fall 2014

I believe in love, a sensation that is embedded in the deepest part of our being. I believe love is a variety of different feelings that motivate us to develop relationships that will essentially make us better people. Love is a feeling that in some cases can be indescribable, yet so easy to engage in when the right people fall into your life. I believe love is the most potent of drugs that drives us to do anything for those who we hold dear to our hearts. Whether it is the tender love between a parent and child, a passionate love between a man and woman, or a comforting love between childhood friends, the feelings are all different, yet the same, in that we would do anything for those we love. Under the influence of this powerful emotion, we may find ourselves acting in ways that are un-explainable.

For example, when someone we love is in pain or going through a rough time in their life such as a mother worrying about her troubled son, we seemed to be consumed by that feeling of worry in the pit of our stomach. This is because we want the absolute best for our loved ones because when they are happy, we are happy. I believe relationships are the most important aspect of life. Spiritual and interpersonal relationships have definitely played an enormous part in my own life. Knowing that God is always with me and that my parents are just a phone call away has always been such a comfort even on my lowest days.

I believe love knows no bounds, as cliché as that may sound. Love has the power to overcome grief from the passing of a loved one, depression from past regrets, and even has the power to strike new beginnings though it may seem impossible at times. Love is what binds us together when disaster strikes and is what lifts us up to levels that are otherwise unreachable. I believe love is the dynamic motivation behind every worthy purpose and that in the end, after we have successfully loved here on earth, that God will continue to love us eternally. This I believe.