March 2021

Valentines Day Party

My people have committed two sins:

They have forsaken me,
    the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
    broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

Jeremiah 2:13

At a student leader meeting recently, Jalen (one of my fellow campus ministers at UTA) led us in a discussion on identity in God. Through Jeremiah, God was calling Israel to turn back to him. They had turned aside to things that weren't God and couldn't give them life. Broken cisterns that couldn't give them life giving water. What are your broken cisterns? Where do you go for things that God can give? I thought I would share the questions Jalen gave us as the process ministered to me. Perhaps it will minister to you.

The following questions should help you to determine what your broken cisterns are:

When someone asks you to tell them a bit about yourself, what's the first thing you want them to know about you? What aspect of who you are offends you the most if people undermine or doubt it? What do you tend to turn to when you experience stress, anxiety, or depression? In what areas do you tend to compare yourself most to people? Where do you experience the most insecurity? Where do you feel the most need for affirmation? Based on all of this, what might your broken cisterns? In other words, what are the illegitimate places where you are tempted to find your sense of value and worth? How does this impact your life? How you feel? What you think? How you treat others?

I drink from the broken cistern of productivity. I subconsciously think what I produce and how good it is gives me value. I stress about doing enough hours. I worry that I am not doing enough for ministry and the students God has entrusted to me in ministry. I never spend enough time with God, pray enough, or work enough in my eyes. It's never good enough. God has gently been showing me over the past couple years that this is a lie I have bought into. I have to turn back to him over and over. What does God say about my value in scripture, through his people, through my time with him? God has already been transforming this part of my broken identity. He is helping me to internalize his love and I need to receive it. I invite you to dig in and process this with God. He is the ultimate healer and wants us to live full lives in him now. Take him up on the offer. 

Snow day with the roomies

This past week we got to meet all together as a community for the first time this semester at Deep Dive. Over 80 of us met socially distanced in a room that could host all of us. Getting rooms on campus has been hard this semester. It has been especially hard to get rooms that can fit our whole community safely and socially distanced. It was a sweet gift from God getting to do so last week. My heart was very full.

Deep dive!

Spring Showcase is coming up again! This year it is going to be completely online which means those of ya'll out of state can come for the first time! Not only will the show be extremely entertaining, but we will also be fundraising to build up and train future student leaders. 

Many Blessings,

Emily Umstead


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