Finding Your Foundation

by Ashley Surber

“Better to have a hut on the rock than a castle on the sand.” –Beth Moore

I’m unsure of what that quote might mean to you, but I do know it is one that can be applied to many areas of our lives and interpreted to match each of those areas individually. In short, this touches on where our foundation lies. Where we seek comfort, and who we seek it from. How we judge what we see as right and wrong, and with these moral navigators also comes our values and self-worth. What we invest our time in and how diligently we pursue those endeavors. Most importantly who we place our confidence in when that place of safety starts to shake.

This is something that I heavily noticed, or rather noticed the lack of as I came to college. As an experienced sophomore, I am convinced of the importance of defining this foundation and understanding its value. For me, my foundation is my faith, and it could be for you as well. For many others, it may be their values, their interests, and passions, their hope for the future or their loved ones. But what if you aren’t sure where your foundation lies? This is where we can easily go astray, especially in a place as chaotic as college. The longer you head down that path of ill definition and uncertainty, the harder it will be to build that foundation, amidst knocking down the previous, unstable structure that has compiled in the process.


I’m not perfect, far from it. Actually, my constant perusal of perfection was something that I lost in exchange for a much larger gain as I have grown stronger in my foundation in the past few years. I mess up. I sometimes choose the road less traveled, sometimes I don't. I say things I don’t mean or do things that upset others without much self-justification. Don’t we all though? In this quest to do what we think is best in the moment, we screw up or fall short. During our college years, we may do things impulsively, sometimes those are our most fun memories, but sometimes those are moments of regret. We hurt, feel lonely or misplaced, and even question our future, our past and if what we are doing in the now will somehow help ease both of those and give us reassurance of things we can’t control.

I’m not telling you all of these things to make you feel afraid of the challenges that college poses but sometimes things you hoped for pan out and in reality, sometimes they don’t. Situations change, people, change, YOU change. And that is okay, I can't stress that enough. It is normal to feel different than you did 5 years ago, 6 months ago, maybe even 3 hours ago. It is healthy and shows prosperity. People evolve. What shouldn’t shift is where you find your foundation. You should know that it is placed appropriately and use it as a guiding star you as you sway.

People disappoint you, the world disappoints us. All at the same time this world brings us great joy, incredible people, and beautiful places. Whether you are experiencing a time of utter grief or a time that you want to yell at the world that you have achieved your most notable goal, there will be one truth you can hold on to. How will you maintain joy, not happiness in those low or high moments, but consistent contentment and security? The answer is to build your “home” on a solid base. Let’s vow to not build upon a compilation of worldly things that are bound to slowly bend and crack or suddenly be shattered in seconds. Let's stray from finding our identity in temptation, in negative situations or in anything that does not offer loyalty to help you put the pieces back together when your structure feels as if it may crumble. Instead let's start with a firm foundation, tested to withstand, that will be there to support not only our greatest destruction but our magnificent new elements, built together to create something greater than before.

To all of you, college ladies out there wondering where to place your trust, start from the bottom up and ask yourself which you would rather have, a hut on a rock or a castle on the sand?

And thank you to Beth Moore for this beautiful analogy!!!

Much love,

Ashley Surber