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Dear Colby--A Final Blessing.

This is the letter I wrote to Colby that they're going to put in her casket tomorrow. 


Dear Colby,

This is my last letter to you, my final blessing. I loved and love you so very much. You and I had grown very close over the last few years. I miss you so much already, and I don't know how I'm going to make it through life without you, baby cousin. I mean, I know I'll keep going. Life will go on. But life for you will not, and that breaks my heart. I know I don't have to be sad for you because you are with Jesus, and that you will never be sad or unhappy ever again. I just can't wrap my mind around the fact that you won't be at my wedding and that I'll never get to see you get married. I can't wrap my mind around the fact that my kids will never know you and that you'll never get to have kids. I can't wrap my mind around the fact that you're really gone and that this letter will join your beautiful body in your casket. Tomorrow is your funer…

Remembering Colby.

My youngest cousin died on Sunday, December 21st. She was 19 years old, and was one of my dearest friends. A week before she died, she commented on this very blog, saying, "Haley you always have such wise things to say and you are the number one role model in my life. I love you to pieces!!! Love, Colby"
What an amazing compliment to get before she died. I do not feel deserving of the title of "number one role model," but now that she's gone I'll do my best to live up to that title. I will keep going for Colby.

Here are some of the things I had hoped for Colby:
1. That she would enjoy her new major of Psychology that she switched to a few weeks ago.
2. That she would get to be part of Sing Song next semester.
3. That she would get to pledge a social club sophomore year. I wasn't going to pressure her to pledge Sigma Theta Chi, but I would have absolutely loved it if she had.
4. That she would go on to do many great things at ACU, like being an ACU Leade…

8 Reflections on my 8th Semester of College.

Another semester has come to a close. It was my 8th one. Usually people graduate after 8, but I'm taking it slow and have 3 left. Just 3 more, and then hopefully I'll go out into the world prepared to face new challenges with a head full of knowledge and a heart full of God.

So here's some reflections after what I can only call a mediocre semester:

#1: We're all in different places. And that's okay!
This was one of the number one things I learned this semester. I was the spiritual director (AKA chaplain) for Seekers of the Word, and I especially learned through being a leader in that group that you just can't meet everyone where they are. God can; I can't! Everyone is in different places in their spiritual journey, in maturity, and in life in general. There are so many ways that we are each unique, and that's a good thing. But creating a devotional that somehow hits everyone's heart is nearly impossible...without God. I mean, if you pray about it, ma…

When God Said, "Yes."

I have recently experienced a real life miracle and scarcely know where to begin.

So, if you know me, you are probably aware that I am an ovarian cancer survivor. But that's not actually the miracle. I mean, maybe that was a miracle, too, but it mostly felt just like cancer and chemo and losing my hair and being generally very sick and miserable, and then suddenly I was all better. That was 12 years ago. Hooray! Well, ever since that time I've had to have check ups. If you know me, I've probably asked you to pray for one of my many check ups over the years. The frequency and nature of my check ups have changed many times. Nowadays, I usually just have to go see my oncologist (AKA cancer doctor) once a year, but over the last few years I've had to have more frequent sonograms due to a cyst attached to my remaining ovary. (News flash: I only have one left! The first one was removed when I had a tumor attached to it twelve years ago.) So, for the sake of my potential futu…

Open & Closed Doors.

You know that song from Frozen, "Love is an Open Door"? (We won't talk about the fact that the song is actually basically a sham in the movie...sorry, spoiler alert: Hans is stupid.) Well, I've been thinking lately about the concept of open and closed doors. Both can be good. Sometimes it does not feel good to have a door close in your face, like not getting a job you wanted or the end of a relationship, but sometimes those things are for the best. I'm not saying they don't hurt, but sometimes what is right is not easy.

Lately, doors have been opening and closing for me left and right; job opportunities lost and prospective new ones opening up. Relationships ending and new ones beginning (several of the relationships were long since closed doors, but I'm just now admitting it). So I know, I know, I know that sometimes closed doors hurt. Trust me, I know. I've been heartbroken before.

But what I also know is that God works all things for the good of th…