Seeking His Presence Now: Haley

I got to meet Haley because she was interested in attending the college that I went to (Go Elon!). There are not a lot of people in this fine, fair city that have even heard of Elon, so some common friends put her in touch with me, and we met for lunch to talk about all things college. I enjoyed her so much, and I have enjoyed continuing to get to know her as she finished her senior year of high school and moved across the country to North Carolina. Haley is honest and genuine and so open about her faith and her life. She loves the Lord and His people. She trusts Him fully--in a way that is hard to define but such an inspiration to observe, and His Spirit spills out of her as she goes about her days.

Haley, you are the real deal, and I'm so thankful to know you. It is a brave thing to move into a season (and a state) where so much is unfamiliar, and I'm so grateful that you are willing to share how God has met you in your move.

Haley's words are below...

Four months ago I moved from Texas to North Carolina to begin my adventures at Elon University as a freshman. This 1,159.8 mile trek proved to be rather rattling to my life; however in the last few months the Lord’s provisions have been ever present.

As I packed up my life I realized everything I had ever known was being uprooted. As human beings we are not naturally comfortable with change, we are meant to have roots. I arrived on campus and was in utter shock—I knew no one, I had no idea what I was going to major in let alone I had no idea where I should eat lunch on campus. I was very uncomfortable by the fact that I had no roots in this new town and I knew that the only place I could see roots is in the one who is constantly present no matter the situation or location.

During the first week of classes I was talking to a sweet friend of mine who is on Young Life staff in Winston-Salem, she suggested that I read through Ephesians 6. That afternoon I sat outside by Lake Mary Nell (Yes, outside, in August! One of the joys of no longer being swamped in the Houston humidity), and read away; man, oh man was the Lord speaking to me! As I read, the following stood out - “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:14-17).

The abundance of the Lord is so clear in this passage. Through orientation and the first week of school I doubted the Lord, I doubted that He had the power to help me navigate these waters full of 7000 strangers, I doubted that I would find the “right” people. Sure enough He provided more abundantly than I could have ever imagined. Since coming to college the Lord has surrounded me with amazing and faithful mentors, friends and teachers.

One afternoon I was in my dorm room and had Spotify on shuffle and heard a song from Robbie Seay’s new album that I had not heard since hearing it on the radio with my dear friends and Young Life leaders the week before moving to Elon as I was fearful of the impending move. At the time I thought nothing of the song, but this time the song really spoke to me. The song was Psalm 3 (A Shield About Me). Since then these lyrics have been written on a sticky note on my desk as a reminder – “I will not be afraid, I will not fear, no I will not fear. For You, oh Lord, I have a shield about me, You are my glory, You lift my head, You lift my head, Oh Lord… I cried aloud to You, Lord & You answered me.” Why did I ever doubt that He can and will answer me?

I was blindsided by my lack of tangible roots at Elon, but the Lord provided so well I realized that the most powerful roots are the ones in the Lord that go with you no matter where you are physically located.