In my life, I’ve known a handful of people who truly embody a specific character trait. These people may reflect what it means to be joyful, optimistic, a people person, or humble, to name just a few. These traits have become a core part of who they are and how the world sees them. I believe that Haley is one of these people. Haley embodies what it means to be steadfast. To be steadfast means to be firmly fixed or established and unwavering. In a biblical sense, to hold tight to the Lord.
Haley’s life has been anything but smooth sailing in the last few years. She’s experienced physical injury, the loss of a friend, and the loss of her hero, her dad. Haley has experienced enough hurt since entering college to make up for a lifetime. Amid hardship, there are a lot of options people take. They can pull away, be angry, turn from the Lord, and, potentially, the most difficult, hold firm to the Lord. Out of all the options Haley could have taken, she chose to double down and seek the Lord.
Haley began growing in her relationship with the Lord. She started meeting with one of our mentors, Paula Andrews and began to develop a stronger foundation in God’s word. Haley developed a stronger prayer life, gained a deeper understanding of the scripture, wrestled with tough questions, and learned what it means to seek the Lord. Haley, who self admittedly did not know a lot about scripture coming into college, developed a deeper appreciation and knowledge of God’s word. Haley’s personal development in her relationship with God gave her the confidence she needed to start mentoring a few women around her.
Haley remained steadfast in the Lord by seeking opportunities to use her gifts. Cultivate helped Haley get connected to Younglife. Her bubbly personality, heart for others, personability, and desire to help others know Jesus drew others toward her, and she was asked to join the leadership team soon after. As a leader, Haley was asked to lead a small group and teach for Younglife’s large group. Haley and I (Kyle) met frequently to help her learn the fundamentals of creating and giving a message. With practice, Haley gained competency and has become a talented speaker. Now Haley is using her knowledge to teach new leaders how to speak!
In addition to leading and growing in her faith, Haley has developed deep relationships with others and experienced the true joy of fellowship. Haley quickly became best friends with Kayla, Younglife’s president. They became inseparable and are a testament to the beauty and importance of true friends. Kayla and Haley push each other to seek Jesus, take risks, and go all in for the kingdom.
Even outside of Oakland, Haley’s sought opportunities to use her giftings and take risks for the kingdom of God. Recently, Haley went on a mission trip to Costa Rica with Collective, Woodside’s young adult ministry. Haley and a group of women cared for and shared the gospel with women who are sexually exploited. This trip cemented in Haley’s heart her desire to seek the Lord and demonstrate the redemptive power of the Son.
As Haley looks towards her senior year, she knows she will have new responsibilities. As Younglife leaders graduate, she will take a larger role in Younglife, and her impact on the students at Oakland will only increase! She is excited, and a little nervous about the new role but is confident that the Lord will equip her. One day Haley hopes to be a medical missionary and share the gospel with those in need.
Haley is a testament to the importance of being steadfast. She has learned that she can represent and glorify Christ in all situations. Haley truly has become an effective kingdom worker.
Written by Kyle Vens, Director of Cultivate