Haley grew up in Plano, Texas with two loving parents and four younger siblings. She grew up going to the same church, where she learned that Jesus loved her and that she should give her life to Him. She made the decision to follow Jesus when she was seven, praying with her parents one night in her living room. However, the relationship part of her decision did not really come into effect until two years later.
In fourth grade, Haley’s parents introduced her to Pine Cove, a Christian summer camp in Tyler, Texas. It was there where she learned from godly college students what it looked like to actively pursue Christ. She continued to go to camp every summer through high school. God used Pine Cove and the people there to challenge her as she grew.
When Haley was thirteen, a Chinese orphan named Su Chun Jin and her caretaker came to stay with Haley’s family for a few weeks while the girl had surgery. Over the next year, through a series of events, God made it very obvious that they were supposed to adopt this eight-year-old girl. Not only did he speak clearly, he provided financially in amazing ways. After a couple of years full of fundraisers and paperwork, Su Chun Jin, now known as Callie, became Haley’s sister. While she was unsure of the change and addition of a sibling, Haley saw God working in a way she had never experienced. She became very aware of His sovereignty.
Throughout high school, her parents challenged her to know what she believed. Probably one of the best tools they gave her before college was the understanding that her faith is her own. She wasn’t a Christian because her parents were, or because she grew up going to church. Her relationship with Jesus was her responsibility, and hers alone.
The summer before her freshman year at Baylor University, Haley was accepted into a discipleship program at Pine Cove called Baby Ruths. For five weeks, with six other girls, she served behind the scenes at camp. Through exhaustion, sickness, and scrubbing plenty of dirty toilets, she learned that life was in fact not about her. God used older, wiser people to pour into her and demonstrate for her what a godly woman looks like. Most importantly, she learned that she was not godly because of the things she did. She was godly because of what God was doing to and for her.
After moving to Waco, Texas to attend Baylor, Haley met some girls who would be used to challenge, comfort, and speak to her throughout her entire college career. She was hired as a summer staffer at Pine Cove Towers, the elementary kids camp, and worked there every summer until graduation. The community she found through Baylor and Pine Cove was refreshing and challenging. She loved life and what God was teaching her.
At the beginning of the spring semester of her junior year at Baylor, Haley began to struggle with homesickness, something she had never experienced before. She loved her roommates, friends, and Waco. She couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to be there. As January turned into February, she found it harder and harder to focus on her classes. She couldn’t study or finish reading assignments. She often cried because she wanted to go home so bad, but she knew if she went home she would not want to come back. She found herself calling her dad multiple times a day, but then not knowing why she called. If she didn’t talk to her family, she thought something bad had happened to them, or she would tell herself that if she didn’t go home, something terrible would happen to her family.
In late February, Haley got the flu, which knocked her out for a week. Her mom came and stayed with her, bringing her food and spraying anything Haley touched Lysol, in an effort to keep the roommates healthy. At the end of the week, her mom went back home. Haley thought that since her family had come to visit, she would no longer be homesick. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
A couple of days after her mom left, Haley found herself sobbing on her way back to her apartment after work. She continued to cry through the latest episode of LOST and a rerun of Friends. She couldn’t remember why she was crying, but she couldn’t stop. She texted her mom, telling her she wanted to come home. When asked why, she replied with “I can’t stop crying.” Her mom called her and told Haley that she was going to drive back down to Waco to take her to the doctor, because she was pretty sure she was clinically depressed. Haley’s wonderful friends sat with her as she cried, waiting for her mom to drive the two hours between Plano and Waco.
After multiple consultations with clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, Haley was diagnosed with depression and an anxiety disorder, and was given medication. The next couple of months proved to be an uphill battle. Her grades had suffered, and while her problem had a name, there wasn’t a quick fix. However, God is Healer, and as summer approached, things got better. She learned that God is not based on emotions, and regardless of how she felt, He was still there. Haley was excited to spend her summer working as the Recruiting Assistant at Pine Cove. And that is when she met Nick. You should check out “Our Story” for how that went down.
Haley’s senior year at Baylor proved to be the best. She focused her psychology degree on children with traumatic backgrounds, by volunteering at the Family Abuse Center and by providing play therapy for children living in extreme poverty at Talitha Koum. God used Waco, the fifth poorest city in Texas, to change Haley’s heart, giving her a passion for people, especially children, who have no voice. She graduated from Baylor with a BA in Psychology in May of 2010.
Haley is eager to move to Providence for multiple reasons. The city is beautiful and full of history and personality. However, one of the main reasons the city has been placed on her heart is because of the community. The city has an extremely high poverty rate, and 40% of the children and youth of Providence live in poverty. She would love to get a job working with these children.