Make Them Smile.

“…if they are not smiling, make them,” Mother Teresa said. I heard her completely confident words speak in a language I knew deeply as I sat in the basement of a Cathedral feeling close to many, but most specifically to my Jesus. I wonder at this one a lot. “How did I get HERE?” Most of the time it just wraps me in peace and I am swept away in a soft current of the grace that Jesus has left whispering to my heart, and so I have no answer other than the confidence that it is right. This time, I caught the glimpse of your voice. The answer.


Because there is something about this that makes it all different. Something that is real and something that makes me stay here, because I see something in your smile that the rest of the world does not. Stages and masses and hearts and tears and car rides and sleepovers and inside jokes and pushing and pulling and dreaming and living. And, you just as you are, well, you…

will make them smile.

Because Jesus loves you just as much as He does Mother Teresa. And Jesus wants them all to smile too.

And I love you.

I am so incredibly blessed. So incredibly in love with Someone so beyond me. I am first loved, though, and fall deeper in love with the beat of an eternal heart because it beats within me. And, because, above all, love never fails. Seek first the Kingdom.

…because love wins.


I tend to be pretty wrapped in the memories of the most incredible moments of my life. That is, to say, that I’m wrapped in them all. Because they have all been incredible in some way, shape, or form. I surround myself with hundreds of photos at school. I have sixteen picture frames in my home’s bedroom. And every time I see them, there is a flash of memory. A stark realization of what there is now. Not sad in any particular direction, but reminders of change. It all changes so fast, and it strikes me most each time I change the photos. And each time I pack them up to move to another city.

Today I pack and I think about us all.

What is it like to not know you’re returning to that place?
Do I even have a clue what it’s going to be like to return to that place?
There are new people.
New hobbies.
New places.
New excitements.
New fears.
New worries.
New wonders.

But then, what hasn’t become new over and over and over again? And how many times are we bad at dealing with the change that is never really a change anyway?

Over and over and over again. And still He loves us. And still He knows what we love. And what we miss. And never leaves us, as to be one connection to it all.

I will miss this place. I will miss people that I see often now. I’ll even miss some of what I think it should be. But I won’t ever have to miss my Jesus.

And that means I won’t miss anything, and will be with you to soak up everything that’s perfect as it is.


Let’s go.

…because love wins.

You’re human. Like me.

The sun set while the Mayo Clinic caught our eyes. We all sparkled some as you passed some thoughts by me. “Our company? We’re in eighty-five countries. We yield about seventeen billion in revenue each year. We employ about four-hundred thousand. And, you’re changing the world through us.” I don’t really understand it. I believe, I’ve stopped trying to understand it. Every bit of this is far far far beyond me. You tell me that too. You know that’s the truth. “The only way we learn that we’re really only created to love is if we let someone else help.” We were talking about the same Someone. And your eyes told me you’ve lived lonely things. You wanted to know how the Youth Gathering changed my life. I gushed about it. You smiled. You understood. You understood me. You miss what was. You’re not wanting anything else though. Because you’re running a company that keeps you away from home and that keeps you having dinner with people such as myself. And we could all spend forever worried. We could spend forever trying. Or we could spend forever in the moment, and knowing that love will always lead us to where we need to be.

Love will lead us to more Love. Eternally. All we’ve ever lived for.

“It’s all so much bigger than us,” we laughed again.

And in that moment, we reminded each other with a sparkling eye that we’re all the same. And your fears match mine. So let us live and love. Because we’re never far apart. We’re never very different. We’re all just living for Home.

Thank you for the evening. Thank You for life.

You tell me jokingly to change the world. Yet, you are among the few that know that it can and will be done. Thank you for that too.

…because love wins.


As I lay here in my softly lit home wrapped in the same Care Bear blanket that I have clutched all of my life, I think about what comes with walking into my Junior year of college. So much has changed in the two years I’ve spent there already. So much more even beyond that. So I pray.

I sit closely with Jesus. “Who will you have this year?” you asked me. “Jesus,” I say without a thought.

What have I learned of myself? I’m a cancer survivor. That means a lot more than I ever thought it could.

What do I hold onto? Love; it wins.

And what was the biggest lesson? Something simple. A reminder, I suppose.

Jesus will never leave me nor forsake me. He desires me. He is obsessed with me. He KNOWS me. And, Jesus? Absolutely loves me.

It’s as simple as that. And that changes everything about everything.

This summer was perfect in those lessons.


…because love wins.


“Speak,” You whisper to me a little louder than the time before that.
“But I know what happens if I do that, I think.”
“But do you, child? I go far beyond you. And I speak in ways that you cannot comprehend. You trust Me. You love Me. So you follow, dear child. I know you well.”
“It’s been 12 years since they told me I had cancer. 12 years. Why in the world am I still here? Why not in the world am I still here? What do I even know of love? I am but nothing. You are everything. All for You.”

And so the words come. They come in the form of stories of dying cancer patients, and they come of my own frailty. They come of what healing really is, and how deeply Satan wants for us to fall away. They bite and they guide, and they are not mine. The peace consumes me and it’s far beyond me. Something that I cannot grasp as if the mist of a summer storm greets my soft cheeks. I remember my Jesus. I remember what lives within me. And I let it all go. To be fully abandoned, and lost to myself. And, grace abounds.

As I walk away and marvel at 12 years, I don’t think forward or back. I look my Jesus in the eyes, and I say without a thought: “Thank You.” With a smile I can almost touch, He says: “My little one, well done.”

I am so free to live. So free to be me.

…because love wins.

Death Is Not Dying.

What would you say and do if you knew you were dying? Please, let this change your heart. Because you are. But we have a perfect hope.

2:20: “Most of you know that I am dying.”
3:00: “When it’s the time that you have left  to cuddle with your kids or spend with your husband, it’s terribly, terribly short.”
6:10: “What defines me is my relationship with Jesus.”
7:10: “Know God. Know yourself. Know the gospel. Know your purpose.”
8:49: “God’s words are what matter.”
11:17: “There is a natural tendency within us to view God as what we’d like Him to be.”
13:05: “Our view of God will shape our view of everything.”
13:40: “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. There is nothing you can do to make God love you less.”
20:42: “The lie of self esteem is that “I” need to do something…in order to be complete.”
23:11: “Doing things on the outside does not change the inside. Our hearts are still the same. Be honest with yourself.”
27:27: “I wake up…and then I remember I’m dying.”
41:30: “Without the knowledge of  God’s glory, we would be robbed of true joy.”
48:29: “It is an honor for me to suffer…it is the only way any of this makes sense at all.”
52:22: “Eventually the cancer will win.”
53:29: “I have learned that…I will never be perfect on my own.”
54:12: “Death will not kill my soul.”
54:30: “God is going to make everything new.”

Amen, sister. Amen. I’ll see you in eternity.

…because love wins.