My Best Friend Passed Away

To The Friend Who Everyone Lost Too Soon, You Still Teach Me So Much

There are still so many lessons to learn from you.


Dear Cassie,

I miss you. I wish we could have grabbed that coffee or go to the lunch we were planning... instead of going to your funeral. I wanted to pick your brain, see how you were, reminisce about our time in Haiti, and work on cultivating our friendship. Truthfully, I'm still experiencing the disbelief. It's really hard for me to believe you're really gone because you were so full of love and joy and life.

If you were to ask anyone what Cassie was like, I guarantee they would begin with how kind, compassionate, funny, beautiful, talented, and extraordinary she was. For the longest time when I was first getting to know Cassie, she was incredibly quiet and shy. However, she was anything but. Cassie was an absolute giant. Her faith and love for God were unwavering.

At her service, a portion of her journal was shared. In it, the pages read, "Never leave me Lord, keep me under your wing". I have no doubt that He did just this. To this day, I'm still unclear of many things that happened in the days preceding her going home. But one of the few things I'm sure of is that Cassie was so incredibly brave.

No matter what the circumstance or the trial, she kept her eyes focused on the Lord. She had hopes, dreams, goals and so many aspirations, but above all, she had incredible faith. Cassie's faith was a true reflection of who she was. If one thing could be said about her time on Earth, it can be said that she 'loved Jesus, and talked to God often'.

Her faith was a testament to who she was and was a reflection of the incredible heart she had.

I don't think Cassie ever met a person she couldn't love. She was always the first to show grace and compassion to strangers and kindness and generosity to her friends. Mark 12:31 says, "The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no greater commandment than these." If Cassie's life had a mission statement, it would have been this verse.

You were a light to so many beautiful.

You encouraged countless people daily.

My dear, you were a light in an otherwise dark world.

I still wish I could have told you what you meant to me. This was one of the biggest things I took away from your passing. So, I began the journey of showing and sharing my love for the people I care about. I didn't want the legacy of your life to not be applicable to my own. I knew that if I was going to honor you in the best way possible, I would do the thing you were probably the best at.

In just a short amount of time, you lived the most fulfilling life. Without a doubt Cassie, you touched the lives of everyone you ever met. From work to school to church, your light and life reflected one thing: Jesus. Everyone who knows you knew this. While you were so intelligent and crazy beautiful, every single day you drew breath you reflected the glory and awesome plan of God.

All I have to say is thank you, Cassie. Thank you for all the lessons you've taught me in the last year. Thank you for challenging me to choose joy. Thank you for inspiring me to love and be okay with accepting love. Thank you for encouraging me to step out with nothing but faith. I'll never truly be able to thank you enough but thank you for all the lessons you've taught and you continue to teach me.

I love you, Cass.

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10 Struggles Girls Taller Than 5'7" Feel On A Spiritual Level

3. "Do you date guys that are shorter than you?"

Any girl who is at least 5'8" will understand these struggles and possibly identify with them on a spiritual level.

1. Dresses not being long enough

Finding dresses for any occasion that will be long enough is like searching for rain in a drought. And when you find one, it's bound to either cost $$$ or not fit another aspect of your body.

2. Heck, pants are never long enough either

You are constantly flooding, or else you rolled up your jeans to look like capris. Unless you special ordered some jeans online in the coveted size LONG or EXTRA LONG, this will forever be your fate.

3. "Do you date guys that are shorter than you?"

This is a personal preference people! Don't assume that a girl will or will not date someone just based on their height difference! Also, don't judge if they aren't interested in someone who is shorter than them!

4. Not wearing heels because you don't enjoy being the skyscraper of the friend group

Wearing heels can be fun buuuuuuuut sometimes towering over everyone else is not our idea of fun.

5. It's hard to find cute shoes that actually fit

You would love to have all those cute little shoes in the clearance section, but most of them barely cover your big toe.

6. Everyone thinks you walk too fast

Short-legged people just can't keep up with you, even though you aren't even walking fast. Like at all.

7. People want to jump on your back

Just because you're tall doesn't give them the license to make you into their personal camel.

8. Never being able to cross your legs underneath desks and tables

You. Can. Not. Get. Comfortable.

9. Awkward hugs

Some people will never understand.

10. Never knowing how to pose in pictures

Should you sorority squat? Pop the hip? Bend the leg? Contort your body to feel like a normal sized human? So hard to decide.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Willoughby

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.


Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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