After her 16-year-old daughter was savagely killed in a mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last Sunday, Charlene Uhl is finding new hope and comfort in an unexpected place.
Just the day before the massacre unfolded, Charlene bought her daughter, Haley Krueger, a simple spiral-bound notebook.
The following morning, Charlene dropped Haley off at First Baptist Church, where the teen had regularly been attending services and serving on the breakfast team. She had her brand new notebook in tow.
Charlene says the church was special to Haley.
When her father died two years ago of pancreatic cancer, she found comfort and support in the First Baptist youth group. Charlene says it’s ultimately what helped Haley get through the loss of her dad.
Sometime in between serving breakfast to parishioners and joining the worship service on Sunday morning, Haley opened up her new notebook. She took to one of the pages with pink hearts and green crosses.
Among the doodles, she also penned some poignant words:
“I accept God,” the teen declared. “Take me away Jesus help me not hurt anymore.”
Her words are chilling but hold SO much comfort.
Haley was one of the 26 people tragically killed when Devin Kelley opened fire on Sunday morning’s worship service.
“It’s unreal,” Charlene said of the unbearable loss. “No parent should have to bury their child.”
For now, the mother of four says she’s making arrangements and helping her three other children cope with the loss of their sibling.
I cannot imagine the pain Haley’s family is enduring right now, nor can I pretend to understand what it’s like to drop your daughter off at church, and have her never return home.
But I pray today that Charlene takes comfort in knowing that God was with Haley before, throughout and after Sunday morning’s terrible events. He was preparing her heart for things unseen, and He even moved her to document it, as validation that He was there.
Join us in continuing to pray for Haley’s family. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up on their behalf.