Sunday, August 24, 2014

Always Worth It.

Today is story time. This is not about my book. This is not about writing. This is a story of what God is doing and I had to share it in it's entirety.

Travel back with me eleven years ago. 

In the forefront of our story is a six year old girl with thin blonde hair and brown eyes, always tall for her age. She sat at basketball practice as the coach shared the story of salvation. This six year old's mind was churning knowing that she needed this Jesus in her life. When she got home, she went to her parents and told them what happened at basketball practice. That night that six year old little girl prayed to ask the Lord to be her Savior, to forgive her of her sins and to walk with her the rest of her life. 

Let's fast-forward two years. Around the age of eight, this little girl met a thirteen year old who was in her mom's Sunday School class. Her mom had taught a lot of Sunday School classes and she had met a lot of youth students. But this young girl, this wide-open, crazy about Jesus girl...she was different. 

You see, this thirteen year old made the little girl feel special. She made her feel loved. She showed this incredible love she knew from Jesus to the children around her. And this little blonde girl felt it, too. 

This eight year old and this thirteen year old grew older. As they grew older, they grew closer. Each year their relationship strengthened until the little girl, now thirteen years old considered this high school graduate one of her best friends. 

When she went off to college, this little blonde girl was broken hearted. But the friendship wasn't broken up by college. No, it was only strengthened and shared by two girls now entering a completely new and different phase of life. 

Every week or so, this little blonde girl would receive a letter in the mail from her friend off at school. Letters containing updates on classes and new friends being made. And they were precious to her, no one else was allowed to read them. She would write back telling her college aged friend all about life back at home- how the family was and how her little sister from Rwanda was growing up so quickly. 

Each summer they spent many days together, celebrating the small and big things, like finishing driver's ed and VBS and SWTA. 

That is until this little girl's college age friend passed away. At twenty years old, she had made such a big impact on this almost fifteen year old. No, she would not be forgotten. Her faith and her life would make an impact on all of those she knew- including this fifteen year old. 

About this time, this blonde headed fifteen year old met a seven year old little girl. Her name was Haley and she had brown hair and freckles. This fifteen year old loved this seven year old and she immediately knew: this is my chance. This is my chance to love someone like she loved me. 

So she did. This fifteen year old and this seven year old also grew older. As they grew older they grew closer. When our main character turned sixteen and got her license, she took Haley out for her birthday and made her feel special...hopefully like her dearest friend had done for her. 

When she went away to the beach for a couple of weeks, she wrote to Haley and asked her how things were at home, just like her friend had done for her. She told her to be the young lady God had created her to be, just like her friend had done for her. She told her to chase God with all of her heart and not miss the incredible opportunities He had for her, just like her friend had done for her. 

And when Haley came running up to me before Sunday School today, telling me she had gone forward in church to let everyone know she had the Lord as her Savior and she wanted to be eyes filled with tears and my heart soared. 

Because I was able to love my Haley like Paige loved me. I was able to encourage her and hug her and tell her how incredibly proud I was of her just like Paige had done for me. 

All because at six years old I trusted in the Lord as my Savior. Because some things only happen when Christ is in the lead. And today I realized that Paige and Haley and the relationships with so many other children at church only take place because of Him and my reconciled relationship to Him. 

Oh how thankful I am for the love that He shows each of us...this love that I am also able to show my Haley and my Sonia and all of my other kids at church. 

Today I was overwhelmed with gratefulness to be able to love for Him and because of Him. I was grateful for the joy on Haley's face when she told me about her decision. I was grateful for the way Sonia loves to tell me about her day and her friends in Sunday School. I was grateful for every bit of it. 

Most of all I was grateful for His love for me, each and every day that enables me to love others even when it seems impossible. 

So love those around you with the biggest love you can imagine. Today I saw that it is always worth it.

~Bailey (that blonde haired six year old.)

P.S. My sweet Haley, I am SO very proud of you and the beautiful young lady the Lord is shaping you to be. Keep pursuing Him and loving Him all of the days of your life. I love you so, so, SO much. Thanks for being my friend. I can't wait for all of the memories we will continue to make. Have I mentioned I'm proud of you? 

No comments:

Post a Comment