Saturday, July 18, 2015


When I wrote this post about the lasts that this semester would hold, I didn’t realize how beautiful many of them would be.

Here I am and most of them have already taken place.

My last Sunday as a student in our youth ministry when I walked on stage and was announced a graduate of Rich Fork Student Ministry’s class of 2015.  It was that Sunday I stood and sang, “It is well with my soul.”  And in that moment, everything really was well with my soul.

This leads me to talk about the most recent occurrence: camp.  You see, I am sitting here with tired eyes and a soul satisfied in Jesus as we have just gotten back from a week long camp.  Let me tell you, this was by far the most powerful week we have ever spent together as a youth group.  Yes, we laughed until we cried and we sang until our voices are nearly gone.  But the Lord also truly changed lives and worked among us in ways that we would have never imagined.

I don’t have time to share every story and memory that this past week held, because, trust me, it was full of so many.  But I want to share this with you.

As I stood in worship last night, we sang a song that repeated this phrase:

And the grace of Jesus is always wider, it’s growing on and on and always higher. 
And the grace of Jesus lights a fire, light a fire deep down in my soul.

Grace, grace, God’s grace: grace that can pardon and cleanse within.  Grace, grace, God’s grace: grace that is greater than all my sin.

Standing there worshipping I was overcome with so many emotions. Overcome with thankfulness for His grace in my life.  Overcome with the awareness of where I was and all He was doing.

But as I took a quick look around at each of the students around me, I saw these middle school and high school students worshipping Jesus Christ with everything they had.  Whether they had their eyes closed, their hands raised, or both- I knew that it was coming from their heart.

And I also realized why Paige loved so many so well while she was here- it’s not only because it’s what Christ calls us to do, it’s because when you love well and pour into lives until you have nothing left to give…you get to stand and worship and watch lives be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

That’s what I got to experience last night in worship.  I got to watch these students’ lives be changed, miracles be worked in their lives…and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Last night as a youth group, for the first time, we talked about Paige. It’s been nearly three years and last night we cried together and prayed for each other and held each other in our grief.

But more than any of these things we rejoiced in the freedom we have in Christ.  Freedom from the weight of sin and grief and death.  As we learned this week, we are alive and free in Christ.  He is greater than any trial we could ever face.  We surrender to Him not because we know it will be easy, but because we know the God we are serving.

I poured my heart out to these girls last night, thanking them for letting me invest in their lives, spend time with them, get to know them, and watch them worship.  I couldn’t be more proud of them and all they have allowed Christ to do in their lives this week.  I also couldn’t be more thankful for all He did in me, in the ways He revived me and restored my spirit, preparing me for so much coming up in the next weeks.

My heart is full and my soul sings, thank you, Lord, for all that You are to all of us…for all that you have done and will continue to do through this past week…for making us alive and free.  Your daughter, Bailey Elizabeth

*No.  This title is not like Reflections as in the song from Mulan.  Just thought I'd clarify- haha!