I don’t feel much like writing a funny blog. I did at the beginning of last week, and I even had an epiphany about the topic I would write about. Then life hit me square in the face. Sweet Kylie happened. Kylie is a 12-year-old girl in our church/school community that battled cancer for over a year. She fought valiantly and faithfully through all the treatments. Her strength evaporated, physical sickness consumed her little body, but in almost every picture I saw of her during her well-fought journey she was smiling. Not just any old smile, but a smile that would give the sun a run for its money. A radiant, peaceful, glowing, intoxicating, all-encompassing smile that stops you in your tracks because to see her smile is to see a work of art. Kylie’s smile is like God’s reminder that He is among us and He walks us through whatever we must endure.
Kylie’s parents received the devastating news last week that this demon of cancer was ravaging Kylie’s body in ways much worse than they initially expected, and after all the treatments, declared her disease incurable. Kristen and I sat in bed the night we read this gut-wrenching news and cried. All I could think about was how in the world can parents endure this? I don’t understand God’s ways or His timing, but with this situation I have particularly struggled. I don’t even know Kylie and her family that well, but I feel as though they are my family, and they are because we share the Spirit of Jesus within us. We have admired and prayed for Kylie and her family from the sidelines, not wanting to interfere or pretend we know them well when we don’t, but we have petitioned the Lord on their behalf throughout this journey.
After reading their first update last week, I thought of my kids sleeping in the bedrooms down the hall from us and how I cannot imagine having to send out an update like Kylie’s parents had to write and send. All we could do was pray, pray, pray and hope that God would perform a miracle on her fragile body. Then it happened. Friday, February 13, 7:45 pm, Kyle went home to Jesus. I bet her smile is even more beautiful now. I bet all of her hair is back (my 4-year-old has been particularly worried about that) I bet she is strong again, basking in the love and complete wholeness that is Jesus. I bet she is singing from one of the stages that God built just for her. She epitomized fun and laughter and performing and entertaining were at the very heart of Kylie’s heart.
Kylie is free now, but I actually feel she was free to love and share her heart before she went to Jesus because she had been covered, washed, embraced and empowered by a Love that is deep as it is wide. What can we do this week to ‘show up’ and love with abandon those God has given us to love? If you can’t do it for Jesus because He first loved you, then do it for Kylie…for her legacy…and keep doing it and see if the same Love that had infected her might not grab on to you as well.
In closing I want to share some ways to get involved in this fight against childhood cancer from our sweet friends Patrick and Tiffany Moody, whose own 13-year-old daughter, Bailey, is a childhood cancer survivor. The Moody’s share that the best ways to join in the fight include:
- Contact your legislators and demand we make children a priority…seven kids a day die of cancer!
- Give to childhood cancer specific organizations. Credible orgs include: CURE, Rally Foundation
TheTruth 365, St. Baldrick’s, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
- Follow The Truth 365 and share their info and videos on social media, as well as any good info you see from the other organizations listed above.
It’s like I share when I speak about adoption and foster care. Not all of us are called to adopt or foster, but we are all called to do something. The same is true with childhood cancer. Not everyone will be touched directly by a child who endures a cancer diagnosis, but that doesn’t mean we stand on the sidelines and do nothing. Start with awareness, but then turn that awareness into action.