Friday, March 29, 2013

This Easter I choose...

I'm supposed to be doing school right now...

But my mind is literally EVERYWHERE.

Sunday is Easter...I don't have a dress.

It's 9:07 and I just got up and I have a full day of school today.

My BFF is coming tonight, we're going shopping, and it's going to be great fun.

But what I really can't stop thinking about is last night, we had a communion service at church in the sanctuary.

I can vividly remember one of the last times I sat in that sanctuary. Paige's body was in a casket on the at the front of the room.

And every time I'm in the sanctuary, that's all I can think about. That day when I sobbed audibly. That day when tears didn't stop. That day when my dearest friends grieved with me. That day when I didn't want God. That day when I thought, "How could He do this to me?" It was by far, hands down, the hardest day of my life.

And tears fill my eyes every time I think of that day.

I can hear our music pastor playing the Tennessee Waltz on Trumpet, she cried every time she heard that song. And I cried that day too. I can hear my dad crying while reading my letter to her. I can hear everyone singing the Great I Am.

All that to say...this Easter isn't easy.

It's going to be one of the last firsts without her.

My birthday has already passed, Christmas, the New Year, Thanksgiving...

I remember last Easter, she was SO excited that she had gotten her entire family to come to Rich Fork.

"Bailey B! Go say hi to my family!" She said after hugging me. I went and said hi, but Paige couldn't sit still. She was so excited about that day that Jesus saved her. And that her family was there to celebrate.

I remember two years ago, I sat with her on Easter, and we worshipped together.

This year, God's love amazes me more than ever. I have found God in circumstances I would have never imagined.

He has shown me that He is there in every circumstance. He has shown me that He loves me even when I cry, "Why did you do this to me?"

He loves me all the time.

He found me when I didn't want Him because He took my Paige, and I didn't know why.

He rescued me. And showed me His love in a way I've never experienced it before.

And last night, as I took of His body and His blood, His sacrifice for me was so real, so evident.

And I am so thankful that today, many years ago, He died for me. He sacrificed Himself for me, because He loved me in spite of my sinfulness.

He knew I would need Him more than anything.

So He allowed Himself to be nailed to the cross and give Himself up to death.

He died for ME. He rose for ME. He loves ME.

This Easter....she gets to celebrate with her Savior.

This Easter....I worship from Earth, praising Him because He loves me, even when I don't.

This Easter....I recognize His unending love for me, that covers me every day.

And I choose to worship and love Him with everything I have in me.

Because, this Easter, she wouldn't want me to grieve, she would want me to worship and be thankful for my Savior's love.

So that's what I'm going to do.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

A peak into her heart...

Ever since children's choir last week, my heart has been so heavy.

Why? You ask.

We were singing that song I wrote the blog post about, "Bring My Praise."

And a little girl came up to me (she's in kindergarten, sweet as can be, super cute, and lives with a foster family) tears filling her eyes.

"This song makes me sad," she said as tears ran down her cheeks.

I scooped her up in my arms and we went to the back of the room. She buried her head in my shoulder and her tears left stains on my shirt.

"Did you know Jesus loves to hear you sing?" I asked. She nodded. I rocked her for a few minutes, hugging her tightly, trying not to cry myself.

"Why does it make you sad?" I asked. I wasn't expecting the answer she gave me.

"It makes me think of my mommy and daddy. And I don't have one." She began to bawl. And my eyes filled with tears. Her little heart was so broken.

I just held her tightly and she continued to cry.

"Do you know how much Jesus loves you, sweet girl?" I asked. She just cried. And my heart continued to break.

I thought about this all night and I told several friends.

This sweet girl, who feels alone in this world, needs love. I'm thankful that I know this sweet girl receives so much love from her foster family. I see them in church every Sunday and I'm confident that she has love...but don't you just wonder what goes through her little mind?

There are so many children in foster care or in orphanages all around the world that don't get love. Their hearts are broken and they need Jesus. They need people like us to step up to the plate and love them. People like us who can show them God's precious, gracious, merciful love.

And it breaks my heart to know that there are children out there, just like this sweet little girl, who don't have mommies and daddies. Who don't have people on a daily basis to love them. Friends, their hearts can be healed. And there is so much we can do. If only we would just do it.

So, as I love on children in children's choir, and love on this sweet little girl, I challenge you to think about what you can do. So many children need love and after this peek into this little girl's heart...I've been
continually challenged to love. God keeps telling me, "This is what I want you to do. To love children, no matter what their circumstances."

So that's what I'll do for this sweet girl. I'll show her God's love. And I'll continue to tell her that Jesus loves her more than she can imagine. Because really...that's all that matters.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Goodbye friend.

This week is going to be hard. 

Well, more like the beginning of next week. 

Why you ask?

Nick leaves for the Navy on Monday. 

He's like my brother-in-law. 

When I first met him, I had no idea how close he would become to me. How much he would feel like family. 

Because we are family. 

And what's even harder than that my big sister and niece will leave later this year, and right now, we don't even know where. 

My heart is hurting, friends. Those three are family. They mean so much to me. 

I'm so proud to call them family. Because what they're doing is incredible. They're following what God is calling them to do even if they have no idea where it will take them (literally). It's a brave thing what they're doing. 

And I'm going to miss them. So, so, so very much. 

Friends- don't pray for me. I've made it through the last(almost eight months), I can make it through this. Pray for Nick, Amanda and sweet miss Harper(good gracious- isn't she the CUTEST thing?!). Pray they would feel the Lord's comforting arms around them. Pray for Amanda during these next few months while Nick is away. 

Thank you for what you're doing, Nick. Thank you for taking care of my sister. And on another note- thank you for trusting me with your baby. That means more than you can imagine.
I can't wait to see what God is going to do through your family. 

But most of all, I'm going to miss you guys a whole, whole lot.

Love, Bailey Elizabeth

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Unending Love

It's been a while since I've written.

And a lot has happened I haven't posted about.

I'm in the Senior Praise Band for our youth group, we play every Wednesday night. And I love it. SO. Much. Getting to lead others in praise is an incredible feeling and responsibility.

We played this song last night...

It talks about His unfailing His promises are the greatest comfort and how we can always rest in His peace.

It made me realize how much I take for granted the love of Jesus I receive. It made me long to be closer to Him.

It made me think...that through these months of pain, He's brought me joy. He's brought me through. He's given me friendships that I wouldn't have found otherwise. He's loved me continually. Even when honestly, I was too angry to love Him back. He's brought me new mercies every morning. So why shouldn't I praise Him and give Him all I have?

I've listened to it a whole lot today...and these words are the cry of my heart.

You don't even have to watch the video, just listen to the words...and let you heart soak them in as I did.

Enjoy it friends. And have a wonderful day.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Paige Elizabeth-

Here I sit at the computer after working on my book for a while.

But I can't get this thought off of my mind.

You know that song? The one from the musical for Summer With the was called, "I Believe." It went something like this...

I believe, oh I believe in Jesus. I believe He died and he rose again. 

Every time you listened to it- you cried, because all you could think of was sitting there watching all of the kids sing it on Sunday night after SWTA. Watching all those kids cry out how they believed in their Savior, and how much they loved Him. Well, I can tell you, it was great. I cried for you.

I've told you how I'm helping in children's choir this year, right? I'm doing it because of you.

The kids are learning this song. It's called "Bring My Praise." You would love it. I can't help but sit there and just listen to the sweet voices of the kids sing to the Lord in praise.

No one else can bring my praise but me. No one else can bring my offerring. You have put a love song deep inside of me...I love you, I need you....

I now know exactly how you feel about "I Believe." It amazes me to listen to the kids just sing, declaring their need for their Sweet Jesus. I love to watch their faces as they sing their hearts out. It makes me smile.

I think of you every. single. time I hear that song. And when they sing it in church- I'm probably gonna cry, and you know I don't typically cry. So that's a big deal.

I'll cry for you. I'll hug them for you. I'll tell them how proud of them you are. I'll tell them that because the Lord put you in my life and you loved me so much, I love them.

You're great.

I think of you often. I know you wouldn't trade time with Jesus for anything, but selfishly I really, really wish you were here with me.

And I miss you so desperately.

With love and a hug- your Bailey Elizabeth.