Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Lesson of Kayleigh

Quite some time ago I recommended to all who read this blog to visit a website called Kayleigh's Story. It chronicled the story of a little girl born nearly a year ago with a neurological disorder that threatened her life from the very start. The website is a reflection of her family's brave story of coping with the unknown and watching their little daughter undergo countless medical procedures and surgeries in an attempt to save her life. Sadly, that struggle to survive came to an end quietly on May 11.

Kayleigh's short life was one spent in pain and suffering. Yet, somehow, this little gift from God managed to bring joy into her parent's lives by her mere presence. Skeptics, those who refuse to see things beyond the tip of their nose, may say that the adults in Kayleigh's life should have recognized the pain and suffering she experienced and done something to end the agony. However, that would have missed the point.

It is often said that God works in mysterious ways. This refers to the fact that there often are many things in life that happen without a clear reason or explanation. We do not know clearly the ways of God. Kayleigh's story is a typical example of this. The odds of Kayleigh surviving from day one were not good. She had numerous serious health problems that rendered her nearly lifeless in life. Yet, God gave her the brief life that she had for some reason that is beyond our understanding. This is where faith comes in.

Kayleigh's parents suffered mightily during the course of her life. Their hopes rose and fell with each procedure. Their emotions ebbed and flowed sometimes by the minute. They agonized over their little girl's future. Because their faith in God grew deeper during the months of Kayleigh's life, they learned to trust in Him more and more with each passing day. That is not to say that they did not struggle. Very few of us will ever be in the position to experience what they experienced during this time. Kayleigh's parents have stood through all of this as towers of strength turning to each other and God to see them through this nightmare.

Perhaps that is why Kayleigh was born with the difficulties that she was given. Through her life, her parent's faith in God was obviously strengthened while struggling with the ups and downs of this delicate little girl's life. Countless strangers who never met Kayleigh's parents have learned something from this amazing story. God's love for his children has been quite evident through the life of a little girl who had, realistically, very little chance of survival. In order for our faith to grow and be strengthened we must be tried from time to time. We must look inward to find that kernel of faith that will see us through the tragedies of life. We must learn to look beyond what apparently is happening to what is really happening. This takes the sight that only faith provides. And we cannot do this on our own. We must have the grace given to us by the Holy Spirit to see such things. Kayleigh was that grace.

The pain of her departure is felt by even the most casual observer. None of us can imagine the pain of losing a child unless we have endured such a loss. None of us knows how we would handle such a thing. What we can do, however, is look to Kayleigh's parents as shinning examples of how to keep faith in God while strengthening that faith at the same time. God is a marvelous god and we will never be able to fully understand His actions. Yet, we must have faith that what He does, He does with an eye to drawing us closer and closer to us. While this process may involve painful moments, we must learn to trust Him fully.

Our prayers are, of course, with Kayleigh's family and we are assured that she is now complete and whole with God the loving Father, no longer suffering as she did during her tragically shortened life.