This week has been an emotional one.
I grew up going to Northside Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I was there any chance I could be. I was heavily involved in my youth group and love, love, loved going to church. I met Jesus there. I learned to own my faith there. The people are near and dear to my heart, and the ministry that happens there affected my life in ways I could never fully explain through words. The pastor and associate pastor have been there ever since my family came when I was in 4th grade! I care deeply about the staff and their families. My husband was even asked to speak at Northside’s youth camp this past summer, and he fell in love with those students! Not to mention, we adore the youth pastor’s family!
Back to my original story…this week’s been hard. David — the associate pastor at Northside — and his wife have three kids. Baylor is their 16-year-old. He plays on the football team at Siegel High School. Tyler connected with him this summer, and my JAW DROPPED when I saw him at camp. I babysat him a few times, and I still expected him to be 8 when I saw him! I was shocked. But he’d grown into quite a kind, sweet young man…I’m proud to know him! On October 23rd Baylor got the chance to START in the football game as cornerback for the first time in his career. I’m sure he was filled with excitement and anticipation! His parents were probably beaming in the stands! That night, he came off the field with a headache, the night escalated, and he was eventually life-flighted to Vanderbilt. He has been unconscious ever since.
Ladies — #Pray4Baylor has become a MOVEMENT. I have seen and heard of people from all over the country desperately crying out in prayer for this 16-year-old boy. I’ve continually prayed for God to show Himself in people’s lives through this tragedy… to allow people to grow closer to Him, and for those who don’t know Jesus, that they would come to know Him. And let me tell you — He is showing up in my own life. I have prayed more this week than I have in months, I hate to admit. Life has been breathed into worship songs that have long been words I’ve uttered with my heart far removed. I have cried out to God, knowing that He’s truly the only One who can breathe life back into Baylor. The true meaning of “The Church” has become even more evident to me. I’ve seen Christians — God’s Church — praying no matter which church they attend. People have been storming Heaven’s gates on Baylor’s behalf. I live 5 hours away, but from afar, I’ve seen a community come together, raise money for this precious family, and PRAY.
At Friday night’s football game, the opposing team’s coach and Siegel’s coach came together to produce a memorable first play of the game to honor Baylor.
Siegel played the first play with 10 guys on the field. The opposing team ran the ball to the 33-yard line (Baylor’s number). They took a knee after the snap, and credited the tackle to Baylor. Then, both teams, cheerleaders, coaches, and so on gathered midfield to PRAY. I cannot imagine there was a dry eye in the stands and on the field that night. THAT is community.
Unfortunately for now, Baylor’s condition continues to remain unchanged.
God’s purposes for circumstances in our lives sometimes seem a mystery. There are HARD days. There are tough circumstances. I cannot imagine what his family and close friends are going through right now. His story was even featured on Sportscenter, so I know the nation is watching. People are praying during a time when it’s not encouraged to pray. Especially publically. Something AMAZING is happening through the worst circumstances. We cry with hope. We pray with hope.
Baylor’s dad David tweeted this week:
“It’s natural to ask ‘why?’
John 9:3 Jesus said:
‘This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’
This brings tears to my eyes. God truly has a purpose for it all. All the hurt, pain, confusion. He cares about His children. He hears us. He’s STILL God. He’s STILL good.
I keep thinking about Gideon. Gideon faced an army of over 100,000 with 300 men — God stripped His army of 32,000 down to 300. The odds were stacked against them. Everything pointed to defeat EXCEPT God was fighting for them! Gideon and His army defeated the Midianites through GOD’S STRENGTH AND POWER! Our GOD can do ANYTHING.
Baylor needs a miracle, friends. God is our HEALER. THE healer. Just like He fought against all odds for Gideon, He can certainly do the same for Baylor. Please join the #Pray4Baylor movement and get on your knees for this boy, his family, and the community. I still BELIEVE God is working. HE can perform this miracle. We must pray with HOPE!
Thank you for reading about this situation that’s close to my heart…PLEASE join us in prayer!