Heroes: Meet Kaylyn Rice

Meet one of my heroes ~ Kaylyn Rice. 

Kaylyn is an amazing girl who is a part of our Celebration family.  She's there every time the doors are open and sometimes even when scheduled services or events aren't even happening.  Her Dad and Mom are always working around the church, serving in some capacity so I see her a lot.

Kaylyn is a smart cookie - she might be only 12 but she talks like she's 41 or something.  The conversations she carries on are so insightful. At the same time she's one of the most innocent young ladies I've ever met.  I always know when I see Kaylyn coming there will be no shortage of things to talk about.   Sometimes I am literally shocked (in a good way) by what comes out of her mouth.  She has a way of expressing herself that is wise beyond her years. 

Kaylyn was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis a few months ago.  She has gone through a real struggle, yet she is one of the happiest children I have ever met.  Ever since I heard about her diagnosis I have not let go in prayer for her.  I believe with all my heart she is going to be healed.  Just since the church started praying she has gained 6 pounds, which is a major victory!!

Even with her physical struggle, Kaylyn came yesterday to the all day work day at Celebration.  It was only scheduled from 9-3, however quite a number of people stayed and worked until 5:30 or so.  Kaylyn was one of them.   I know how hard she worked.  She was beside me the whole day long.  Kaylyn specifically asked to work with me when she came yesterday morning and she was literally my sidekick all day, pulling weeds, digging, planting, raking, and more.  She even taught me a thing or two.  This girl knows something about everything, I'm tellin' ya!   I had to run to the store to get a few extra plants we needed and left her in charge of a flower box and she said, "I'll get it prepared, PD and I promise I'll be right here when you get back.  I'm not goin' anywhere!"  True to her word she was right there when I got back and the flower box was all prepared and ready for planting.  She stayed by my side from 9-5, working tirelessly even when dirt blew in her eyes and a homeless person's dog nipped at her calf.  (Explanation:  we feed about 100 homeless people every weekend at CC.  Some people's dogs tag along.)  She even took care of two other children's "boo boo's" that they had.  She was nothing short of amazing.  Concerned about the maintenance of all the work we did yesterday, she promised to personally look after the plants and water them each time she comes to church, to make sure they flourish.  As we were tending to some mulch in a flower box, she was giving me a little talk about the importance of  first impressions and how important she believes they are for our first time guests and we need to do this, and we need to do that, and yada yada yada and I wasn't quite sure if I was talking to a 12 year old or a church consultant. Ha ha!  Seriously, she was talking to me about first impressions like it was a brand new thing to me and I'd never heard about it and she was imparting this wisdom to me.  It was refreshing. I was just taking it all in, enjoying listening to somebody else beat the drum that I've so often beat. It was nice to listen to a 12 year old who evidently understands it.

Last night I wrote on her facebook:
"Kaylyn Rice, I can't even tell you what joy you bring to my heart. You always do, but today having you work right alongside me literally all day long as my partner, pulling weeds and planting stuff and watching out for vines, and having long talks while doing so...priceless. You are an amazing girl. I love you." 
She wrote back:

"I feel the same way pd! I love you too!♥
The church looks beautiful!!! Everyone is going to love it! Also, I am very sure we are going to have a God filled church and Jesus filled prayers, praise and worship, leading up to an awesome God-filled sermon!!!! I am sure of it!!!!!!!"

If Kaylyn Rice can do all this with the struggles she faces in life, what is possible for others?

May we all be inspired and learn from this young hero.