Michael and I went to the first ISU home football game of the season.
The announcer came over the loudspeaker and introduced the "kid captain" for the game as she proudly walked hand in hand with the rest of the football team captains to watch the coin toss...
Kelsey was her name.
The "kid captain" role is for someone facing a challenging medical situation,
and that she was.
Kelsey was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor about a year and a half ago
and her life was turned upside down.
(for the record, I really, really, really hate cancer. it has taken way too many loved ones, and it's just plain unfair.)
Back to the game, though.
As the announcer was sharing her story,
I was fighting back the tears that were streaming down my face.
I was instantly touched by this sweet, brave 15 year old girl.
Fast forward to this past Sunday night...
I was reading twitter before bed,
and noticed that a few of the ISU football players were sending out tweets with #teamkelsey at the end.
I clicked on the hashtag and read tweet after tweet
How she had changed the lives of so many people,
how she was loved, admired,
and encouraged by people all over the globe,
and how she was in desperate need of prayers.
That night, I prayed for sweet Kelsey.
I didn't know her personally, and yet I felt so connected to her.
She passed away Monday morning,
and I was so heartbroken...
for her family, for her friends,
for everyone whose live's she had touched.
That afternoon, I called my mom to ask her a question and we got to talking (for the next hour).
About halfway through our conversation,
I began to tell my mom about Kelsey.
I told her that although I didn't know her personally,
I was so moved by her story and the incredible faith that both she (had) and her parents have.
Our conversation ended, I finished up a few things on my "to do" list, and then I headed upstairs to begin my devotional time.
Just as I had pulled out my Bible, the phone rang.
It was my mom.
I answered and she said,
"Hey, do you have time for a quick story?"
She then proceeded to tell me that the contractor that has been working on my parent's house called her after our phone conversation to see if he could drop by and chat about one of the house projects.
When he got to my parent's house, they made light conversation and then he turned to my mom and said something along the lines of,
"Man, it has been a crazy day. My wife received a phone call this morning that her 15 year old cousin had passed away after battling brain cancer for the past year and a half."
My mom reached over, touched his arm and replied,
"Did she walk on with the Iowa State football captains at a game this fall?"
The contractor looked at my mom wide-eyed and said,
"Yes! How did you know that?"
My mom explained that she had just gotten off the phone with me, where I had shared this story about Kelsey
and how deeply it affected me.
He then shared something incredible with my mom.
Minutes after Kelsey passed away, he said the clouds parted and the sun was beaming down from the sky.
The timing of it all couldn't have been more perfect or planned out.
My mom said they spent the next 45 minutes or so talking about Kelsey, faith, life, and death.
This girl made an incredible impact on so. many. lives.
Tears filled my eyes (for the third time that day)
as my mom shared this story with me.
What a coincidence that I had JUST shared this story with her,
only to have the contractor show up at the house
and randomly begin talking about the same thing.
Clearly, God was trying to speak to us.
What His message was, I'm still not sure...
but one thing is for certain,
I hope and pray that I can have a faith like Kelsey and her family have so boldly displayed.