Amen I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God
like a child will not enter it. Mark 10:15
I never feel tall when I stand with my family; everyone in this house is 4 to 13 inches taller than I am! Luckily I teach first grade so I can feel taller than somebody! Children often think “tallness” means “smartness”. I’d love to believe that’s true but my little lovelies show me regularly that they have knowledge far beyond mine! I realize I’m the one getting the paycheck for teaching but it’s often the students that teach the better lessons! This year we are all learning lessons from a little lovely named Bridget.
For the Joyful Words readers who live far away, I should tell you before I go on with the story that in February Bridget was diagnosed with a rare kidney disorder. It’s been quite a journey so far but she and her family have shown amazing strength and trust. Theirs is a story of faith, prayer and love. I refer to her as “Brave Beautiful Bridget.” She has been an inspiration to me and to lots of others who know and love her. Early in the journey when her
parents and family struggled to cope with the Doctors words, Bridget was a
pillar of strength. She doesn’t cry, or complain. She doesn’t even fuss about the strict diet and medical routine she is required to follow. She has taken the whole thing in stride with grace and a great attitude. I asked her if being sick has changed her relationship with Jesus and she smiled and said, “I think it makes me holier because I pray more.” She and her family began to recognize God’s blessings on their journey very early on. The first blessing was powerful to them and to everyone who knows and loves Bridget.
On All Saints Day last November, we played an all school game of Saintly Musical Chairs. All 237 kids reported to the gym to play. Each chair had a saint name on it. The kids walked around the circles of chairs until the music stopped and then they sat down. If the saint name read by the announcer was the same as the one on their chair, they had to remain seated. Bridget was the last child standing and the name on her chair was the newly canonized St. Kateri. Her last miracle for canonization was the healing of a child. St. Kateri is the first Native American to become a saint. Oddly enough last summer Bridget and her dad built a giant teepee in the back yard for no particular reason at all. In March that teepee became a symbol of Gods wisdom and love.
This beautiful, brave little girl has knowledge and experiences completely uncommon to most children her age. She can speak about blood counts,
kidney function and IV’s the way most kids talk about Barbie’s, iPods or bike
rides. She talks about her faith and her trust in Jesus in a sincere and inspiring way not even realizing how many ways God is using her to reach so many people. Her struggle is accompanied by an innocent giggle and a powerful testimony. She told me being sick has changed her family too, “we pray a lot more and I think that makes Jesus happy.” She is so wise for someone so little!
I asked Bridget’s parents Jon and Amy for permission to tell her story for two reasons. The first reason is because we are often tempted to say “Why me?” when something bad happens and we don’t quite realize the benefit and blessing our suffering can be for others. Bridget’s illness has united a community in prayer and they have been an example of faith and strength. We need those examples, we need to practice reaching out to others in loving service and we need to come together as a people of prayer .The second reason is to ask for an avalanche of prayer. Bridget has been asking our class to pray for a donor and her prayer was answered in an amazing way. Bridget’s mom Amy will be her kidney donor. The transplant is scheduled for June 14th. Please ask God’s blessing on Amy as she gives the ultimate gift of a mothers love and on Bridget so the new kidney will restore her little body and make her well. Please join us in praying Bridget’s prayer.
St. Kateri, who like Jesus loved little children please intercede for our friend Bridget. Heavenly Father we ask you to wrap Bridget in Your healing arms of love and make her well. Please bless her family and her doctors. This favor we ask through the power of Your Holy Name.
A Seed To Plant: Pray for Bridget!
Blessings on your day!
(Head over to CatholicMom.com on Friday afternoon for a story called “A Mother’s Gift of Love” which is a feature about Bridget and her mom Amy)
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