Psalm 139:23

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of the everlasting."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

There's no address in the stars...

This past week has been so hard! I've been really sick which has given me time to feel sorry for myself. I try every morning to give my pain & heartache to the Lord & allow Him to comfort me, but this past week I cannot shake the emotions. I miss Lex soooo much! Reality is sinking in more & more every day. I feel like there is a huge hole in my heart that will never be filled. Every day feels like a marathon :(. If I can just get from one breath to the next without crying I have really accomplished something. I write Lexi notes almost every day telling her how much I love her & miss her & how I wish things were different. I still don't want to believe this happened! I think a lot about the times I had with her before I knew she was sick...the times we laughed & played & I didn't worry about not being able to see her again. I would give anything for one more good day with all 6 of the kids. Everyone keeps telling me that time will heal my pain, but that's just a lie! I will never get over losing Lexi. I will just learn to live with the pain. 

There are so many things that remind me of Lexi every day. Last weekend I went to Walmart & saw a beautiful Easter dress. My first thought was wow that dress would be so beautiful on my baby girls, but then I realized I will never see Lexi in another pretty dress. My days of dressing her & fixing her hair with pretty bows are over.  Moments like this make my heart hurt! Sometimes I wonder if it will ever stop hurting! It is hard to see anything that has to do with twins. I went to the Tulsa Workshop & saw a photo frame for twins that said "Double Blessed" and had a picture of each twin with their footprints. I try so hard not to be jealous that other families have twins, but I can't help it! Holding two baby girls at the same time who never should have taken a breath was the most amazing & indescribable feeling I have ever felt in my life. It seems so wrong to have one twin without the other. Lindsey really misses Lexi. I called the kids last night & talked with them about their trip to Disney World. Lindsey told me she had fun & she misses me. Then she said, "Kayla, I want Lexi to come home! I miss her!" It took everything in me not to start bawling. All I could say was, "I miss Lexi too Linds!" Moments like this make me question why this had to happen. It doesn't seem fair! I hate hearing the kids upset! They shouldn't experience pain like this. 

I find myself thinking about heaven more & more every day. I am honestly excited about dying. This earth is simply my temporary home. I look forward to being in my permanent home with my Father & my precious baby girl. Even though my heart is broken over the idea of spending Easter without Lex, I am so grateful for what Easter symbolizes. I often have to remind myself that the cross would have been God's worst defeat if Jesus had not risen again. Because He rose again Lexi has been risen & some day I too will join her in our Father's kingdom. It so comforting to think about being with my Lord. No matter how hard this life gets, I rest assured on His promises. He has promised to never leave me or forsake me. He has promised that He is close to the brokenhearted & most importantly He has promised that He is preparing a place for me...a place where there is no more pain and no more loss. Even on my worse day I know who I belong to & where I am going. I will continue to love Him every day in spite of my "why" & "what if" questions. He is my hope & my salvation. In Him I find a  peace which surpasses understanding. My weary heart finds rest at His feet...

"The Lord is near to those who are brokenhearted & saves those who are crushed in spirit." Ps. 34:18

"The Lord will also be a refuge for the oppressed. A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know your name will put their trust in you; for you Lord have not forsaken those who seek you." Ps. 9:9-10

e Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Ps 18.1-2)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The wheel of the world

Tonight is a rough night. I can't stop the tears from flowing! Thursday was a month since my lil Lexi passed away. I can't even believe it's been a whole month without her! It is hard to realize that just because my heart is broken & my world came crashing down, doesn't mean the world stopped. Life goes on...without Lexi :'(. I still wake up feeling like this is all a terrible dream. I don't want to believe this happened! I don't want to move on! I want more then anything to go to Lexi's house & life be back to normal. I want to walk into her room & see her smile her beautiful smile. I can't handle the reality that none of this will ever happen again here on earth. There is an aching pain in my heart every day! Not a day goes by that I don't mourn the loss of Lexi; the shattered hope & broken dreams.

On Thursday I went out to Lexi's grave. It was a beautiful day. The beauty of the sunshine reminded me of how He is the creator of all things... especially the creator of Lexi. She was His...not mine. He just blessed me by allowing me to borrow her for three years. Even still, seeing her name at a grave made me nauseous. I told her I miss her & can't wait to be with her again, & that i'm glad that she feels better. I spent some time in prayer & told my Lord how unfair it is that I was having to talk to my baby girl at a grave. This wasn't how it was supposed to end! She was supposed to get better. She should already be home from receiving her transplant. That reality is so hard to deal with! The fact that she received the liver transplant & still did not survive has been the hardest part of this terrible tragedy. We were given hope just to have it ripped away!

Even as I cry tonight I am so grateful for the love that my Lord continues to pour on us during this storm. He has never & will never leave our side. A few weeks ago I was crying & begging Him to give me an answer... anything to give me a little bit of peace & show me that He is still here. The next day I read Luke 9. Towards the end of chapter 9 a man ask if he can follow Jesus. Jesus replies yes, follow me now. The man says first let me go and bury my dead father. In verse 60 Jesus replies, "Let the dead bury the dead. You go & proclaim the kingdom of God." If I didn't know anything else about Jesus this verse would seem so cruel! But I don't think He was being cruel. I think He was frustrated that in our humanness we don't understand how temporary this world is. We are not meant to live here... we are meant to live with our Father. I am supposed to be where Lexi is. Just like I mourn being separated from Lexi, my Father mourns being away from His children here on earth. Maybe i'm crazy, but to me that verse was His way of telling me, "Kayla, you don't get it! You don't understand my ways, which is why it is impossible for you to understand losing Lexi! Stop focusing on death & focus on life! You are not where you belong! Your days are numbered too. You will see Lexi again, but until then proclaim my kingdom. Your job isn't over yet. Someday the answers you seek will be revealed to you, but until then just trust me!"

Isn't that what faith is all about? Trusting our Father to know best even when our eyes are so full of tears that we cannot begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It would've been so easy to keep my faith in the Lord if He had healed Lexi here on earth. It is a lot harder to glorify Him when I had to tell Lexi goodbye. On this side of eternity I will never understand why this had to happen. I have so many questions without answers, but His promises remain the same! He promised to never leave me & I know He didn't. He is carrying me & the rest of Lexi's family through this horrific storm. We will never get over losing Lexi. There will always be a precious piece of our family that is missing, but somehow God will heal our broken hearts. He still moves mountains & I believe with everything in me that He will move the mountains of pain & hopelessness from all of our hearts. Until then, we hold onto Him & fight with everything in us to leave a meaningful legacy that changes eternity. 

"Our miracle for a moment is Heaven's angel for eternity."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Listen to Kayla Bilbys Playlist

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When it looks like you've lost it all, Jesus will still be there

Today was my third Sunday in Church since our little Lexi passed away. I would love to say that in these last 17 days i've had some great epiphany about why this happened & that i'm completely at peace with it, but that would simply be a lie! I miss Lexi everyday, but especially on Sundays! Church is such a huge reminder of our loss. No one is asking me about how Lexi is doing. I have no miraculous report of God's power. It's a continual reminder that God has the power to work miracles...He just chose not to give us one. I know that He is God & I have no right to question Him. His plan is perfect! I just wish I could change the circumstances :'(. I'm tired of crying all the time! I want to fix this for Lexi's parents & her precious siblings, but there is nothing I can do to ever fix this or even make it any better! Nothing & no one will ever replace Lexi. Her loss left a massive void in all of our hearts :(

About two weeks before Lexi received her liver transplant I went to a Casting Crowns concert. Kutless opened the concert and I was extremely comforted by their song, "That's what faith can do." It spoke to my heart in a way that I desperately needed that day. I truly believed if I had enough faith God would hear my pleas for the life of our precious baby girl! I wasn't even praying for a liver transplant....I was praying for a complete supernatural healing of the liver she had. I heard the song this morning & of course it brought tears to my eyes. Without Lexi that song has a new meaning...Faith will be what moves the mountains of pain & hopelessness from our hearts. Right now the only thing I have to hold on to is that faith in a living God leads to an eternal living. He never once told me that my faith would heal Lexi, but He did promise that Lexi would spend an eternal life in His presence.

Even though it seems as though we have lost all hope & it feels as though faith didn't do anything for Lexi, I know that is NOT true! I know that faith in my God DOES move mountains! Because of His power I will spend an eternity with Him. He has promised that I will see Lexi again & once I do, I will never ever lose her again. I will never understand why He chooses to award some people with miracles & chooses to call others home, but I do know that He is every bit as faithful as the day He brought Lexi into this world! Lexi was born at only 32 weeks. He did give us a miracle by allowing us to spend three years with her. I will always consider those three years the best three years of my life on this earth! I pray that in the midst of this storm my faith will be proved genuine.

My Precious Lexi- I miss you so much! Every time I close my eyes I see your beautiful smile! You truly lit up the room baby girl. Yesterday when I walked outside & the sun was shining, all I could think was that heaven has got a lot brighter since u went there & now you're lighting up the whole world! I'm glad that you feel better & your getting to play. I can't wait until I get to play with you again. You will always be my precious baby girl! Love u so much baby!

1 Peter 1:6-9
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

That's What Faith Can Do - Lyrics

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

Overcome the odds when you don't have a chance
When the world says you can’t It’ll tell you that you can!

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
That's what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise

Thursday, March 4, 2010

When I'm Finally HOME: 14 days closer!

"I would rather walk everyday in the darkest place known to man with my Lord, then walk one day anywhere else without Him."

It has been 14 days since I received a phone call I desperately prayed I would never receive. These last two weeks have been devastating, frustrating, and exhausting! I never thought I could feel so many emotions! I miss Lexi every day, especially when i'm at school. There is something comforting about being able to still love on her siblings.

For the first time in my life, all the bible verses I typically love have brought no comfort to me whatsoever. The verses actually tend to frustrate me more! Probably because I know in my heart of hearts that they are true and I simply need to submit to my Lord's wisdom. Anyway the other day in ministry class we read the story of the prodigal son. This is one of my favorite stories in the bible, because 97% of my spiritual walk is about going back to my Lord and repenting for my shortcomings. The coolest thing about God's word is that He desires to teach me something new every time I read it. As we discussed it I was able to see the individual love that the father has for his children. Even though one of his sons is still at home, his heart is broken without the one who had left. Not only does God love each of His children, but He loves us individually. He hurts when we are separated from Him! Truth be told, no matter how good of a relationship I have with God while i'm on earth, there is still a separation. My relationship with Him will change completely when I see Him face to face & He knows this. To the Lord death is simply removing the separation between Him & His beloved child. Earth's tragic loss is heaven's glorious gain!

After beating my head up against the wall with questions I have finally come to the realization that the only way to get through this is to focus on the unseen. As much as I miss Lexi I wouldn't want to take away from the glory she has now! Lexi had a terminal illness that did take her life, but in all reality we are all terminal. We live to die! We sing songs at church that say "This world is not my home," but it doesn't have much of an effect on us until we have nothing to hold on to outside of heaven. My human mind cannot grasp this idea that this world is nothing more then a vapor. Whether i'm here for 3 years, 19 years, or 100 years my time spent here cannot possibly compare to the time I will spend in my heavenly home! From now on I am gonna view every day as one day closer to being home with my Father...I am 14 days closer to holding Lexi again. Lexi taught me so many things in her short little life. She taught me how to love compassionately, how to soak up every minute of life, and how to praise God regardless of the circumstance. Until Christ returns or calls me home I am going to strive every day to use every gift He has given me. Like Lexi, I want to have nothing left when I get to heaven because I loved with everything I had. I long for the day when I will see my Maker's face & there will be no separation between the Father and His child.

Finally Home lyrics

I'm gonna wrap my arms around my Daddy's neck
And tell Him that I've missed him

And tell him all about the man that I became
And hope that it pleased Him

There's so much I want to say
There's so much I want you to know.

When I finally make it home when I finally make it home.

Then I'll gaze upon the throne of the King
Frozen in my steps

And all the questions that I swore I would ask
Words just won't come yet

So amazed at what I've seen so much more
Than this old mind can hold.

[back to chorus]

And the sweetest sound my ears have yet to hear
The voices of the angels.

[back to chorus]

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Sometimes He calms the storm & other times He calms His child

I am currently walking through the largest storm of my entire life! The Lord has blessed me enormously throughout my life! One of the greatest blessings He has ever given me is my extra family. Six years ago, I began babysitting for Brian & Donna Alt. They quickly made me a part of their family & I couldn't be more grateful for that. With the adding of Brian & Donna to my family, I also was given six of the most incredible children I have ever met in my life! Logan is 9, Lauren is 7, Landon is 5, Lindsey & Lexi are 3 year old identical twins, & the baby, Leland, is 2.

When the twins were just a year old we found out that Lexi had a liver problem. Even though we always had it hanging over our heads, the problem didn't seem to get better, but it didn't seem to get worse. On October 7, 2009 Lexi got really sick with an infection and had to have several blood transfusions. She was now in complete liver failure & would need to be placed on a transplant list. Her parents made the decision to have her transplanted at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Over the next several months they would make several trips between Tulsa & St. Louis for Lexi to have several surgeries.

On February 10, 2010 a liver was received for Lexi and on February 11, 2010 she was transplanted. The transplant was a success and it seemed as though God was working out a miracle for our family. Lexi even told all her nurses that God put a new liver in her belly. I was so proud of her young faith! We were all praising God like we never had before! But on February 18, 2010 our precious Lexi went to be with the Lord! She passed away from an esophagus bleed. It was completely unexpected! Now we are left with broken hearts, crushed dreams, shattered hope, and weary spirits.

For the first time in my life I don't know where to turn! I know that my God is still a God of miracles, but I am having such a hard time finding Him in this situation. No matter how hard I try to understand, the death of an innocent child makes no sense! I know He didn't make her sick, but He could've made her better! At the same time, I know that Jesus could've chose to climb off the cross, but He stayed for me, & I have to hold on to that! I feel so terrible for her family! I hurt for them all the time! Her parents are by far the best parents to ever walk on this earth and her siblings loved her with all of their hearts. Her twin doesn't understand what happened and why Lexi is no longer with us. Even with 5 other amazing children the house feels so empty. I want more then anything to have Lexi back! I don't know where we go from here or how we ever heal from this, but I do know that God has called me to trust Him in all situations. I have to trust His wisdom & His power. He loves His children! He loves Lexi more then I ever dreamed of loving her & I take comfort in knowing that He is holding her for us until we can hold her again. I am begging Him to provide us with peace, comfort, and a glimpse of understanding. Please continue to pray for us all as we continue on in the midst of the storm!