Written by Holly Madden, Chapter Development Director
Ayla is 7. She is smart, full of laughter, a fabulous fashionista and a bright light for Jesus. Her passion for life is inspiring, but what makes this young lady so special is that she has so much joy despite a genetic life-threatening disorder that she lives with every day, cystic fibrosis. Diagnosed at only one week old, Ayla has spent much of her life enduring treatment, prolonged hospital visits, tests, and days sick in bed. A life filled with
She is a fighter. At 7, Ayla is the perfect example of a LeadHer. She knows first hand what it is like to survive in a world that is painful, unfair and hard, yet her joy is contagious and her impact unmeasurable. So many people make a commitment to live for God just as soon as their struggle is over. Their promises are conditional on our circumstances. They expect God to not expect anything of them until their lives are in order, their families are healthy and their bank account is satisfied. What if we all waited to live for Jesus until our struggles were over? Who would be left standing? No one. Ayla is a reminder for me that life is too fragile not to smile, not to love and not to live with passionate intention to change this world for Christ. She may not know it yet, but Ayla’s journey has inspired hundreds. Her ripple effect has been set in motion and it is unstoppable. Her secret? She keeps on fighting, smiling, laughing and loving with reckless, childlike trust and passion. She is Jesus’ little girl and she knows it. She is living for Jesus in the middle of her greatest struggle.
Ayla entered our radar when her grandmother started a LeadHer chapter in their community several years ago. Dianne has played the role of leader and supporter of LeadHer and we have watch her inspire women of all ages through her actions and her words. We have also watched as she has sacrificed and lived within her calling as grandmother and how God has used her powerfully in the lives of the members of her family.
Krista, Ayla’s mother has showed us time and time again how being a mother is one of the greatest callings we are given and she has committed to live it out with integrity, strength and passion. Her love for her girls is evident and the example she is to them is shaping who they are becoming every day. We have watched as God has worked in and through both of these incredible women and have been so inspired by their faith and their strength. And we know that someday, one of our favorite little LeadHers will get to be a part of a chapter where she can continue to shine her light and inspire passion and love in everyone she meets.
I dare you to match this kind of passion. Match this kind of love. And live your life with reckless faith and ceaseless prayer. You are never too young, too old, too sick, too broken, too poor, too weak, too busy or too insignificant to live for Jesus. I challenge you to remove the excuse that is holding you back and to live out loud for Jesus despite and in spite of your struggles. Like Ayla, you were designed to be a fighter, so keep fighting, pray big and believe bigger. We invite you also to please join us in fighting with Ayla and her family. Pray for a cure for cystic fibrosis and for the lives of those living with this disease all over the world. We know God is a God of miracles big and small, and we believe God has a miracle in store for Ayla.
To learn more about Cystic Fibrosis we encourage you to visit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Website.
If you would like to encourage Ayla, her mom Krista, or the rest of her family- we invite you to leave a comment on this post and we will make sure they get to read them!