From Ordinary to Extrao—Well, You’ll See
I don’t usually post about the happenings of my week. But this is different. I want to share with you about an extraordinary thing that God allowed me to be a part of. This is kinda long, but I hope you are encouraged by this story:
It all began on September 30, when a local 18-year-old girl named Keighley Alyea went missing. While I didn’t know Keighley or know anyone who did, I watched news footage daily—to see how her search progressed. She remained missing for a week when her body was discovered the evening of Monday, October 5. Three young men were arrested in connection with her murder, but a family and community were left shocked, deeply saddened and angry. Including myself.
On Tuesday, October 6 at 1:20pm, I received a phone call. It was from my friend Jasmin. She and her husband Jason thought they would put together a candlelight vigil for Keighley’s loved ones and the community—to gather and remember this young life that was tragically taken too soon. You see, Jason went to school with Keighley’s dad and have known each other for 20 or so years. Who knew that through my connection with Jasmin, I now had a connection to Keighley.
Now, Jasmin and I weren’t super close friends (yet). In fact, we only really knew each other because she works in the same salon as my longtime hairstylist. Yes, the same hairstylist who first made me PinkHairedGirl. But I truly believe that God cultivated this relationship between Jasmin and I, so He that could use it for such a time as this:
So, when Jasmin called she mentioned this candlelight vigil they were planning for Wednesday, October 7 and that they had run out of options for a place to hold it. A local high school said they couldn’t use candles (what?) and our local parks & rec department wouldn’t allow it either. Feeling defeated, she remembered I work at Westside and thought, “Crystal will help!” and decided to ask me if my church’s parking lot was available.
After squaring everything away with my leadership, I told her absolutely yes and we’d help however we were needed. Even so much as to moving the entire vigil indoors (just a couple hours before it was to start) because of inclement weather heading our way.
Needless to say, God moved in a big, big, big way.
Over 600 people participated in the vigil—most of which had no connection to any church in the area, including Keighley’s family. And because the vigil was held at our church, one of our pastors was given the platform to make Jesus known and gave a message of hope for these hundreds of people.
I was so humbled by God’s use of our church to minister to this family and community in such a powerful way. While none of our efforts would bring Keighley back, God certainly used this situation and one unconventional friendship to bring honor and glory to His name. And to bring hope to a hurting community. I’m standing in faith that what the enemy meant for evil, God will continue to turn around for good.
Quote from Jasmin’s Facebook wall, “Over the past week I have learned so much about myself and the man that I married. My husband is an amazing man and I will thank God everyday for him. I will thank God for my family. I will cherish life and live with hope. My faith has been restored and heart is open. I will pray harder, love more and hold tighter. This is the begining of my familys new life.”
Never underestimate how God might use the ordinary relationships in your life to do extraordinary things.
If you would like to donate to Alyea family and help with funeral/burial/current living expenses—a fund has been set at any Commerce Bank in Keighley Alyea’s name or simply donate here. Any overage donated will be given to Kelsey’s Army, a non profit organization founded in remembrance of the life of Kelsey Smith. Thank you.