#MaddyStrong is a Beautiful Way to Live

#MaddyStrong As I write this, it's 7:22 p.m. I'm on winter break. I'm supposed to be finishing up my scheduled blog post. I'm supposed to be having amazing weekend adventures with my best friends. Instead, all I can think about is a girl I've never met.

Three days ago, a girl from our sister college, Walla Walla University in Washington, was hit by a truck while riding her bike near campus. She was airlifted to a hospital in Seattle with numerous severe injuries. News of the accident spread rapidly through social media, and people from around the world began to lift her, her friends, and her family up in prayer.

But a day later, Madison (Maddy) Jewel Baird passed away. She was 20 years old.

When the news of her accident spread to our campus that Tuesday evening, we all gathered together to pray. Even though Walla Walla is states away, you'd be surprised at how interconnected the Seventh-Day Adventist (my religious denomination) community is. I have friends from Washington that knew Maddy, one of which is my roommate; she and Maddy worked together at a camp in Oregon in the summer.

Now, a day after Maddy's passing, my Facebook feed is filled with videos, pictures, and memories of her. Just by reading these posts, I can tell that she had a warm, happy vibe about her that affected everyone she met. She'll be greatly missed.

But why do I care? I didn't even know who she was before.

Well, I care because it could happen to me, it could happen to you, it could happen to anyone. Your life could change in the blink of an eye. We live in such a fast-paced, materialistic world that we don't even take enough time to marvel at the beauty of nature and simple things in life.

But Maddy did.

A link to her blog, Sisters of Simplicity, was shared on Facebook. The first post on the homepage was enough to make me cry:

A home A structure, a building, a cage, A piece of dirt that outstretches from within the earth; We put a price tag on it. We build upon the land and call it ours The mountains, the valleys, the ground It is more than money can ever offer. its not just a structure, it’s our home In the midst of building the world up The earth sits waiting and rejected God’s canvas is put on sale. The worlds beauty sits among the ruins. The rainforests cry out. The ground shakes out of anger Yet, will anyone here their plea. Let us not forget the beauty of the earth, Do not forget.

Because of her story, I want to be #MaddyStrong. This is the hashtag being spread on social media as a result of her accident. It's meant to be an encouragement to live life to the fullest, just like she did. She's inspired me spread happiness wherever I go. I want to be a light in this dark world. These 7 principles are what I've learned from her:

1. Get outside and experience God's creation.

2. Eat healthy. Your body is a temple of God.

3. Be creative.

4. Never underestimate the power of a simple smile and "Hello!"

5. Beauty is often overlooked when it becomes part of a routine.

6. Sometimes the best things are the simplest things.

7. Breathe in the beauty of a new day.

This earth we live in is such a beautiful creation, but it's covered in sin. I can't wait for Jesus to come back, when Maddy and others will awake to the voice of Jesus and all mourning will end. "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:4)

So even though I never met her, the legacy that she left behind causes me to look up and remember why I'm here on earth. 

Let's rediscover the beauty of God's creation. Let's cherish the little moments that make life so meaningful.

Let's be #MaddyStrong.

Finding our Way By Madison Baird

“Lot’s of coffee shops Some silent talks an old gas pump beauty disguised as a grump broken and slow the car has nothing to show waiting and hoping laughs and joking lost and stranded not sure quite what we’ve been handed This is life Empty, confused and filled with strife people try and make plans Truth is it’s all in Gods hands I’m waiting Empty handed and contemplating. We gotta just enjoy the ride for soon we will run out of time.”

To get the complete story about Madison Baird, please visit here.

For more information on what Adventists believe, visit this website.