With Jesus

That is my car that is currently un-drivable after an accident yesterday

I have got to be honest. These past couple of days have been so trying and exhausting. I haven’t even processed it all. So many things have gone so far south that I sit down and think that this can’t actually be my life. I have questioned God more times than I can count. I’ve lost sight of His promises in the face of all these issues that have decided to sprout up without warning.

However, tonight with Jesus there were no questions, no complaints, just taking the time to sit in His presence. I realized, that all He wanted was for me to just sit and be. Be with Him in our secret place, and let him pour out His love, grace, peace, and mercy. I have been praying/longing for more of Him, and as my longing has been met day by day I can’t help but rejoice in the face of my adversity. The thing that has been trying to drag me down only forced me to lay at the feet of my Savior. To me there is nothing sweeter than that, and I would walk through all of my troubles a hundred times over to just remain at His feet and simply be in His presence.

Faithful

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Mornings are usually easy, but this morning I was burdened. You know when you go to sleep with too many thoughts in your head and all throughout the night you wrestle with them. That was me. I went to sleep with stories of war, death, and execution ringing in my ears. And at the same time trying to comprehend all the breakthrough, joy, and peace that I have witnessed. My heart is heavy for the injustice that is happening around the world, and it begs for God’s justice to prevail. But throughout it all the faithfulness of God knows no bounds. In the midst of a chaotic world I am able to see God moving in ways I’ve never seen. He is calling His children to Him, and raising up a generation that will refuse to be silent. He is encountering His children and reminding them of a love that never runs dry. Isaiah 61.

Unexpected

The day I left for Haiti was rough.

I left my phone at the Houston airport, I had an 10 hour layover in MIA, once in Haiti I didn’t have any cash to pay the new tourist fee, and then had to be interrogated by the customs people because I didn’t know the address of where I was staying. By the time I walked out of the airport and under the blazing Haitian sun I was done. I was ready to walk back into the airport and catch the next plane home. I was sleep deprived, near tears, and had the worst attitude.

However, all the crazy stuff that happened wasn’t a surprise to God.

There was a reason I left my phone. The whole week leading up to Haiti I knew I needed to rest. I was running around everywhere. I was constantly on my phone, but then I realized that not having my phone forced me to rest. My whole time in Haiti I wasn’t distracted by my phone and I was able to use the down time I had to rest and actually read a book! I have no profound revelation truth for spending the night in the airport except that I had no money to spend on a hotel. But I learned my lesson, and I will avoid sleeping in the airport in the future. I pulled an all-nighter, and spent most of my time laying on the floor eating cheez-its and watched movies I had on my computer. Never again. By the time I got on the plane to Port-Au-Prince I was exhausted. I don’t even remember the plane ride. When we unloaded at the airport I saw they were separating Haitians from non-Haitians. I read the signs and saw that I had to pay $10 to enter the country. That was when I realized I had traveled to a foreign country without any cash! I was silently freaking out, practically begging God to work a miracle. As always, He did and a woman who was standing in front of me paid for me without any prompting from me. I was in shock, and thought that it would be smooth sailing after that incident. But my bubble was popped when I realized the fake address I put on the immigration wasn’t going to fly. I didn’t have my phone so I didn’t have the real address to the I’mMe house. They made me sit in a room and asked me all sorts of questions. Where is my mom? Does your mom know you are here? What about your dad? Why did you travel alone? Why don’t you have an address? For thirty minutes I had to answer questions. I was on the brink of tears. I was tired, thirsty, and hot. Finally, at my wit’s end I realized I had my laptop! The address was in one of the documents in my computer. I gave then the address and basically ran out of the stifling room. The whole walk to baggage claim I forced myself to keep the tears at bay. It was not the time to break down. I was in Haiti after all, and I knew in a few minutes I would be reunited with my I’mMe family.

I made it to the house, and was greeted with the biggest hugs and smiling faces. I got to meet all the newest additions to the family, and fell in love with them. I was so happy to be at the house that I forgot that I had an almost melt down. After settling in I got to meet the team who was already there. They were the sweetest and welcomed me into their group with ease. It wasn’t until later that night after connecting some info together that I realized that the team I thought I would be with all week would actually be leaving the next day, and I was staying at the house with no team. I remember going into the room and throwing myself on the bed asking God what is He doing aka having a tantrum. I also  felt bad because I didn’t want to be a burden to Lauren and Patrick, who were  living at the house and taking care of all the kids.

Nothing was going how I expected it to go. I didn’t understand why God had me there and why was I back so soon. I still don’t understand all the why’s, but I know that my time in Haiti was blessed.

Most of the week I stayed at the house helping out with the children. I got to learn the story of each child, and my heart broke for each one. There was never a dull moment. Smiles and laughter were abundant. I was flooded with joy just holding a tiny hand, and running around the house chasing squealing children. I have never seen so many melted crayons on the driveway, or played an intense game of musical chairs until I was in Haiti. I had my fill of pomegranates off the pomegranate tree. My soul was at peace, and I was rested physically and emotionally. I got to take naps when the kids had nap time. I had quiet time with the Lord in my favorite place in the house (the porch, the rain, and the rocking chair). I got to hear Lauren’s and Patrick’s hearts, and watch them fight and love for the children they were taking care of. It was definitely a privilege to be able to see how things run when there isn’t a team there, and at the end of the week I was more than grateful that I ended up being there without a team for a few days.

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Leaving Haiti always leaves me in tears. It’s hard to leave the place where your soul finds peace. The plane ride home I was blessed to sit by a man who was talkative. He was Haitian, and white. He was born and raised in Haiti, and owned a shipping company. He met his wife in Haiti, and raised his family there. After the earthquake he moved his family to Miami and he now flies from Haiti to Miami every 3 days. He told me, “My business is in Haiti, but my heart is Miami.” The conversation was such a blessing because I was a little emotional leaving Haiti. He playfully asked me about the boy I was leaving behind, after I assured him is wasn’t a boy he got really serious. He looked me in the eye and said, “you have a spiritual connection with my country.” In that moment I was like, yeah you could call it that, but as he kept explaining I knew the Lord had me sit next to this man for a reason. Somehow, I needed the reassurance that I wasn’t feeling how I was feeling for nothing. My heart wasn’t breaking for the children and this country “just because”, and that Haiti wasn’t just another stop in long list of countries I wanted to visit.

As I said before, I don’t know why Haiti has invaded my life and settled in my soul. The way this trip played out was completely unexpected, but it was everything that I needed.

 My story about Haiti has only just begun.

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*A special thanks to my supporters to making all of this possible. May the Lord continue to bless each and every one of you.

Soon, Haiti

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These last few weeks have been absolutely amazing. From getting a new job, to running around Houston, to just sitting here writing this blog. God has been so prevalent and patient in this life of mine.

Last week,  I knew my confirmation had come. I was able to talk to one of the little boys in the I’mMe house. He shared with me all that he has been doing, but quickly the conversation turned into him asking me when I was coming back. I honestly didn’t have an answer for him in that moment. I said soon, and waited for the moment to pass. I kept thinking I couldn’t possibly go, my car just broke down, I get paid well but I’m only working part-time, and I just went! But as our conversation ended I felt something stir in me. I knew I was going soon, real soon. I continued to pray and asked God for another confirmation. So, the next day I asked my job would I be able to have that week off, and they approved it in a heartbeat. They were even supportive and told me to take a lot of sunscreen!

Here I am now, in almost the same situation I was in a few months ago. I am still not the biggest fan of fundraising, but I know God will provide in miraculous ways like He did before!

This trip is a few days longer than the last. I will be in Haiti from July 25-31. The cost of the trip is $1600 and will cover my flights, accommodations, and meals. I can’t wait to be back there and continue to build relationships with all the amazing people who I met on my last trip. If you would like to give you can click on the “donate” tab in the menu bar or click  this link:

http://www.youcaring.com/mission-trip-fundraiser/bayli-to-haiti/197689

If you are moved to give I cannot thank you enough! Your support encourages me and makes me realize that I am not in this process alone. If I can do anything like babysit, wash a car, or any odd job let me know! I am more than willing to work. Even if you want to talk about Haiti and all that’s been going on, let me know. I would love to connect and tell you my heart. Also, please pray for I’mMe as God continues to expand the organization and that I continue to have peace as I continue my journey to Haiti. I am amazed at what God is doing in my life and in Haiti. I can’t wait to be there and just soak up all the love and joy!

If you would like to read my earlier posts about Haiti, click here.

To learn more about I’mMe visit their website: imme.org

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Haiti

The past 24 hours have been a complete whirlwind.

I am sitting here typing this still in shock.

So what all went down? Ha! I still trying to process the huge turn of events. I’ll just start from the beginning.

It is known from an earlier post that I planned on going to Haiti in the summer(you can click here to read that).  I was all set and ready too. Well, until God had other plans. I have been researching/ stalking an organization called i’mMe since I began my search of organizations in Haiti. I didn’t realize they had trips until a little later, and I remember thinking about how much I would love to go with them. I looked at the dates and realized that I probably wouldn’t be able to swing it, and resigned myself to just planning to go in the summer.

A few weeks ago I was on Instagram stalking some of my new friends, and I was clicking on random names, just putting names to faces of people in my church. I came across one Instagram account and I saw the i’mMe logo and freaked out. I realized that this person was somehow involved in i’mMe and I needed to talk to her ASAP. I remember I wrote down her name, Trina, and proceeded to text and hassle all of our mutual friends to try to get in contact with her. Finally, I got in touch with her and I realized how much God had orchestrated it. Her Instagram is usually set on private, and for some reason that day she made her Instagram public. That was the day that I saw her Instagram. That has Jesus stamped all over it! Anyway, she told me more about the organization and how it began. Talking to her I knew I wanted to go on a trip with i’mMe, and I was more than willing to wait for a more convenient time for me and avoid fundraising all together.

Fast forward to yesterday, I was waiting for confirmation from God if I should go through with trying for i’mMe’s trip in April or wait for a more convenient time. On Tuesday I had set up a fundraising page, but couldn’t follow through and publish it. I was desperate for a sign or something. I wasn’t going to go through the fundraising process and realize it’s not what God wanted me to do. That morning at work I got a text from Trina telling me that God is waiting to do a miracle. That was all the confirmation I needed. I knew I had to get myself together and get ready to have my faith stretched again. Last night I went to church and that was just more confirmation of what God wanted me to do. I stayed up way past midnight to make a donation page, and just surrender this whole fundraising process to Him. It’s pretty obvious that I have no way of paying for this trip myself. I am jumping into this with complete faith and total dependence on the One who as called me.

What miracle does God need to do?

i’mMe is taking a group to Haiti April 24-29, 2014. I plan on being with them.We will be the light that God has called us to be to the people of Haiti. We will be visiting orphanages, cleaning up around Port-au-Prince, helping out with feeding program, and much more.  The total cost of the trip is $1,200. The cost will cover my flight from Florida to Haiti, accommodations, and meals throughout the trip. The kicker is that I need $600 two weeks before we are the leave to reserve my spot (April 10) and I have until the day before we leave to have the rest (April 23). Also, I will somehow need to find a way to get a flight to Florida from Texas to meet up with the team. Now you can see why I need a miracle. I don’t even have a month! I could panic, but I don’t even have time! I have a little over 20 days to raise money for this trip to Haiti. I know that if it’s God’s will He will do what He has to do to make this trip possible. I’m just saying yes to the call and just expectantly waiting to see how He’s going to fulfill this promise.

To friends and family I am more than willing to babysit, mow lawns, house sit, watch a pet, wash some dishes, paint something! Just let me know! Text, call, or message me on Facebook and we can set something up.

If you would like to donate click here. Or you can click the link on the top of the page that says “DONATE.”  Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart to those who feel lead to give. Your support means the world to me. If you feel lead to share, please by all means, share! Also, please pray for me in this major fundraising task and for the team that is going to Haiti. Prayer is essential and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for prayer. Even, though this is crazy and totally unplanned,  I know that in the end God will get the glory!

The facts and figures in front of me say that this is impossible, but I am trusting God with this. I am confident that He is still in the miracle working business, and if He has called me to Haiti at this time then He will provide in a way that I can’t even imagine. 

If you would like to know more about i’mMe check out their website here. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

#baylitohaiti

Awkward Date & God’s Grace

So,

I went on a date last week, and let’s just say that I have learned my lesson and then some!

I met this guy randomly as my friend Olivia and I were hanging out at Taco Bell. He worked there so he started talking to us and as we left he had his friend ask me for my number. Me, not thinking anything rationally, gave him my number. Skip over a few days, he had set up a day and we were going to go on this “date.” The first hint I got that this date would not go well was I had to pick him up from his house. AND he lived a good 45 minutes away from me. Second, I drove us to Main Event and throughout the date I kept trying to find a way to get back home. The guy was nice, funny, and he paid for the date. I guess the date wasn’t a complete disaster but I knew I didn’t want to go on a second date.

In a way, I’ve been secretly hoping to go on this date, any date for that matter. I mean, I just wanted a guy to look my way and take notice. I wanted to prove to people and myself that I’m not going to be single for life. I know people mean well, but when I get questions about recent boyfriends, dates, and crushes I start to panic a little. I’m only nineteen, but people are looking at me like I’m about to be a spinster!

However, after going on this date I realized some things. One, I am only nineteen! I have time to enjoy this time of just being young and free. I’m not going to lie and say I wouldn’t like someone to share it with, but somehow I know my time will come sooner or later. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy making new friends and experiencing new things. Second, I’m done giving my number out to just anybody and his mama. I should have just gone on my merry way that day. I need to learn to think things through and maybe venture out of the land of “well, why not?” Third, who exactly am I trying to impress with my relationship status? Honestly, I feel like I’ve caught myself wanting to be in a relationship just so people would stop asking questions and to avoid their advice on how to hook a man. It’s funny and I’m sure it works, but it gets old. Fast.

I just want Jesus. Regardless of being single or being in a relationship; Jesus is the only one that I want. Now, I’m not saying that I’m never dating and I’m done with men. A man would be nice, but when it all comes down to it Jesus is the one I’m after. He is what I need. He holds my heart for all eternity. He saw that awkward date, and knew that I would be running to him surrendering it all a few hours later. It’s funny what He uses to call us back to Him, but I am grateful. Date or no date. Man or no man. I am content in knowing that I am held in the arms of my Savior. He’s written and memorized my story; awkward dates and all.

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Since this picture from yesterday captures awkward almost perfectly.

What Are You?

“What are you, anyway?”

My whole life I’ve been told that I should be a white girl or for a black girl I act “too white.” In a way I’ve been conditioned to just laugh it off and ignore people’s ignorance. But recently a question that has caught my attention is “what are you?”

First of all, the question is degrading. I know the person who asked didn’t mean to make it sound rude, but to me it implied that I was somewhat less than because they didn’t know what category to stick me in. My conditioned response was that I was black, but they wouldn’t take that as an answer. They then started peppering me with questions: “No, you aren’t mixed with something?” “How is your hair that way? Black people hair isn’t like that.” “Why do you talk like a white person?”

At this point I found myself shutting down. These people were relentless. I mean children are dying all over the world and your main concern is if I’m black enough to be black. It’s insane. Anyway, I honestly don’t even remember how the conversation ended but I remembered how it began.

What are you, anyway?

What am I? Well, I am a black young woman. My mother is mixed and my father is black, but that doesn’t mean I’m less black than the next black woman. My hair lays a certain way, but that doesn’t mean that my hair is any better than the black woman with supposedly “bad hair.” I speak well and I even have a hint of a country accent, but that doesn’t mean I’m not black because I “talk white.”

Besides all the things I just listed, I am Bayli. No matter what color I happen to by mixed with; I am human. I am a child of the Most High God. I have special gifts and talents that God has blessed me with to bring glory to Him. I am a successful young adult. I have potential to do great things on this earth. I can make decisions, and I’m wise enough to ask when I don’t understand or when I need counsel. I have hopes, dreams, plans, and I know I will fulfill each one of them by God’s grace.

That is what I am. Who I am. What I have been made to be.

I am not the black girl who talks white. I am not to the black girl mixed with some white. I am neither dark-skinned or light-skinned.  I am no better than the girl who’s fully black and I am no less than the girl who is fully white.

So what am I, really?

I am a young woman named Bayli.