About Time!

It’s finally here!

Today is the last day I have to take my antibiotics for strep throat! Strep is no joke, and I am bad at remembering to take those pink horse pills.

My last day of school was yesterday. I can now sit down and actually write without worrying about Precal! That class has been a huge pain in my rear end this whole semester. Math and my brain just don’t mix. Now that all my finals are out of the way, I am more than ready to graduate! And I am walking out of high school with 9 hours of college credit (whoop)!

I’ve come a long way from this!

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My grad party is this Saturday. I’m ready to see all my family and friends. Not to mention eat all the good food! Sunday, I graduate! I’m saving all my tears for then. I don’t want to cry until I know for sure that I am completely done with high school. Which is really hard for me to wrap my mind around. I will never walk the halls of Mayde Creek High School as a student again, ever. It’s definitely bittersweet. Growing up is a daunting task. And I don’t know if I want to run back and yell “Take me back!” or strut off yelling “See ya, suckas.” This is a real issue in my mind. I guess this is the time I gotta put on my big girl panties and keep moving forward. See ya, high school. It’s been lovely.

LSU. I have orientation on the 17th. I know what dorm I’ll be in and my roommate! I’ll be choosing my schedule while I’m there and I can’t wait to show my mom the campus. I hope we get to go to New Orleans. I have been craving some of Willie Mae’s fried chicken for about a year and 3 months and 16 days (well I don’t really know how many days…) But I want me some fried chicken!

Africa. 24 days 17 hours 57 minutes! Excuse me while I go freak out in a corner! I can’t wrap my mind around it all. I am about go to Africa. A whole other continent! I am so not ready. I just found out that we will be sleeping in a tent and that I need to go buy this so-called tent. Tents and I don’t have a good relationship. We don’t even have a relationship! I mean this is “step out of your comfort zone” to the max. I’m ready though. A little freaked out, but ready. I gotta leave my little prima donna attitude at home. So I’m gonna get all my complaining and whining out while I can. Oh, I have to tell y’all about my little excursion to the nature store. It was horrible. I walked in there wide eyed and concerned about all the animals that look too real. I stayed in there for about 1 minute and 14 seconds before I hightailed my behind out of there. I think I’ll stick to Academy and Amazon to buy all the things I need. I have all my things in order. I got my passport, international insurance, yellow fever vaccine and the little yellow book, my malaria pills, and my ticket to Atlanta. Fundraising has gone extremely well! I only need about $500. Looking back I never thought I would be here and it blows my mind at how awesome God is.

Things are moving forward whether I like it or not. I trying to put on a brave face and say I’m ready, but honestly I am a mess. I have to take it one day at a time, and save all my tears for days when I’m really going to need them.

So here’s to new beginnings!

From my journal: So here’s to starting a new journey! Goodbye high school, it’s been grand! College, please be good to me. I don’t need 15 more pounds, I would like to keep me virginity (let’s not be prude. Boys are hot at LSU!  Okay Bayli, mind on Jesus. I’m just letting you know the struggle is real) and I hope to make lifelong friends and live out amazing memories. Geaux Tigers!

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No one ever said it would be easy.

These past few days have definitely been a whirlwind. I mean, my mind is still racing from all that has gone on. May 2 was when I had to have 75% ($3,000) of my funds in my account. I only had around $1,220 on April 30. I called Erin, the lady in charge of my trip, and she told me that I needed the funds or I wouldn’t be able to go. She also told me that God will provide if he wanted me to go, and she gave me a few days. I cried for hours. I considered backing out of the trip; I even had a rough draft of what I was going to write to explain I wasn’t going on the trip. I was a mess.

The night of April 30th I called my dad in tears. I told him everything and just cried and cried. At the end of the phone call he told me, “Don’t give up, Bayli. Just keep going.” We prayed and I hung up. But in that instant something clicked. I wasn’t going to give up. I worked too hard to get to this place, and I wasn’t ready to willingly give it up.

I came up with a proposition for my mom. If I could get a thousand then she could match my thousand. She agreed, but I don’t think she actually thought I could do it (don’t tell her I said that!)  I was a woman on a mission. I needed a thousand bucks, stat. I began making phone calls, sending emails, letting Facebook know, and meeting people from my dad’s church. Support started pouring in. I was so overwhelmed by it all. By May 2, I only need $125.56! A miracle!

I basically spent this whole time worrying and anxiously waiting for funds to come in, but God was dealing with my heart. I am not a patient person and I worry till I drive myself insane.

This is what I wrote in my journal May 2:

You never said it would be easy, and waiting anxiously is no fun! Give me peace in knowing that you are working in hearts and I will meet my deadline. I will trust you. You get all the glory in this because I could not do this without your constant encouragement, and the peace you give me when my mind seems to race. Guide me, in your grace and patience. I need you now more than ever and as I am going thought this journey reveal yourself to me. Show me what my heart should be like; change my perspective. Help me daily take up my cross and lay down my own desires. Glory to you and you alone! Hold me fast in your right hand and never let me go. Calm this anxious heart of mine. You have my heart! I want and crave your peace. Your will be done. Have your way!

Monday morning was when I could see how much I had in my account from the last week. I had the thousand I needed without all the money I had gotten from the weekend! I think I was in shock. They were still processing all the other donations, but the ones they did process already had me at way more than I needed! I think I had the goofiest grin when I told my mom that I got my half! So now as the other donations are being processed I am almost fully funded for my trip!

God is so faithful, and I am grateful that he has taken me through this journey. I feel that throughout this whole setting up process of getting to Africa he has really done a number on my heart. If just getting ready for Africa is this awesome; I can’t wait to see what he does when I actually reach Africa.

I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who donated and who has been praying for me! I could not have done this without your help and generosity! I love y’all. And I’m glad I get to share this journey.

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Hillsong UNITED Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) Lyric Video

I don’t think I have the right words to really express how I feel right now. Honestly, I have never really stepped out on faith like this in my life. With my mission trip deadlines I feel like this is a whole new world. However, I’m stepping out. After a lot of tears, confusion, and frustration I know that this is what it really means to step out on faith. Realistically, the numbers say I won’t be able to go on my trip, but I know that’s not the case. As I feel this nudging to go ahead to finally step into the water, I know God won’t fail me. As I walk farther my faith won’t weaken, but I will be strong and no obstacle or deadline can stand in the way of what God’s plan is for my life.
So this is me stepping out in faith, and walking confidently knowing that I am made stronger in my Savior.
I feel like this song says what I can’t seem to put into words.