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.

I Am Here.

March 14, 2014

I am here.

Do you not feel my arms around you this very second?

I have seen you. I have seen your tears.

Do you know, I sat beside you and wept with you?

You are tired. Come to Me.

Rest.

You let go. Let go of what isn’t good for you.

Those restless nights were not in vain.

I longed for you to spend time with me; gently nudging you so I can show you all that I have for you.

I am doing a new thing in you.

Just look about you!

Those tears are watering the seeds of the new things that are springing up.

Let go of all the things, but don’t ever let go of Me.

I am all you need. Your one true God.

I have missed you.

Wait earnestly for I am doing for you what you couldn’t do for yourself.

I am here always, and that is where I will forever be.

Just some lines that God laid on my heart a few days ago. I was begging for peace and clarity. Thought I would share because I know someone needs some encouragement. God is here and longs to touch the hearts of His people.

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A sweet little reminder I got of just how God’s light invades the darkest of nights.

Dance Before Me.

Condemnation. It’s been staring me down. Pushing me and waiting for me to crack under its oppression. I feel it when my thoughts wonder, and when I allow words to pierce my heart. It’s a horrible feeling staring at condemnation and having to make a conscious decision to believe the lie or spit in its face. When condemnation approached I fell into its waiting arms. I was ready to pout and wallow in my self-pity. I’m beginning to believe the lies that are being whispered in my ear, and allowing my soul to be drenched in the mistakes of my past. I feel consumed and overwhelmed by it all.

It’s crazy how the enemy is so quick to throw my past mistakes in my face. He tends to bring up things that I’ve already submitted to God. Things that I don’t struggle with any more, but if I let my guard down for a second; I’m caught. He’s crazy. But you know what’s even crazier? Is that recently I found myself believing the lies and accepting the condemnation thinking I actually deserve it. It’s twisted, but that’s how the enemy operates.

However, I have a loving Jesus who sees it all and UNDERSTANDS what I am feeling. In Hebrews it says that we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who isn’t able to sympathize with us because even though Jesus was fully God; He was also fully human. He’s just been reminding me that He knows how I feel. He probably knows more about what I’m actually feeling because half the time I’m just a jumble of emotions and feelings.

He deals with my condemnation the second I give those feelings to Him. I can hear Him clearly countering every lie from the pit of hell with His truth. He tells me that I have been bought with a price. My sin has been paid in full. He loves me, and has covered my sin. I am forgiven, and being made new every second, every minute of the day. The skeletons of my past are out in the open, but He has breathed new life into them and transformed them for His glory!

My past or mistakes don’t have me in bondage like they did before. I have to consistently remind myself to keep my guard up and counter the lies with Truth. I have been forgiven and the yoke of my past is off my shoulders. God not only took my sin, but He made it new. He transformed it not only for my salvation, but so that He gets maximum glory in it all. The things that He has pulled me out of is just a testament of His unending grace and unfailing love.

My sin doesn’t control me. It dances before me. Dancing to the song of forgiveness and redemption.

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“…And then there was God, who’d caused even the dry bones to dance before me.” -Marilynn Griffith

Heart Wide Open.

There’s just something about waking up to a new day knowing that it’s filled and brimming with possibility. I woke up today with that feeling. It’s hard to explain, but in my mind the word that keeps playing like a record is, “new.”

Just, new.

Throughout the day I’ve been taking inventory of all the new things that have happened upon my life.

1. My room has actually been clean for the past 72 hours.  WHAT?!

2. I’ve been going to the gym for the past few days, and instead of buying a Reese’s I actually went to the gym TODAY. This is totally new for me. Reese’s and I have an awesome relationship except the calories are starting to strain the relationship. It sucks.

3. I actually ate a Snickers for breakfast this morning though. So it’s probably good I didn’t get that Reese’s. Honestly, I don’t advice eating Snickers for breakfast because my stomach could not take all that chocolatey richness that early in the morning.

4.  I tried Haitian Beet Potato Salad. It wasn’t  all that great but it was a pretty color! I’m even trying to learn some Haitian Creole. Don’t ask me what I’ve learned either because when I say “learning” it means I am moving at a snail’s pace, but slower.

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5. I took a bubble bath and got distracted by all the bubbles which lead to it overflowing and flooding my bathroom. Then I just laughed and laughed until I realized that I really just flooded my bathroom and there wasn’t enough towels in my cabinet to clean it up.

6. I went to a yoga class. Even though this morning my behind, back, and hips were not all that happy about my latest venture.

7. I’m learning how to be extra compassionate and caring in my CNA class.

8. I’m actually really excited and challenged to be apart of Lakewood Young Adults. I’m finally going to volunteer!

All of these things are really small and a little trivial, but I look at them as new. These things haven’t happened to me and I find myself embracing it with my heart wide open. I can only describe this feeling of newness as a heart change. It has been a gift from God. I’m finding joy in the simplest things, and realizing that this is what God has been singing over me my whole life. I have been liberated from my past and I’m stepping into this new season with all senses on alert.

I’m determined to see things with my eyes wide open, and take it all in hoping my brain will be able to comprehend every precious detail. I want to continue to feel not just with my sense of touch, but deep down. I want my soul, spirit, and heart to be so exposed to the new things that God is dropping into my life, and appreciate it all. I need to continue to search for more things to hear. Whether it be a new beautiful song, a friends tale of what has been going on in their life, or a cute baby’s laugh. I need to be more open to tasting new things. I mean, I need to find a healthier way to get my Reese’s fix. Stat. I long to smell all the flowers,  the perfumes that I can’t afford yet, and the good food cooking in the kitchen. I want to smell it all. except the stinky stuff. Just no. 

These things that I’ve listed probably have already happened in my life, but I think with a new perspective I will be able to see just how “new” they can be.

So here’s to the newness of life! It’s bursting at the seams with new things to see, feel, hear, taste, and smell. All you have to do is maybe have a  good perspective check and  prepare yourself to receive the new things that God wants to shower over you.

“It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy.” 
― Jiddu Krishnamurti