Worn.

A few days ago I was a complete mess.

The day started off well, I guess. I slept in and made myself some breakfast. Things were normal. But they weren’t. I was oblivious to the trap the enemy had set up for my day. Throughout the day I was being plagued with insecurity. Now this is something that I thought I had handled, but these thoughts were relentless. I was being broken down bit by bit and just allowed the enemy to feed me lies. It seemed like all throughout that  day my defense was just being chipped away, and I sat back and watched it happen.

 I didn’t breakdown until I got some alone time in my car, and I just let God have it. The weather was awful, my car was acting up, and I was just tired of trying to find the good in every bad situation. I was angry, hurt, and was tired of fighting. I basically told God, “Look, I feel like I’m walking on egg shells with you because I’m afraid You’re going to take something else away from me. I don’t know what is happening in my life, and I don’t like it. I tired of fighting the enemy and I tired of fighting You trying to figure out how You plan on using me here. I’m tired of trying to force clarity and this huge understanding when I read my Bible when I know I’m not getting anything out of it. This can not be the rest of my life. I’m tired of disappointing You and everyone else.”

At this point I had convinced myself that, that day was a bad day for Bayli the Christian. I was fed up with God, and I didn’t understand and didn’t want to understand what He was doing in my life. I had almost given up. Almost.

That night I got home and text my friends just telling them exactly how I felt, and told them not to lecture me because I didn’t want to hear it. I told them just to pray. I knew I needed prayer because I knew God would not let me go to sleep with an angry heart and I was preparing myself to stay up all night and hash it out with Him.

And boy did He kept me up. I left my Bible in the car, but my journal was my release that night. I wrote pages of the struggle that was going on in my spirit. If someone were to read them they would probably recommend me to a mental institution. Literally, one page is filled with a rant about how I’m tired of trying to be hopeful and basically wanting to give up to the next page being filled with all that God has done for me. Ultimately, I got the peace I was searching for when I stopped writing and begged God for rest. Finally, my spirit was settled and I fell into a restful sleep.

The next morning, I got my Bible and knew I had to give my quiet time another shot. First, I was just flipping through my Bible admiring my highlighted pages, and my little drawings. But God got tired of my foolishness because He led me to Isaiah 41:9-10&13-16 real quick.

9 I took you from the ends of the earth, from its furthest corners I called you. I said, “You are my servant;’ I have chosen you and have not reject you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 13 For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you, Do not be afraid O worm Jacob, O little Israel. for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. “See I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff. You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up, and a gale will blow them away. But you will rejoice in the Lord and glory in the Holy One of Israel. 

In that verse I got a clear understanding that I didn’t need to fight any longer. God was fighting for me and I was basically punching at the air getting absolutely no where fast. The enemy had spent so much time trying so hard to break me down that day and night. It was one of the realist struggles I have ever experienced, but God was constant and faithful through it all. The next morning I wrote this in my journal:

Isaiah 41. What a beautiful verses for my tattered and worn soul. God, I don’t know what was happening last night, but your grace abounded even then. Thank You for Your unfailing love. For the words You continue to wash over me. You cover me and protect me. YOU LOVE ME! You have not and will not let me go EVER. You have set me apart and have called me to the nations. You are the one who given me strength to fight the good fight of faith. I will not give up because You are at my side. Bow down, Devil! 

A song that basically sums up how I felt is Worn by Tenth Avenue North. Check it out here.

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Insecurity.

It all started in 7th grade. I was more than aware of my body and the many changes that were going on. At that time I was the one of the two black girls in my school and the differences in my body and theirs was glaringly obvious (at least in my mind they were). While everyone was rail thin and could eat whatever they wanted, I felt like a bloated whale and even thinking about a piece of cake would pop a button on my already too tight shirt.

That was when insecurity wormed its way into my life, and I let that insecurity rob me of living my life fully during my 7th and 8th grade years. I was miserable those two years. Looking in the mirror was some sort of cruel punishment. I would wear makeup trying to cover up every possible flaw. I had major issues with my body and tried to cover it up in shapeless outfits. I would even put myself down because that’s what I assumed everyone else was thinking.

Finally, going into 9th grade I was tired of feeling miserable and gross. God got a hold of  my heart and somehow lifted that insecurity off my shoulders. It was the most liberating feeling that I had ever experienced. I cried and danced and sang all because I knew that the darkness had started to dissipate over my life. I could somehow breathe again.

Now to say that insecurity is completely gone from my life would be a lie. Somehow I have let it get into my life again.

I cringe sometimes when I look in the mirror. I still look for all those imperfections and try to quick fix them. I struggle with accepting the compliments and nice words people send my way. I over analyze every little thing about my body. I have this horrible habit of comparing my body to others. I can’t bear to step on a scale because the fear of seeing a certain number inch higher and higher wrecks havoc on my mind. I hate trying on clothes in the store because somehow over time I have been led to believe that I should be ashamed of my pants size. No matter if I lose weight while magically erasing my stretch marks, and my body would finally be ready for swimsuit season; I would still have to come to terms with the scars that were left on my body from my struggle with eczema.

As this daily struggle becomes something that is more common in my life, I fear that I’ll slip back into the darkness of my 7th and 8th grade years. It’s frightening. Sometimes I feel so dumb because I know all the Bible verses about what God thinks of me and sayings like “God thinks you’re to die for,” or “God makes no mistakes.” But it seems I can only tell myself that so many time before somehow my mind and heart are numb to those words.

She is worth far more than rubies…

I saw this on a charm and kind of latched on to it. I felt somehow that God was trying to touch something that I had not confronted since I let my insecurities creep back into my life. This phrase to me was something new that hadn’t really been tainted by clichés in my mind. Now, I’m starting to realize that I let insecurity suck the joy out of my life once and I will fight to make sure it doesn’t happen again. As the Lord has been chipping away at all the insecurity that I let accumulate, I feel a since of peace knowing that this is all in His hands. I am running back to the reassurance that God has fashioned me to be who I am and He has deemed my worth far more than rubies.

I rejoice as I recover my security in my Maker.

Proverb 31 Women's Locket - worth far more than rubies