Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Hi! My name is Bailey and I write a lot. Fair warning.

I have always been “good” at writing. And when I say “good,” I mean I have always written in great lengths. When I was in college, I was the student that was given a 10-page limit on a research paper, and would get points deducted off my grade, not because the content was bad, but because I wrote too much. I am very much a deep thinker and detail oriented, which is probably where a lot of my inability to simplify my words comes from.

Even though I wrote a lot in college and discovered that quality about myself, it took me a couple of years, life experiences, trials, and pain to uncover my gift and love for writing.

My junior year of college I experienced a break up with a boy I was completely in love with and it wrecked my world. When we were together, my identity was him. I conformed my life around him, allowing him to be the foundation that the rest of my life was built on. He didn’t know it, but I was letting him control my life. So, when he was gone, I thought I had lost everything. I didn’t know who I was without him. I was so sure he was the guy I was going to marry, and now he clearly wasn’t, so I questioned everything that I was “sure of:” my friends, my major in school, the career path I felt called to take, my purpose, my identity, and my relationship with God. I wanted someone so desperately to help me; to heal me; to give me answers; to make sense of what I was internally battling. But I felt that I had no one. At least no one that fully understood. And even if I had a friend, that friend could not do for me what I was expecting of them. I felt like I had no one because what I wanted from someone cannot be satisfied by human flesh. I needed the Lord, but was lost on how to reach Him.

It was then that a great friend of mine encouraged me to start journaling. So, I did and it changed my life forever. I was able to heal through writing. I discovered the joy I had in writing. Eventually, I really began to feel like I was better able to convey ideas, express myself, and say things more clearly through words written on a piece of paper than words spoken from my lips. Ultimately, I recognized how close I felt to God when I was writing. I understood that He speaks more clearly to me and through me when I am writing words instead of saying them.

Fast forward 3 years, and a lot has happened that I will have to catch you guys up on later. But I can say with confidence, that God is good. He is a God that heals, redeems, and restores. He is always working, no matter what situation you find yourself in, to bring you out on the other side better for His glory and you’re good. He never stops trying to reach you. He is just waiting for you to reach back. When I finally decided to reach back, I re-discovered my identity in Christ, and allowed Him to become the foundation that my life was built on. I learned to love myself, and with that God blessed me with a second chance to love that boy that broke my heart in a way that was healthier, stronger, what we each deserved, and that was controlled by and glorifying to Him. By God’s grace, I have the honor and privilege of marrying this man in just 26 days! Not only is he totally hott, he is my number 1 fan and greatest supporter, challenger, and encourager. It’s because of his affirmation in my writing, that I am starting this blog. I have had the dream of writing a book one day for a couple of years now, and who knows, maybe one day I will, but I had never considered writing a blog until Mitchell encouraged the idea and continued to push me to really pray about it and act on it.

So here I am, after months and weeks of praying over this, taking a leap of faith and starting a blog during one of the busiest seasons of my life. Seems crazy, but I figure I’ll have a lot to write about, right?

Not only is writing something that I’m passionate about, but I truly feel humbled by the Lord in the gift and ability He has blessed me with in it. Mitchell actually said to me a couple of weeks ago that my writing was a “God-given gift” and I told him that that was the first time I had ever heard those words spoken to me; that I had a God-given gift. It was then that I started looking at my writing with confidence and as a spiritual gift that the Lord has given me to point others to Him. It is something that has strengthened, stretched, and grown my spiritual walk, and it is something that I pray He will use to speak to others and further His Kingdom. Not for my glory, but for His.

As I was praying about starting this blog, I also began praying that God would place a name for it on my heart. During your trials and when you feel you are at your lowest, God constantly reminds you of who He is, how He views you, and just how much He loves you. He does so through different avenues, in different ways for different people, and for me He gave me the word Brave. During that season of life when I was so lost and so low, I used to go to sleep listening to worship music. When I laid down to go to bed at night was when the enemy enjoyed whispering defeating lies into my ears. So, I decided to fill them instead with praises to our heavenly Father. The song “You Make Me Brave” by Bethel had just become a big deal, and I listened to it every night before I went to sleep. Ever since then I have held tight to that word and that song. It has gotten me through a lot of bumps in the road along the way.

Apart from that, God repeatedly seemed to place the word “Beloved” in my path over the last few weeks, reminding me how beloved I am to Him (which is something I find myself forgetting often). And so, the name “Beloved and Brave” was conceived. Simple, but there is so much meaning and heart behind it. This name not only carries the message that in Christ, we are beloved and brave, but found in those words, are also the words “be love” and “be brave.” This serves as a calling to not only accept with confidence that through the eyes of Jesus, we are beloved, and we are brave, but we are also called to be love, to be brave, and to bravely accept that we are beloved. With this blog, I really pray that you would start understanding how God sees you, how much He loves you, and discover the purpose and plan He made for you before you were ever born; that you would grow in your confidence and identity in Him.

I am beyond excited and humbled to share my heart and Jesus with you alongside of Mitchell through the SSV ministry that he has recently launched, and see what God has in store for sharing His words with us and with you. What an honor and privilege it is to share in this opportunity with my best friend, and to get to work together as a team. The Lord is so gracious.

Thank you for taking the time to read, and for stepping into this adventure alongside of me! I’ll be talking to you soon!