My name is Bayley. I like my name a lot. Who I am has a lot to do with who and what I’m surrounded by. This isn’t particularly something I like about myself, but I find myself constantly trying to reconcile all the differents aspects of my self with my environment.
Right now I’m going to Orange Coast College and living with my parents. I just moved back from about a year and a half of living in New Orleans and going to Tulane University in early December. The transition is brutal; I loved a lot about that city. I left some dear friends behind and a lot of beautiful memories, but, as I said before, I could feel myself becoming what the environment wanted me to be and I got to a point where I felt like I hardly recognized myself. So I ran from it. It made me feel weak—that need to escape instead of just willing myself to be more “morally right.”
Right now is a period of total uncertainty in my life. It’s painful and lonely. Most of my friends are far away and being treated like a child at home is something I really dislike. What I do know is that in all I’m surrounded by right now, I’ve stopped worrying so much. God made these promises to me about being loved and taken care of—promises about redemption and freedom. I know they’re being fulfilled in ways I can’t see or understand now.
I think I joined this CIRCLES thing because I think community and relationship is such a beautiful picture of God’s self and will for the people that love Him. I’ve been starved for a Christian community that I connect with. CIRCLES might be a fulfillment of that, but it might not, and that’s okay too. I am loved and taken care of.
I think my greatest hope for this group is that we would all be as authentic as we can. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in cynicism or just thinking I’m better than other people. I’m hoping that I can be genuine in these relationships and I’m praying for wholeheartedness throughout the process.