Tuesday, May 31, 2011

closer to honesty.

This last month has been such a whirlwind. I'm shocked that May is over. With work, finals, all the out of town visitors staying at my house, waiting to hear from Chapman, I just don't know where the time has gone. I made some really beautiful memories. I also had some really intense conversations. I'm processing a whole lot and I'm going to try to hit on a lot of these things right now.

Let's start with Chapman. I'm in! And I'm stoked. I was on campus today with my mama to submit my enrollment deposit. It just felt so real all of a sudden. A woman I went on a Rock Harbor trip to New Orleans with works for housing and happened to text me today, so we met up and she introduced me to a woman who helps students find off-campus housing. I'm moving out! It'll be a lot to figure out where and with who I'll be living, but I'm stoked. The school just seems normal. And I think I need normal right now, haha.

Out of town visitors. This one gets broken down.

Sean and Amanda. Sean and Amanda are just two of my absolute best friends. I love them. I can't believe they exist. I just love them too much. We have so much intense history together from our time in nola and I feel bonded to them in a very unique way. We laugh so hard together and understand each other, even when we don't feel the same way. Just adoration for those two. It was awfully hard to say goodbye.

Adam and Casey. These are two guys that I was romantically involved with, both with girlfriends now, both staying in my house. Being with Adam was frustrating and difficult as all of us (Sean, Amanda, Adam's sister, and myself) felt ignored and uncared for in his presence. He was here for such a short time, but his new relationship seems to have some dependent tendencies, and I think we were hoping to be made a priority. Silly, but still, it was hurtful. And then Casey and I ended up having this crazy intense conversation about everything that happened between us. It was partially him apologizing. When I visited New Orleans a couple months ago, he pretty much yelled at me about how reckless I am with love, how I need to be more cautious, how I use art as an excuse to toy with people's hearts, and it's not always a good idea to tell someone how you feel. It's funny that most of you probably haven't seen that side of me. Hmm. Anyway, he apologized, explained that he wishes he were more like that, told me about a lot of things I didn't know when it comes to our relationship.

Avery. I am so blessed to know that girl. Avery doesn't believe in God. So seeing Circles and interacting with the slices was a very different experience for her. She was touched by the joy and warmth she saw in you guys at breakfast on Friday, but confused and frustrated with a lot of things that happened on Saturday. She also was interested in a lot though. We had some really honest conversations on the way to the airport. I feel free with Avery--free to admit that I don't know everything about what I believe in. Free not to be defensive or scared. Free to express my frustrations and joys. She has a beautiful soul.

It's hard to say so many goodbyes to people you care for so deeply. My heart aches. I try not to think about it too much.

Now in stark contrast to the last few weeks, I finally have spare time and time alone. School is over, all the guests have gone, and I have this sweet housesitting job that gets me a ton of space all on my own. When I'm not working, I've spent almost every second by myself here. It's strange, to be alone so much, but I needed it more than anything. I seriously feel like this is a gift from God. As much as I love this time on my own, I'm also sad because when I have invited people over, it hasn't worked out, and I can't help but be reminded of the sense that I don't have that family of friends that I had in high school or back in New Orleans. Honestly, I miss the feeling of belonging I had. Even if it was because we were throwing up and blacking out together. Even if it was because we all tried to force down breakfast together, completely nauseous and hungover. Sometimes I'd rather have that than nothing at all.

And right here, I'm going to try to be pretty honest. I must say, I'm afraid. But I want to reflect a little on my time in Circles, on what it's reminded me of about Christian culture as a whole. I feel like I go back and forth with Circles. There are a few exceptions to this, a few people that I feel have made a commitment to me, that are willing to invest in me, and accept my love and time in return as well. But for the most part, I get really stoked on the idea of it for a while, and then I go to the group to share something and feel ignored or like I'm not taken seriously or like I'm not Christian enough. I think there are a lot of things I say that cross the line as a defense mechanism; it gives me something to blame the feelings of rejection and inadequacy on. Honestly, so much of the Christian phrases and words we use feel false to me--feel like a byproduct of an exclusive social club that takes the name of Jesus as a sort of secret password. I know that we share that name, but...I don't know. I'm having a hard time expressing myself. I understand that this isn't edifying or encouraging, but I don't always know how to be. I think what I said a little earlier in this post is what a lot of it boils down to: I don't feel Christian enough. So much of the time. And I don't know where that leaves me. But this is me, expressing it to a group that I made a commitment to. I must say, I'm thankful for this group. I'm sure it doesn't sound like it right now, but this time has been good. I've learned a lot about myself, about others, about how the spiritual world may or may not interact with the physical world.

That's all for now. I am very unresolved.


  1. mmm we are SO excited about chapman! wayHO! I can't wait to be intellectual women together and go to coffee shops and study. or just chat. because I think we've tried that and it didn't work out. also, yay for friends visiting. I'm so glad that you had such a wonderful time with all of them. both Amanda and Avery seem like such beautiful women. your guys' love for each other is so obvious and endearing.

    the last part of this post makes me so sad. I hate that you are feeling this way. I admire your honesty SO incredibly much by the way. hmmm, I think a lot of people have mixed feelings about the relationship side of Circles. people are either loving and being loved or isolating others or feeling isolated. I don't think any of the isolating is intentional, but rather a product of fear or insecurity. Bayley, you are a passionate, emotional, and compassionate woman. you are strong in your beliefs and you aren't afraid to voice your opinion. I think that this scares a lot of people, not because it is a scary thing, but because they see that they are lacking in this. I think a lot of the time, we don't like people because they are unlike us or because we see something in them that we are jealous of. I don't know. if you accept Jesus Christ as your savior, you ARE Christian enough. keep on being Bay and loving others and being humble and serving and sharing and you will be blessed. praying for you love. I hope this all makes sense. also, you are not alone. I miss the sense of belonging as well. I wish I could write more on this, but my thoughts are all scattered.

  2. I'm with you on the Christian phrases thing. I always enjoy a bit of liturgy but there's only so many times I can stand hearing about "speaking truth into someone's life". I don't even think I know what that means.
    And I wouldn't worry too much about being Christian enough. Jesus doesn't want you more Christian, He just wants more of you.
    You're alright, Sprowl.

  3. I'm going to be moving to Orange sometime in June! Maybe we'll be neighbors. With the Christian culture and such, it's really interesting, but I think as long as we know God and He knows us, there's a lot of clarity, no matter where we are situated. More talk about it later!

  4. Chapman! Exciting! Congrats! Great news. Now I just want to say that I always enjoy what you have to say when you speak your mind. I think the way I process, I need every side of the spectrum in terms of opinions, and yours is always filling in some missing reflection. I also think Ryan hit it spot on that Jesus could care less about trivial matters of who is right or wrong or what not, but as long as your heart is after him, it does not matter. I'll be praying for you and also I encourage you to keep speaking your mind, because whether you know it or not, it helps more people than you think or than they are willing to admit.

  5. Bayley, first off I'm excited you got into Chapman because now you will be living super close to me :-) yay! Secondly, the rest of your post made me sad. I am so sorry that you feel that way about Circles. I know that I have not made a huge effort to reach out to you so far and I am sorry about that. I hope that we can build a relationship together that will last beyond Circles. You are a great person, I see that, and I would love to get coffee and drive around Orange looking for places to live. Could we do that sometime soon?

  6. you said you are unresolved. shea said her thoughts are scattered. seems to me like we are all a bit of a beautiful mess. I'm glad you're honest. even in the last paragraph. I don't think every post needs to be encouraging or whatever. it just should be honest. look at my posts. oftentimes I have nothing to give but honesty. so I write down my heart. I think this is one of your longest posts and I felt like I got to know you through just your conversation with us through your post. it was awesome. I know where you are at with friends. I know too clearly how that feels. I also understand what you mean with Circles and relationships therein. I think everyone loves one another, but for myself and I'd say for you perhaps too, this is a rough season and bouncing back to be prepped, pepped, and ready to make a bunch of new, possibly deep relationships may not come as quickly or easily. this has been a barrier for me building relationships in Circles. I don't know completely if this is how you are feeling or if it sounds familiar at all. but I get it at least a little, I think. for me, I don't feel like I have much to give in a friendship right now and the purging and changes that are going on deep inside of me often exhaust me. the stress of my work situation has made me sick. but I would like to watch a movie sometime, so if you are house-sitting and would like to watch a movie (since I can do that and be sick at the same time), please call me. : ) I hope you know deep down that I am being sincere. if I didn't want to hang out, I wouldn't offer. : ) I was super brave (in my opinion) and put a bunch of requests on my blog and two wonderful people responded... so please know that you have a friend in me, albeit at a funny time of life where I am even a bit insecure in my ability to be a good friend, but you gotta also take me and lindsay up on our offers. be brave yourself. : ) congrats on chapman! and much love bay.

  7. thank you for your honesty bayley :) it means a lot and is vital in being able to grow and establish our relationships with each other, and more importantly, with Jesus.


    In the strength finders circles discussion the guy said that in his opinion, comparison is the biggest tool of the enemy for believers.

    "that person worships harder than me, they must be a better Christian."
    "that person is always joyful, they must be fake."
    "he knows his gifts, what makes him so special."
    "why isnt God working in my life like He is working in her life."
    "how come he doesnt get that what He is doing is wrong. I guess he's just not on my level."

    all of these thoughts i have struggled with in the past and they led to a big fall and splurge on sin because i was so exhausted from pretending that i had no spiritual strenght. my identity was in how christian i looked to other people, not in Christ.

    I am convinced that unless we overcome comparison that it is near impossible to have any joy or any peace in being a christian because we are constantly evaluating our "level" compared to others. it's a horrific cycle that tears people up.

    Bayley Jesus doesn't care about how you relate to other believers. He doesnt put people into your life and say, "hey bailey, get on their level..." He is humble and gentle when He teaches us, and He teaches us personally, just us and Him. I encourage you to evaluate your heart and if there is any tendency to compare and possibly if that is what's making "not feel Christian enough." To depend on believers for love is like running across thin ice and then being surprised when we fall through and are left freezing cold. Christians will still hurt us because we are all imperfect and cant love like we need to be loved.

    Jesus loves you so much bay :) It doesnt matter to Him where you "rank" in respect to other believers as if there was some sort of spiritual point system. We're called to love God and love others, regardless of ANY circumstance or where we are each at in our own individual walks with Jesus. There's so much freedom in letting go comparison and realizing that it's only you and Jesus that matters. That's all it's ever been, and that's all it ever will be. We can't effectively love others until we can realize how unconditional His love is for us and only focus on that. You're christian enough bailey because He says so.... :) and you're awesome and we need to hangout soon :)

  8. hi hunny,

    I know this is late, but I wanted you to know that I admire you and your honesty. I'm sorry that its not all you wish it to be, life is never what we expect.... but all the mess that we don't understand is what makes us stronger, makes us realer, makes the glory God receives so much greater... because we have conquered the difficulties trusting in Him.

    I must apologize, which this all should really be done in person... but our times together are rare and far between :( I adore you & I am so sorry I am not there for you as much as I want to be. I wish I could be more of a solid, consistent support. Please know that I am here if you need me and I want to be with you much more than I currently am. You aren't like anyone else I have ever met & you have broadened my horizons :) Inspired me, taught me. Anyways, you are a treasure to me. Love to you.

  9. Bayley, thanks for being so honest. I just want you to know that I love what you have to say in Circles and on posts. You are so raw and honest and I love that about you! You are beautiful inside and out and I can see that God is transforming you and bringing you closer to Him. Please continue to share your thoughts and don't feel condemned. God has been showing me that it is so important to have my identity come from God's name for me as beloved daughter. You are His beloved daughter and let that be your identity :) I'll be praying for you and would love to get together or hang out sometime!