3:33 PM

Hindsight is 20/20, they say. Yet I'm beginning to discover that things don't need figuring out as much as accepting. What I'm experiencing now, the faith I'm living, is something that I could have had sooner (theoretically speaking) -- I knew where my weaknesses were, knew I was flailing in this God-to-man relationship, knew it. I just didn't accept it. It was too scary to be that vulnerable and to go that low.

There's another thing I already knew. I knew all along -- knew it most clearly last summer -- accepted the possibility of it January 1, 2012:

I wasn't born anything but Bailey Elizabeth Bergmann, possibly one of the most raw babies ever born on the sidewalk. Every time when my extended family gathers, they tell stories of how I could throw the hugest tantrums at the least moment's notice. I never meant to be anything but good, yet I came in fighting. I was always ashamed of my passion -- sensitive, vocal and reckless.

I never thought that could mean anything but trouble. Now I'm reconsidering. I sat with my best friend on a picnic blanket this summer and told her I felt that I would end up doing something that would change my life at a moment's notice. She said she knew it too -- me and change and future Big Things. 

I've always thought I could change the world. And I'm different. I know I am. I'm not great or terribly smart or anything else to brag about, but I'm different. When I was little, I organized my own family Bible study, just for one night. I wrote letters and columns to the paper because I knew I had something to say. I spoke my mind at family meetings and at church and in adult circles. I never stopped believing things could change -- starting with me. There is nothing more unbearable than pursuing greatness for its own sake. But I know I am going to be called at any moment to follow Jesus to a limit I never knew and others rarely attempt. And He will get the glory. All of it. 

The other day I surrendered everything to Jesus. A few weeks later, I knew --  I don't get to have a normal life. He's called me to be radical. What that exactly means? I don't know. I'm pretty sure I'm going into ministry full-time (of course every Christian ought to be, but you know what I mean), working with the poor and broken-hearted. 

In my surrender, I had to accept that I may end up single, alone, used up, far away and maybe even dead, like many Christians who went radical and made a difference. And that's not incredibly exciting. I like life. I like love. I like comfortable. 

But you know what? God is worth so much more than marriage, friends, comfort and the temporal. I cannot get enough of Him -- I cannot stop this reckless flight toward Him -- I cannot not happily embrace my cross and cry, "Let's go!"

At the same time, I think I'm nuts. I hate dying to sin, dying to dreams, dying to self. To be honest, one of my biggest dreams crashed last night, and I didn't take it very well. I haven't been very strong or spiritual lately. Sometimes this faith walk goes so fast that I want to explode in terror: Not that, Jesus -- don't make me go there, don't make me give that up. And I haven't even covered the tip of the iceberg of my sin or of His calling for my life. 

But it's still amazing. Because He's here, living within and working without. 

I always wondered why I was different -- why He'd given me so many talents in so many different areas. Now I know: He wanted me to lay it all down. For Him. He wanted me to empty myself out so He could fill me with His power -- not my talents. Strange, that He would give just to take just to give again.

I have never felt so dead -- never felt so empty -- never felt so weak. Paradoxically, I have never felt so alive -- never felt so full -- never felt so hopeful. I take this life. I am called, and I choose Jesus.

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14 impressions

  1. "In my surrender, I had to accept that I may end up single, alone, used up, far away and maybe even dead, like many Christians who went radical and made a difference. ...At the same time, I think I'm nuts.I hate dying to sin, dying to dreams, dying to self."

    Ah Bailey, I think you have summed up almost in its entirety how I feel. I am so afraid of surrender because being different and radical is so hard. I desparately want to be called a friend of God, or like Moses, I want to choose God rather than enjoy the things of the world but I am afraid. It is amazing how a four letter word such as fear can cripple and block an individual from really living. I too am anticipating the power of God shining through me but at the same time I want the comforts that life promises: a house, a family, money. I am reminded of the impossibility of serving two masters. Pray for me Bailey that I will accept my calling and that regardless of temptations God will be my ultimate choice. Thank You

  2. Hey there Bailey,

    I just wanted to leave a quick note saying thank you. Whether you're aware of it or not, you are already being used by God. These posts that you put up in which you open up and lay your heart on the table to be analyzed, pondered over and judged. Yet you keep on. You have been a blessing to me, thank you for using your gifts to serve Him.


  3. you go girl! or may I say Christ be praised! His working in our lives is so amazing...not always easy, not our normal way we think of fun but wonderful and amazing! Keep seeking Him!

  4. Shanniel, I will pray for you...pray for me too. It's easier typed out than done -- that's for sure. Praise God He only works through the weak and poor in spirit, because I really have nothing to offer Him right now. *HUGS*

    Annie, I needed to hear that today. Thank you, friend.

    Charis, it's so true!

  5. Beautiful. Your words are the very ones that have been welling up in my own heart the past few months.

    Knowing that the Saviour has called and has blatantly said, "Hey, you want to be my disciple? Follow me. You'll need to bear a cross, and be like a seed, dead and alone before you'll see any fruit. You want to live in this life? Die. You want to experience life? Lose it."

    Ouch. Surrender is painful and all that it entails is so so difficult to swallow but...I'm finding, like you, that we never know the extent His strength, His peace, and His grace until that is all we have.

    Thanks for posting! I needed to read it. :)

  6. Yeah...I need to read this post too. :P The end of the surrender is so beautiful, but it kills to actually do it. The first step off the edge of the cliff is always the hardest...and so is the next...and the next...but that's why He's called us to walk day by day and not tomorrow by tomorrow. His grace is enough, renewed every morning.

    Whoa. Preaching to myself here. :) It's so exciting to see what God's doing in all you girls' lives!!

  7. Manys the time I have commented, or at least thought, "Are you sure you're only seventeen?" Your writing is very insightful and has a certain maturity. So, I could not resist commenting after reading this post, "Wow, you sound young!" Young in a good way, full of fire and passion and incredible hope, but also with a healthy dose of uncertainty, fear, and trepidation.
    This post makes me feel old, but I thank you for letting me share in your youthful perspective on life, and reminding me what it was like when I was seventeen.


  8. Maybe I should say, "good for your" or "sorry, I really need to do my spanish homework right now instead of checking blogs" (*coughs*) but I think I'll say this:

    It doesn't surprise me.

    Clarification. You don't surprise me. Through the whole nameless drama, I knew God would get you through. I knew you would be able to refocus and carry on. I knew that you would still be alive.

    And you are.

    I struggle with the same know what I'm talking about! It's all so frightening with the prospect of being radical, of moving out into the open, of blindly accepting by faith the things that we're unsure about.

    God is using you in amazing ways!

    Remind me to give you a hug when I walk upstairs (if I'm alive after Spanish conjugation)

  9. Bailey - the way you described yourself as a younger - you, sounded just like me. Not sure if that scares or excites you... ha. But, hold on to what you have RIGHT NOW. I had similar promptings when I was young and I let the world distract me, pull me every way other than towards God. I'm not almost 30 and only just getting on track and back to the root of "why am I here, really?". Keep pushing, keep marching forward - don't let any one tell you you're crazy. They called Jesus crazy too. You're inspiring, and I know God has an amazing plan for your life! I'm going to lean towards not alone and/or dead. Remember... God wants to give you LIFE and LIFE ABUNDANT... you can't even dream up what He has in store for you... big hugs. Cass @ The Unplugged Family

  10. Bailey,

    You are something special, girl. This blog - this soapbox of yours - has blessed so many people. Including me. You have inspired so many young girls. Including me.
    I've told you this before, but you will never know how much God has used you in my life. So much. And I thank you, Bailey, wholeheartedly for that.

    You have a big future ahead of you, Bailey. Keep sprinting ahead, keeping your eyes on Jesus. [:


    (P.S. - That picture of you? Absoloutely gorgeous.)

  11. I also forgot to add that I really needed this today. I've been struggling a lot lately, and the spiritual wheels in my head have been spinning like crazy, and I'm oh so confused right now. This post gave me some clarity (or at least a promise of there being a light at the end of the tunnel). Maybe we can chat about it in an email sometime. [:


  12. I agree with everything, with one exception...You do not choose Jesus. Jesus has chosen you. God has brought you to where you are right now and He is leading your every step, Bailey. He is deciding when your going to lose you biggest dreams, HE is deciding what struggles you will be going through. HE is doing everything, because only He can be in control. He is putting you through one challenge after another, to make you come out stronger in the end for Him and His kingdom. He is the one who decided Bailey was going to be a servant who was on fire for Him. He made you on fire for Him.

    After writing all that, I realize I am assuming that you come from the mindset that man is totally depraved...I had gotten that impression from the year or so worth of posts I have read. I apologize for stepping onto my soapbox like that...It is just something I have been learning a lot about worthless I am.

    I don't wish to seem harsh or mean in any way. I think this comment has probably made me look like I'm staring disapprovingly down my nose at you. Believe me, I don't want to seem like that. Your posts have taught me A LOT. They have challenged me and made me think really hard about things that I had never really considered before.

    In Christ,

    P.S The Obsession is coming on me slowly. I wish I had a radical change like you, and without realizing it, I was waiting for it. But thinking about it, I am slowly growing, slowly wanting more, slowly seeing why you write with such passion now. I don't think I'll ever just start being obsessed(It'll probably be a year before I get to the point of passion your at), but I do know that I'm getting obsessed...many thanks to our wonderful Savior, and to you. :)

  13. Jillian, you are so, so right. That's the beautiful thing about God's sovereignty -- how HE does everything because ultimately He gets all the glory. I would never have chosen Jesus had He not chosen me. I would never have surrendered if He hadn't given me the heart to do so. There is absolutely nothing I am that He hasn't wrought in me. We love because He first loved us.

    But one thing I didn't realize, caught up in the Calvinist/Arminian debate of God's sovereignty vs. man's "free will", is that there's no disconnect in me choosing Jesus and Him choosing me. I'm not called to figure out whether I'm set apart or get to be Obsessed. I'm only commanded to obey -- even when it seems like God isn't fully there or when I'm not sure I'm doing it right. That's what it means to work out our salvation in fear and trembling, for it is God who works in us to will and to do.

    So don't hold back, Jillian -- just obey what He's called you to do. Press into God. Don't wait until you "feel" called -- you are called, sweet friend. The second you step out in faith, God is there working in you. And He will get all the glory.

  14. It comforts me to see people turn to God, and I only want to help them, sometimes desperately. I never want to lose that.

    Be broken, be low, a meek and quiet spirit is of great price in Gods sight.

    God has the power and sovereignty to give us our choice, and to take it away when HE chooses.

    He never takes away our choice because he would not be able to deal with what we would choose. He is never surprised or overcome by what we choose.

    God has a use for those who would choose to rebel against God if they were given a choice: they were made to be overcome and destroyed by God and his servants, to show Gods glory in victory.

    May you and I always be on Gods side, and have the hilt and not the point.


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