Originally from Austin, Texas, Jennie’s inherent nature is to create community — often hosting friends at her home. She sees art, too, as a form of kinship or hospitality, not expressing her own tastes, but pairing pure colors with the stories of others.

Meet Jennie Lou

Today, I want you to meet Bailey Hurley.

She and I crossed paths for the first time a year or so ago. We go to the same church, Park Church in Denver, Colorado. Bailey always has a glow about her that quietly speaks the message of “as you are”. She is warm, inviting and welcoming, even from a distance. She has such wisdom to share, and a beautiful way with words, so I asked her to share. After you read her post below, learn more about her and follow her insightful blog:

Meet Bailey.

There is nothing like marriage to confront you with the idea of loving yourself “as you are.”

I know it is often said that marriage can test your patience, your comforts, and your individuality. Up that point, eating popcorn for dinner was completely acceptable. Yet, my first year of marriage, I was confronted with a completely different sin—being discontent with who I was.

My husband, Tim, is hands-down my best friend. He may not want to reenact scenes from musicals with me (that’s what girlfriends and road trips are for), but he is the person I want to spend most of my time living out the gospel with. As much as I long to be known and loved by him, there is something in me that resists.

In those first months, I could not fully embrace his love for me when I did not fully love myself.

Not only is this true about my husband and I’s relationship, but it’s true about how I viewed my relationship with God. I have always struggled to like the person that I am and believed that God probably felt the same. This was just magnified when there was a human next to me, peering into my day-to-day questions and doubts. 

God is a purposeful God, who loves to place people in your life who are going to hold you accountable for the things you would like to sweep under the refrigerator (because who really is going to look under the fridge until moving day?—much safer than a rug). 

My first year of marriage was filled with having to confront the person that God made me to be and learn to love that person.

There were plenty of moments where I sat crying on our bed, trying to drown out Tim’s comforting and loving words because I didn’t want to accept them as true. As Tim moved closer, I wanted to separate myself more. In my sin, I wanted to remain unlovable because I felt that was what I deserved.

After months and months of having a pity-party for myself (there was definitely retail therapy involved), I finally decided to push the lies away and begin to open my ears to what Scripture was telling me. I know it sounds like I pulled myself up by my bootstraps but in reality this was more like a snotty-faced whisper of a prayer for my perspective to change.

Loving who I am is an act of worship because it shows my gratitude to the Creator who made me.

Tim’s unconditional grace and encouragement are just a few ways that I can be reminded of the way that God sees me. God loves me with such a fierce and sincere love! He shows me His love in that while I am still a sinner, Christ died for me (Romans 5:8). This perspective shift draws me closer to God and my husband, who both desire to speak truth into me with full-knowledge that I am not complete or whole, but perfectly lovable in their eyes.

Order an “as you are” cuff here:

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