Interview of the delightful Bailey Hurley on faith in Christ, love, and the journey of life.

Blogger Bailey Hurley

Julia Ismail

Have you ever met a woman who immediately inspired you? Where you saw something captivating... a glow from within? Coupled with a contagious spirit? A woman true to herself, exuding charisma galore, capturing a room with her radiance? And most of all, with her heart beaming the joy of Christ? Cue, blogger Bailey Hurley.

Currently living in Denver as a newlywed, on the brink of publishing her first book, and a graduate of Denver Seminary, Bailey is walking by faith into every exciting venture God has written in the stars for her. And not to mention being a role model for lots of young women every step along the way! Bailey’s heart is as gorgeous from the inside-out as I always viewed it from the outside-looking-in.

Interview of the delightful Bailey Taylor on faith in Christ, love, and the journey of life.

M&H: What does confidence mean to you? What gives you your confidence and enables you to be so true to yourself?

 Confidence grows out of a security in Christ. 

My middle school years can be well described as BC (before Christ) and AC (After Christ). In the BC phase, you never caught me without my face in a book. I loved reading but mostly I was incredibly shy and let more abrasive personalities walk all over me. I didn’t have a ton of friends, confidence, or fashion sense (I refused to wear bras until I absolutely had to and could not give up my brown and blue Girl Scout tights).

The summer of 8th grade, I left for my first Christian summer retreat. Yes, you can imagine all the crazy camp activities including kitchen raids, late night dance parties, and cabin porch songs. Yet, each day as we sat in the chapel—that smelled of adolescent boys who had not yet discovered deodorant—I was overwhelmed by the love of Christ. My mom told me later that when I arrived home from camp there was a physical light around me and she knew I would never be the same again—she was right.

Christ’s resurrection empowers me to participate in abundant life with him. That means I can live freely in the way He has created me. If that includes loving all the new pop hits, still watching Disney Channel as a grown woman, and spending most of my time loving on my friends then, let it be so. 

One of my favorite catch phrases when I do something embarrassing (because it definitely happens) is: “Whoops. Secure in Christ.” There is nothing we can do to become “uncool” in his eyes so why not lean into the activities and quirks that are the most beautiful makeup of you.

Interview of the delightful Bailey Taylor on faith in Christ, love, and the journey of life.

M&H: How are you able to stay so pure and untainted in our world and strong in your faith with our culture telling us we need to be taking selfies all the time and chasing beauty as women? 

I honestly have to admit that my life is not exciting enough to be documented with “selfies.” But I credit all of my “down-to-earth” self to the people that have chosen to walk with me. 

My “tom-boyish” mother grew up in Moline, KS. You can’t even fathom the life of this small town until you drive through the city where the most exciting thing may be running into your friends at the gas station. My mom’s small town lifestyle rubbed off on me. She never stressed beauty, make-up, or hairstyles.

When I became Christ’s daughter, the culture of my church supported the idea of faith over surface. My best friends were never overly concerned with becoming “of the world.” Our joy was found in participating in the church and ministering to younger generations. We stayed grounded in our faith together—and that’s truly how holy living should be done, in community. Community keeps you honest with yourself and your ability to wander. 

Now, we certainly weren’t squares. We loved planning kickball tournaments or hosting America’s Best Dance Crew watch-parties (one of the best shows to ever come out of MTV). But,when you have great friends-in-Christ who make you feel accepted and known, you don’t NEED the things that produce fading glory. 

Interview of the delightful Bailey Taylor on faith in Christ, love, and the journey of life.

M&H: Can share about your experience in the seminary?

It was spring of my senior year at Pepperdine University and I was debating applying to a program at Pepperdine Law. I went in for a meeting with the director of the program and just broke down--this program was not the right next step. After speaking with my academic mentor (more like blubbering about my crisis), he mentioned seminary. I had NEVER thought that I would go to seminary. I assumed that was for pastors only and I was not interested in becoming a pastor.

I walked down the hill towards my dorm, and sat down at my computer and started researching seminaries. There are many different types that emphasize specific programs, professors, and denominations. I was attracted to Denver Seminary because it was non-denominational and emphasized formal mentorship as a program requirement--plus, it was near the Rocky Mountains. 

The first semester of seminary can be described as a faith break down. You intentionally ask difficult questions about the foundations of your faith and your identity in God. I wrestled with a lot of past misconceptions about who I believed God was and spent time rebuilding a Scripture-based image of God with the biblical tools I was learning. Even after being a Christian for many years, I was challenged to understand God with new lenses. I studied alongside men and women, coming from a wide array of cultures and church backgrounds. 

When I graduated last December, with my Masters in Arts in Leadership, I could not have been more grateful for some of the best years of my life. How often do you get to spend your efforts learning about God and trying to apply truth to our society's real needs? How often do you get to learn from other intentional brothers and sisters in Christ who are doing incredible mission work? I certainly didn't walk away an expert, but I did leave as a confident faith leader who has seen the beauty of God in new ways.

In my Biblical Interpretation class, we often said, "The more you know about God, the deeper your worship becomes." This is absolutely true. Seminary is not just head knowledge for books and preaching, but it's a holistic learning that changes your posture towards praising and worshipping God.

Interview of the delightful Bailey Taylor on faith in Christ, love, and the journey of life.

M&H: What is your ultimate dream, Bailey? Do you want to work in ministry, write books, public speak?

My dreams are so small compared to the dreams God has for me—I am just too narrow focused to see the full picture. Yet, I do sense God calling me to the public forum whether through writing or speaking. One of the best ways to discover your dreams are to come across people who are doing the things that make you want to say, “Can I just be you?!” 

Jon Acuff and Alli Worthington (authors and speakers) are two people who I would love to emulate. They are both HILARIOUS and leaders in the church and business spheres. I, myself, feel wedged between the two competing spheres. Most think you can’t bring the two together, but I disagree. I am energized by organizational culture and sharing how faith impacts the way we lead our cultures.

M&H: Are there any spiritual disciplines you do everyday? Journaling, Bible reading, prayer, worship music, running, anything fun or silly? Do you do them in the morning or evening?

I bounce through so many depending on the season (which is great because you don't have to pick just one!). I usually have a study to assist my bible reading because without it I am just a surface reader (ex: SheReadsTruth, Jen Wilkins, Jennie Allen, etc.).  I think it’s very important that this time happens in the mornings. Psalm 5:3 encourages us to meet with the Lord in the morning:

“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” 

And in Mark 1:35, the gospel writer references Jesus waking up early in the morning to go and pray. I can’t say anything magical happens in the morning time, but it feels as refreshing as taking your morning shower. 

Last summer I started doing prayer runs and it is amazing—and also annoying if you hate running. I found myself huffing and puffing my prayers out with another woman, but feeling so filled up afterwards (and you don’t feel as guilty for eating cake later). 

I have tried many different forms of worship, prayer, and Bible reading. I will say for those of you looking for tangible spiritual disciplines please pick up a copy of Spiritual Discipline Handbook: Practices That Transforms Us by Calhoun.

Interview of the delightful Bailey Taylor on faith in Christ, love, and the journey of life.

M&H: If you wanted your life to be about one message, what would it be and why?

Apart from Christ—I can do nothing. Our culture puts a lot of pressure on us to perform, succeed, and achieve all that we can achieve. Not bad things, just the wrong motives for living. Those high-achieving motives are usually tied to competition and comparison—my two evils.

Competition and comparison can break me down in seconds. They cause me to question my identity, my purpose, and my skills. I start my day off fairly confident but, the moment I see others get the things I want or post the most amazing and well-liked post on social media, I immediately spiral down into thinking all my hard effort and work are for nothing. Why? Because I am comparing my progress against the world rather than the course God has already laid out for me.

John 15, a chapter on abiding in Christ, has always been such a strong message for me. I am reminded that I am not the fruit bearer. I do not have to spend all of my energy and strength trying to make “revolutions” happen because God has got it covered. I also am reminded that I am not the vine. I cannot sustain myself during all the hustle of day-to-day pressures. Only Christ can sustain me, feed me, and give me life.

I am a branch. The vine makes me unbreakable from the weight of my peers and the fruit is the sweet purpose that I get to hold from God. I want other women to remember the freeing truth that they are enough in Christ. All of their determination can be directed towards “abiding in Christ” and they can rest in the promise that they will see fruit from their labor. I want my goals to be motivated by this truth: that abiding in Christ is enough and by the grace of God, He is inviting me to participate in fruit-bearing work. 

M&H: Your favorite Christian book/devotional and Christian inspirational song: 

“Lord of Lords” by Hillsong and “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery” by Matt Papa.
There are certain books for certain seasons of life that change you. 
Henri Nouwen has always been an encouraging author for me during times of hardship. 
Jennie Allen has been a recent inspiration. 
A Praying Life by Paul Miller and Fervent by Priscilla Shirer are also great books when you are looking to focus on prayer. 

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