Hey everyone! I’m Hallie Smith, the founder of Worth More Ministries. It still blows my mind that I get to say that now. (Blows my mind and makes me want to throw up and hide under my covers all at the same time.)
Carolyn will be the blogger you’ll hear from the most since she’s a way more talented writer than I could ever dream of being, but writing is something I love to do so you’ll see me here a lot too!
Fun fact: Carolyn and I have been friends since we were born (22 years), and she’s my best friend. We grew up together, and apart from those awkward junior high years when I decided I was way too cool to be her friend (go read her “about me” on the staff page), she’s been my rock. She’s the safe place I get to land when life gets a little crazy.
Anyway, back to the purpose of this blog! I want you to all know about me, my walk with God, and my heart for this ministry.
I was born on the beach in California (not literally, but we lived pretty close), and lived there until I was 13. I grew up in church, and was there whenever the doors were open. My mom was on staff and my dad served on the weekends, so not showing up was never an option for us. I grew up with this idea that God just wanted my attendance at church events and didn’t really want my heart. I remember sitting in a Vacation Bible School and deciding that I wanted to believe in Jesus, and I remember being baptized; but I don’t remember my life ever changing, all my problems magically disappearing, and I don’t remember the Heaven’s opening up and God suddenly being made real in my life like I thought He suddenly would be.
My family moved to Dallas when I started high school, and that was the defining moment in my life where I opened my heart up to the lies that Satan loves to feed me. I had gone from tons of friends and a picture perfect life to being the “new kid.” I had to start over from scratch, and I was desperate to be accepted. I began to believe the lie that I had to be everything to everyone and then some. So I was funny and outgoing in my theater class, I answered the questions in Sunday School, I broke the rules when I was around the “cool kids,” and I began my desperate search for significance.
That search took me down a path that lead to giving my heart away to any guy who would take it. I chose to believe that my significance was found in being accepted by guys and by the people who I began to hang out with. I gave away every piece of who I was, but I also got really good at wearing a mask. I convinced myself that if I couldn’t do something perfectly, I had failed. So at home I was the perfect daughter, at church I was the perfect youth group kid, at parties I was the girl that everyone wanted to hang around, and at school I was the mean girl who tore down everyone who threatened my status. Living life like that drained everything out of me, and by the time graduation rolled around, I was sick of who I had become.
By my senior year, I was addicted to prescription painkillers, I was partying every single night, I was struggling with severe depression and anxiety, and I had gotten really good at playing all of the roles I had taken on. I hated who I had become, I hated the people I had chosen to be my friends, and I hated God. I didn’t know why a God who was supposed to be a provider and a protector and all of those things I heard about in Sunday School could cause all of these bad things to happen to me. I decided that there was no way God could be real, because if he was, my life wouldn’t be the mess I had allowed it to become. Right before I went off to college, everything came crumbling down. The double life I had been living was brought to light, and I was forced to seek help. My parents (who are both incredible people), loved me beyond measure. Looking back, I am so thankful for the role they played in getting me off the path I was walking down.
Now that I look back at the events that led up to going off to college, God had his hand in it all. I was accepted to Dallas Baptist University (a Christian school was the last place I wanted to be), and didn’t get another acceptance letter until almost the end of summer. By that time, I had already registered for classes and turned in my housing info to DBU because I thought it was my only choice. So I started my first semester at a Christian university a recovering addict, still believing all those lies of insignificance and still convinced that there was no way God actually existed. But God.
My first semester at school I was surrounded by people who fought to love me, and who talked about God differently than I had ever heard Him talked about. Over the next four years I encountered God in the realest way. I don’t even have the words for it, but I found a God who overwhelmingly loved me, who desired to talk to me in a way that was so casual and so intimate all at the same time. I encountered a God who healed people, who spoke in a very real way, a God who was reachable and who reached for me. I encountered a God who was greater than anything I can fathom, who bridged the gap for me to come closer, and I found a Jesus who desired to make me His bride.
As I continued to encounter God, He began to plant the seeds of a ministry in my heart. He began to break my heart for girls who had searched for significance and worth the way I had, but who had never really found Jesus. I sat on Worth More Ministries for two years until I felt God push me to really step in to it. My heart for WMM is that it would be a ministry that makes Jesus REAL. Regardless of what material we’re putting out or where we’re having a conference, I want everyone involved to encounter Jesus and to feel the overwhelming love of a Father that pulled me out of the hole I had dug for myself.
Welcome to Worth More Ministries, sweet reader.