Not Alone.

The Lord spoke to me today. I know it was Him because of the way He came and went. It was so sweet. And such perfect timing.


This morning I had enough time to be able to go to Panera and study, instead of just sitting at my kitchen table. I love being able to get out of my house and just sit and be for a bit. Such a great way to start the day. 12:30 came to a near and I quickly counted my points*, stuffed all my books in my bag (For those of you who need a visual, I carry about 8 books with me at all times… in hopes that I might have time to crack one open and read a page or two. That usually never happens. At least I look smart.), refilled my coffee and headed to work. 


Work was normal. Ring, ring, hello I’d like to put in a few orders. Tuxedo this, bowtie that.- that sort of thing. But something was different today. 


This morning I studied the security of the Lord. I flipped back a few days in my Jesus Calling and re-read something I’d already read the other day but today it seemed to stick out to me like a sore thumb. It read, “You can feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes, through the awareness of My continual Presence.”


Wow.

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve got some serious changing going on in my life that has caused me to lose sight of the powerful presence of our Lord. Don’t ask me why, because if I had really been paying attention I would have realized that security in Him was the answer all along. But my little insignificant brain can’t comprehend all that for some reason. It was so comforting to be reminded of that this morning. He is everywhere, in everything, with everyone. All. The. Time. WHY DO I FORGET THAT!? It kind of almost makes me mad. At myself, of course. Like, why can’t I remember that I am never alone? I do have somewhat of a short-term memory loss thing goin’ on, but I don’t think I am allowed to use that to justify my self-centered mind. Because that’s just what it is…


I go through my day thinking, what the heck, why haven’t I heard from the Lord today. It’s gotta be because it’s all about what I need and not what He needs. Syke. He tells us that He needs us just as much as we need Him. We think, say, scream, “WHY HASN’T HE NOTICED ME????” When all we need to do is step outside our selfish skin and let His presence sink in. I’ve had all eyes on you this whole time, baby girl. I’ve actually been waiting for you to notice Me


We can get so wrapped up in the world crashing down around us that we only think about how to save ourselves, and not who longs to save us. 


Today was different. Today I felt Him everywhere. In my car, in line at Panera, in my little office space (oh by the way, Becky, I’m gonna need my stapler back.), in the clouds, in the signs I drove by… no seriously… 

I was fully aware of who He was to me today. My Father, my Lover, my Redeemer, my Healer…


My everything.


It’s so simple. Yet so stinkin hard to get through my brain. That all He wants is our love. Our attention. Our requests. Our burdens. That’s the one I’m workin’ on.


I’m not one to dump my burdens on people. I think somehow when I was younger I taught myself that I wasn’t allowed to feel. Hurt. Pain. Anger. Jealousy. Any of those things that would “make me a bad person.” If something’s wrong I could bet you won’t ever know it. Unless your my Ma. She has some weird Mom radar that I could never get past. Nevertheless, I think the reason the words I read today hit me as hard as they did is because at the top of the page, the very first thing, I read, “THIS IS A TIME IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU MUST LEARN TO LET GO: of loved ones, of possession, of control.” Boom. Before I even finished reading that sentence, I already had a list of things that needed to go. 


Of course the first thing was loved ones. I haven’t told you yet, that my dad has been diagnosed with cancer. The doctor said it’s what’s going to kill him. My dad and I don’t have a good relationship, but I’ve witnessed the Lord mending it since we got the news about his health. He was saying to me, let go of your fear of his death. There is enough time. I am building the perfect ending for you right this moment. 


I am learning to let go of a lot of things. Loneliness, selfishness, pride, jealousy. And am becoming so weirdly aware of who I am as a woman of God. I think I love it.


The Lord started speaking to my heart today in Panera, but where I really heard Him loud and clear was in World Market. Of all places. 

When I left LensCrafters after my annual eye exam (Yep, your eyes haven’t changed, see ya next year, and thanks for the money!), I drove straight to World Market for some reason. I think I was in a daze. I didn’t need anything from there. Even as I was drooling over the paintings and picking out the perfect dining room table, I was thinking seriously Taylor, get out of this store. But I kept wandering. Through the picture frames, through the little bathroom decor thingys, through the bedspreads. All of which I wanted… all of which I could live without. While I was wandering I made eye contact with an old man, whom I smiled at, but thought nothing of. I remember seeing him one more time while I was browsing. A bit later I was still looking at the toothbrush holders (really? it’s not that hard, it holds a stick upright. pick one.) and that same old man came around the corner and stood there looking at me for a moment. This is where I would normally say, “Hi!” Or, “Can I help you?” But I didn’t say anything. Then he spoke. “I am not flirting with you, I am as old as your grandpa (that is evident.) But I thought you needed to know that you are absolutely gorgeous. (wow.) I mean stunning. Like I can’t even.. you are breathtaking.” (well, holy crap.)


Let’s take a step back. My hair is air dried- in the biggest frizz ball, my cheeks are red because for some reason the eye doctor makes me nervous- I think it’s because of how close they get to my face then they are saying, “Okay better with 3? Or 4? Now 5? Or back to 4?” And I am wearing the same clothes as yesterday and no make up whatsoever.


I didn’t know what to say to that man. He did not feel creepy at all. I don’t even remember what he looked like. I vaguely remember a bald head and a red shirt… Though I don’t remember reading anywhere if angels wear red shirts or not. Either way, I know he was from the Lord, in one way or another… After I told him thank you and that he made my day, I blinked for a second and he was gone. I didn’t see him again. And I even wandered for a bit longer, picking out a set of coffee mugs that were on sale, sale, sale, because someone had stolen the matching spoons. I have my own spoons, I thought. They sold me on that one. 


He was gone. 

I am still smiling. 


I know that was a message for me from God. But I pray that if that man was a real man and not just a messenger from God, that I might have shone a light to him that he wouldn’t have normally seen.


You see, I believe the Lord was telling me that not only should I be secure in His love for me, but that he is so proud of the condition my heart is in. I heard Him say something about a heart while we were talking tonight. I believe the message I am supposed to get out of everything is this: for His children who will listen, He sees us. Our hearts for him are breathtaking. He delights in us. He deems us worthy. Do not give up. Keep your eyes and mind open for His daily affirmation. He is so proud of you and how you are serving Him.


He’s there. 


We are not alone. Never alone. That could be haunting if we let ourselves think about it that way. But it’s not. He is our comforter. Our shelter. Our shepherd. 


Gosh we are so BLESSED to get to do this together. 


And I am SO excited for the days to come. 

It’s an adventure and we are in it together. 

Feet first, eyes closed, squeezing tight the hand of the Lord. Or I am at least. 


Won’t you join me? 


Goodnight friends. I am going to Kroger to get cilantro and lime to make hummus. Yumm.




*It usually takes me a few tries to get something right… In this case, we are playing Me vs. Weight Watchers: Round 2. If you’ve ever thought about taking a swing at it for the first time, or maybe the third or 15th. I’d highly recommend it. I can seriously still eat anything I want, in moderation. And for some reason I never got that before…. now I do. And it’s working! Hallelujah and praise the Lamb because I really don’t wanna have to do this again.

Coming Home.

Where is home? Who knows. 

My little gypsy heart doesn’t really have a place I connect with as a physical home. Maybe the best way I can describe what home means to me is quite literally- a hug from someone I know loves me unconditionally. As lame as that sounds. Hugs bring tears to my eyes. Now that doesn’t mean it’s waterworks when I’m walking down the street and see two people hug. I mean like a real embrace. Like its been a really long week (month, year, decade, lifetime, you name it), everything’s gone wrong, I need a piece of pie and a hug from my momma or it’s off the side of a cliff for me kind of hug.

Touch is so, so, so powerful. So powerful. We can’t even understand how much. I can feel the power of God move through someone’s hand on my shoulder so stinkin’ strong-like (I think I told y’all I moved back to Tennessee, but in case I didn’t- I’ve been pulling out my redneck vocabulary to get back in the swing of things.) There is no better feeling to me than an extra long hug from my parents, adopted parents, grandparents, siblings… you get the point.

Really, the heart of it all is just Love. 

I’ve been back in Knoxville for over a year now, longer than anyplace else I’ve lived since I graduated high school. So clearly I think it’s about time I move again. 

We’ll see where God leads, but I know I came back to Knoxville because I was searching for a home. And this used to be it. But not anymore.

Home isn’t so much a place to me as it is a feeling. I’ve had a lot of houses and lived a lot of places, but as cliche as this sounds…. for me, home truly is where my heart is.


Where is home for you? Where do you feel most loved? Where do you feel your gifts and talents are being used to the best of your ability to glorify the Most High King? Where do you feel most encouraged? Where do you feel at ease? Where do you feel least judged? Where do you feel secure? 


I’ve been searching for a while now. 

But if I know nothing at least I know this much- I am my Father’s Joy. (ADDult side note: I want that as a tattoo. In Hebrew. Mom told me just to write it in a book. We’ll see.)                 (Oh hey mom, love you.)


I may not be Home yet, but I know who I belong to. I hope you do too. 


Let’s be real, are we really ever supposed to feel like we are home until we are resting in the arms of the Lord watching Friends on the golden floor of our tree house in Heaven? A. I am a firm believer that there will be a Jesus version of Friends when we get there. I want to be Chandler, you guys can pick from the other 5. And B. I know we are all getting mansions, but Lord, will you make a note that I’m okay with a really cool tree house?


Gosh… I think I’ve gone down enough rabbit trails for tonight. 

I honestly don’t even remember what I started writing about in the first place. 


Goodnight friends. 

Well, time for an update I suppose.
For those of you who have been following my little red dotted line slowly tracing it’s way across the country, I have now made it back to Tennessee. And will hopefully not be going anywhere for a good while. But of course that’s what I said about Phoenix too… It’s always an adventure following God, right? Last time I wrote to you I was at Starbucks with my best friends and now…*sniff* …old roommates. If I was speaking very honestly, I would say I want to be back there right this very moment. If I was speaking for the future, I would say I can’t wait to do that again in May when Missy marries her best friend. But I guess I’ll just speak for right now… I am sitting on the floor in my new room sipping water from an unfamiliar mug, leaning up against an unfamiliar wall, listening to my new roommates unfamiliar laughs coming from upstairs, which, you guessed it, is also unfamiliar. Nothing seems to go together, yet it all seems… acceptable… I think this word –unfamiliar– is something I have recently noticed I’d become accustomed to. Contradiction? Maybe. The unfamiliar has surrounded me lately, and I’ve become okay with it. Now whether I’ve decided that is a bad thing or not, I don’t know…
Is it possible to get used to not knowing your surroundings? Do we find ourselves in that situation more often then we think? Even in my relationship with God, sometimes it feels like I know my way around because I’ve been at it for so long, but the reality is that sometimes it is all too unfamiliar to me. I may be sitting on the ground typing on my very familiar computer, listening to music I’ve memorized, but where I am physically at is still unknown to me. It is still new. It’s the same with God. We are still learning every day, even if we think there is nothing else to learn.

I pray this new journey becomes only more familiar as time goes on. 


And for you my friend, I pray that you do not find yourself in a rut where you feel as though you know nothing anymore. Are not good enough anymore. No one cares anymore, because everyone has moved on to bigger and better things without you. Lose your self-pity and turn to the all-knowing God. Who, as hard as it is for me to believeknows the plans He has for YOU. 


Peek into the unknown with an eager heart, and wait patiently while the Lord gives you your next step. 

I’m workin’ on it… 


Promise it won’t be as long until I write again…. *fingers crossed*

Community.

I just want to paint this picture of where I am right now because I never want to forget it.

My heart is settled and at peace. My physical body is warm and cozy. My lips have been graced with the taste of a soy, no-water chai latte (which happens to be my favorite). The mismatched sounds filling my ears include, but are not limited to, Bon Iver, Ray LaMontagne, Citizen Cope, a Starbucks employee sweeping a broom across the floor, coffee beans grinding, and subtle murmurs spread throughout the dimly lit java shop. The shuffle of baristas behind the counter is sending a sweet aroma of Christmas themed lattes through the air that settles like a fog around us. If friendship were a tangible, visible, thing that you could look at like a painting on the wall, I would be looking at it right now. The community around me makes my heart flip with excitement and security all at the same time. It is something to be able to sit in the presence if ones you love and feel completely enjoyed. Whether conversing with each other or not. One of my favorite things is just being in someone’s company while doing two separate things. Do you know how this feels? Right now I am in the company of my roommates and best friends (minus Missy at the moment) and though we are just sitting around a wooden table studying and writing, we are still engaged in what each other is doing. Does that make sense? I truly believe that is how we are supposed to feel with God. Though Blair is sitting across the table from me, not involved in what I am doing over here, I am still completely engrossed in the drawing she is working on, seeing concentration in her face and maybe subconsciously reacting to expressions she may be making. Kate is sitting beside me, focused on her writing, but she can still feel me stupidly bobbing my head to my music and acknowledges that with a hidden smile. To my left, Sarah is reading a book that I know she isn’t particularly interested in, and we can all sort of feel the huff and puff resonating in that feeling of impartiality. So you see, even though we are each doing something different we still have a connection deeper than the surface level of what is happening now that allows us to feel what each other is feeling, if even subconsciously. Hopefully you have experienced this with your loved ones and close friends because I believe is it just a taste of how we connect with our Savior. If we could really understand everything about the way He sees us, about the way He so deeply knows us… Well, I know I would just fall over. That’s the beauty of it. We can’t understand everything. But he knows us better than we know ourselves. Scary. I know you’ve heard that before, but I try to remind myself every so often because I tend to start to think that I know everything about everything. Find your best friend in Christ and be ever connected in mind, body, and soul.

That is all.

Awake My Soul.

Well friends, I come to you with hard news. It won’t be hard for you because it doesn’t really concern you. But it was most definitely hard for me.

Okay, straight to the point.

At the end of last Friday I was called into the principal’s office at work (which has honestly scared me since I was a small child), and was told that I had just worked my last day, and that I was being let go. I wasn’t given much of a reason as to why this was happening, but it was happening nonetheless. This is honestly really embarrassing and not something I would normally write about publicly but I feel like you need to know the hard things too. One of the best ways Christ shines in our lives is when we give him the glory through our pain, right? I feel like this happened so I could take more than just one thing out of it…

  1. The time I have gotten to spend at the best job of my life thus far has given me eyes to see what I am passionate about: kids. I know without a doubt that God put me there to show them His light and to be a place of safety the kids felt like they could come to. I know that I gave it my best, trying to show my students and everyone around me the light of Jesus. Maybe even to the point where other nonbelievers I worked with were offended. But hey, we are going to be persecuted when we follow our Creator. Even if it costs your most valuable possessions, do not give in to being silent about the love of Christ.
  2. You never know when it is going to be the end. We hear this all the time. But do we ever really take it into consideration when going through daily life? I know I didn’t while I was there. Not 20 minutes before I walked into my principal’s office had I been talking to a mom in the car line about how much I loved my job and I didn’t know what I would do without it. We take for granted what we have around us; not knowing that the next few steps we take could be the end. Take joy in what you have around you my friends. Treat each day as if you will never have another.
  3. I feel like somehow God prepared me for this. I think he has been doing that a lot lately. I don’t really know what the plan is yet, but I know he is in full control. It’s almost comical actually, because before I walked into the office I said to a co-worker that I was going to lose my job, she denied that would happen but I knew it was about to be true. Somehow God gave me just a few seconds to prepare my heart for what was coming. Stay connected with the voice of God through out your day so you will not miss the things he has to say. Keep your mind open to hear things that might change your life.
  4. I don’t know what it is yet, but I know God is excited about what I am about to encounter. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me after this. I have to keep reminding myself that He is in control, and dang it, that’s hard. But the realization brings such comfort and peace. It’s like sitting on the couch with your mama while she holds you. Somehow everything is safe; you know no harm can come to you there. I have come to this conclusion: I truly believe that my job at the school was just a portal into what I am going to do next. The Lord placed me there to discover my love for being with kids. I believe something bigger and better is about to happen that would have caused me to need to quit my job, but the Lord knew there was no way I’d do that alone. So he had to step in and do it himself, even if it meant temporary pain. There is no thing the Lord does not have planned before it happens. He will not cause us to go through pain with no way out. Sarah Young writes in Jesus Calling that as we call on the Lord in our troubled times, he obscures our view with a peaceful fog. Causing us to turn our attention to the present moment, seeing only a few      steps in front of us (p. 335). I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful for that. When I see too much ahead I get anxious and begin to worry. Praise the Lord that he comes in and takes care of that for me, turning my focus to him and the next few steps I need to take. Right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot.
  5. Same song, different note… MOST of you know I am deaf in my right ear. Most of you know this only because at some point when we first met you tried to tell me something and I didn’t respond, or really acknowledge your existence. For that I apologize, and politely say, next time sit on my left side. Yesterday I had a doctors appointment. Just a check up… but somehow I knew it was going to be more than that. It’s pretty awesome how God keeps preparing my heart for things to come. What most of you don’t know about my hearing is that when I was 12 I had my 1st surgery to drill this thing called Cholesteatoma out of my head. It ate away at my hearing bones and, if I don’t keep an eye on it, could get to my brain. Now, we aren’t going to let that happen, but it helps you understand that it’s a little more serious than I usually make it out to be. 3 more surgeries and countless check up’s later, it’s back. Nothing to be really afraid of, just something we need to take action on. My point is- having this surgery in the next few months would have caused me to have to miss about 6 weeks of work. More than I could afford to miss, probably enough to make me need to quit… Do you see what I am getting at here?

Even though I may not always agree with or like it, God ALWAYS knows what he is doing. I am not saying that surgery is the sole reason all of this happened, or that I am even beginning to understand everything God is doing. I do not tell you all of this for you to feel sorry for me, or try and give me the answers. I want you all to see the control God has in our lives. I want you to see how He always steps in to save. I want you to understand that even in the hard times He is the only one that knows what is coming next. I hope this is encouragement for you to keep pushing. I will keep you updated on where God sends me next. I pray for the Lord to place a fog around you to keep you focused on the steps right in front of you. Don’t let the worries of tomorrow misguide you today. Keep your eyes focused friends, and you will never be led astray.

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Say What You Need to Say

It makes me feel so dumb when I can’t say what I want to say when I want to say it. I walk away from SO many conversations wishing I had said something a different way, said something completely different in the first place, or wanting to take back something I did say that really wasn’t even necessary at all. Goodness, haven’t you been here before??
Maybe you’ve already guessed that I was in this particular situation tonight. A very good conversation. One of importance. But man, when it comes to my feelings I am just terrible at it. I clam up like I’ve never spoken to anyone in my life. (There is actually a girl I teach at school that never speaks. She’s never spoken in class. But I’m not as extreme as her, and she’s in Kindergarten…) Anyways… I know that this all stems from my childhood. It’s the defense mechanism I used to use with my Dad. I am strong. I am brave. You can’t break me. You know, that mentality. Truth is, I am surely broken. And it always comes out eventually. Tonight I stayed strong up until the very second I didn’t have to anymore. Then I slightly resemble Niagara Falls. But just the waterfall part, not so much the trees and rocks. I hate it that it is only certain situations, with certain people that I really have trouble conveying how I feel. Because, baby, I can sure let it out when I choose to. I have been sort of noticing lately that I think I can be more open to the people who don’t know me the best. Which is silly, because it should be the opposite.

Well, clearly I just needed to write it out. I do feel slightly better. I will keep you posted on my working through all of this. I know I am not the only one.

That’s all for now. I have a bedtime, and I am 23 minutes past it. :/

But God.

Good morning.

Well, it’s still morning to me… I don’t get to sleep in very often so I am taking advantage of it this weekend!!


In case you were wondering, which I know you are, this morning consists of amazing coffee that I am proud to announce I made myself, the band Freelance Whales (whom you should listen to), my roommates, some heavenly smell coming from the kitchen (that means Blair is in there), and my momma’s newest book.

I am going to be completely honest and let you know that I have never actually read one of her books before. And she has what… now close to 15 or something published? Well, once I did a book report on one… but she wrote the report. And I would go through the others and look for stories about me, but that’s about it. The newest addition to her collection is called, Do You Know Who I Am? Since I have given every copy I own away, I am reading my roommate’s while she is out of town. And I just gotta say, Ma, I am so impressed. It’s been so interesting growing up in the environment that I have, and I think I’m at the point where my heart is open enough to see past the fact that it’s my mother writing these books. I can think about it in a different way now.

I’m only in the 2nd chapter but so far I am far from disappointed. Thus far, my favorite is when she tells about her life as if no one would accept her, a broken down Jesus girl (we use that term a lot in my family), but God swooped down and scooped her up to show her the beautiful plan he had for her life. She says in the next line, “I love saying, ‘But God.'”

love that.

She truly is my mama, cause I can’t express how much joy it gives me when I tell people my story and begin the ending like that… but God. What a privilege it is that I even get a chance to say that. Thanks Jesus for all the talent you have given my mother, and how you use her in others’ lives.


On a different note, God has been revealing so much to me through my job. First off, my relationships with the kids has sky rocketed. Like I am so thankful to be a part of all these kids lives. Lately, I have been dealing with one kid in particular who has such a hard home life. It has been so hard to watch. If you’ve ever made a call to CPS, you know how difficult they can be. It seems to me like no one has compassion for anyone else’s problems or feelings. Watching this young boy’s life be torn apart by a selfish parent has been so hard for me. I think I often tend to take on other people’s problems, but in some respect I think that makes me care more. More than anyone else in his life anyways. It’s been so humbling that these kids will come to me with things they wouldn’t tell anyone else. It is making me re-think my career choice. I don’t know if I want to be a teacher, because that would mean lesson plans and grading papers and not that those things are bad but it would be wasted time that I could be spending listening to a child that really just needs to talk, ya know? I want to be right there in the middle of everything happening. I want to go into that abusive home and physically save the child myself. I know I won’t always be able to do that but I know I can always find someway to help. God is really turning thoughts over in my head lately. The things I am passionate about are truly being revealed. Right now, my biggest passion is these kids. Yeah maybe sometimes my 6th graders don’t listen when I ask them to be quiet, but that’s because they really just need a friend. And I am completely honored that somehow they’ve found that in me.

I think it’s funny that I applied for positions at Christian schools and public schools alike, but God knew what he was doing when he placed me among these hurting kids coming from hurting families who needed to see the love of Christ.


I am so blessed.


Well, that’s enough for now. I’ll keep you updated on what I decide to do in my life…. well that could take years. Then I’ll keep you posted on the events that lead up to that moment.


Oh also, one of my best friends is getting married. We are trying on wedding dresses today. Well just her… but if you’d like to pray that God brings me that man it wouldn’t hurt anything. ;]

Long time, no see.

Wow. It has been a while, huh?


After just reading all my old blog posts and sort of reliving everything from the past three years, I can say I am in an amazing place right now. It may not seem that way at first. But by digging a little deeper into the depths and opening doors that might not have been seen at a first glance, it is revealed that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now.


And I can’t wait to tell you about it.


About a year ago when I last wrote you I was due to move to Arizona within the next few months and was dating a man I thought was right for me, and living with my family that I thought was constantly annoying. You could say things have changed. Except I made it here; to Arizona. Let me tell you. There is not one ounce of me that enjoys this heat but I am slowly learning that in order to make it through the hard things you have to magnify the better things around you. Whether it’s driving two hours away to a place where I can wear a scarf and a jacket, or enduring the heat to spend time with a friend in the pool. I ask myself constantly why I live here, when I might be leaving, what my reasons would be for staying, blah, blah. But the more I think about it the more I feel like I might be here a while. Three months ago I almost moved home. But I am so glad I didn’t. By faithfully walking through the valley I have learned more about myself and God that I wouldn’t have learned had I not pushed through the rough days.


Let me start at the beginning. It was honestly all Jesus because I had no idea what I was doing when I moved here. Young, naive, really stupid, it sounded fun to me to move to the other side of the country. Now I know that this is an example of God turning everything into good to further his kingdom. Which is exactly what he has done. Even though my ex and I didn’t belong together, God used that relationship to get me here and without it i wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today. For a while when I first moved here I just nannied and… well did nothing. I was quite boring if you ask me. But even then, Jesus was working in my heart just by allowing me to be in his presence by living with women who love Him with an overwhelming, head over heels, home-run, outta the ball park kinda love. That was just what I needed. He provided me with my own personal John Avery Whitaker in the form of a woman. Who woulda known?? Her name is Tracey Beal, and she might be one of the wisest, kindest, most incredible individuals I’ve ever known, who’s love for God spreads like wildfire to everyone she meets. It’s been ten months now, and things are lookin’ up.


When I first moved here, everyone was so encouraging, telling me their stories of how it took them 2 or 3 years to find their real place in the community. And how the first year is the hardest. How the heat doesn’t actually get better every year. I had to push those comments out of my mind, because even though I didn’t know why yet, I felt so strongly about staying here and pushing through.


Now I know why.

Six months ago you might have asked me, “Taylor, why the hell (quite literally) do you live in Arizona, the hottest place on the face of the planet?” And I might have answered you, “Well, Fern, my boyfriend lives here, and last summer at camp one of the girls in my cabin told me that they needed a roommate, so I moved.” Actually that was my pre-programmed answer that I told everyone.


Now ask me again.

“Taylor, why in the heck did you move to Arizona?”

“Well, Fran, let me tell you…” Now I think I would go on to explain that I live here because God literally wanted to strip me to nothing to realize that I have to learn the ways He loves me. Not necessarily the ways I should love Him, but the ways He shows love to me. It’s down to just sand, cacti, and my raw unabashed heart. A couple of months ago a friend shared with me a verse that had been shared with her once before, and the verse was Hosea 2:14, which reads, “I will allure her into the desert, there I will win her over with my words of love.” Then, I realized that the Lord has been trying to catch my attention this whole journey in the most simple ways, yet I have been hesitant to open my eyes because I think I feel an underlying pull that things have to be complicated or harder to figure out in order to be true. But really all I need to do is make my heart available for transformation.


It has been a long road but I am finally putting the pieces together. If it weren’t for my own broken relationships, I wouldn’t be helping young girls pick up the pieces of their own broken hearts. I shouldn’t have so much experience in the things I do at this age, but it only strengthens me for where I am now and only broadens the spectrum of lives I am going to change in the future.

I have an amazing opportunity right now to work with middle school kids. I am part of a organization that is going to change Peoria, and these kids don’t even know it yet. I know I have been placed at the school I now work at, and in the lives of new people I have been meeting for even more amazing reasons then I now currently think. I can’t wait to be a part of everything God has planned.


My life is so different than I would have imagined it to be about a year ago. Just goes to show that nothing is set in stone. And thats just as it says in Psalms, “We can make our plans, but God chooses our steps.” Very true. I choose to move here, but God definitely is choosing what I am doing while I live in this place.


As I finish this up I am having a very pivotal conversation with one of my roommates. I know I am in a good place, I know I am doing good things. I am honored to get to share them with you.


:]


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