For the longest time now, I've felt like someone has paper shredded my heart. I feel as if my emotions and thoughts have just sat scrambled and jumbled on the floor into little pieces. And for the past few weeks, I've been sorting through the chaos. I have found the courage to share these words and speak them outloud. There are things that need to be said, things that I have realized that I want you to know too.
I have known extreme heartache and I have experienced great loss, but I don't have words to explain this past season I have been walking through. I really don't have any words for them. I feel as if I have been battling through my own personal hell. No one told me at 22 years old that breathing was something I would have to remind myself to do.
But that has been the reality I have lived in.
This past spring, I had plans to be a wife. I had dreams of a home. I had hope to be a mother, because it was sitting right there in front of me. Everything I could ever have dreamt up was right there in front of me. All of it. I was set.
And then all of the sudden it was gone. Completely. In a matter of hours. And I was left with nothing but useless, hopeless dreams.
I can tell you what it's like to cry yourself to sleep for months straight.
I can tell you what it's like to lose your voice because you spent so much time screaming at Jesus.
I can tell you what it's like to have to get rid of your dream wedding dress. I can tell you about the heartache that one caused.
I can tell you what it's like to feel completely and utterly alone, so much so, that your heart aches and seeing sunlight hurts.
And maybe you don't know what it's like to have to sit on the shower floor because your heart feels too weak to stand. But maybe you know exactly what it's like. This is for you.
I'm not telling you this because I feel sorry for myself or for my situation. I am not playing the victim. I have screwed up more times than you could ever think of. And my loss was as much my fault as it was anyone else's.
I'm just a girl searching for hope, grasping for it, and I refuse to stay quiet because I know some of you are walking right there with me. Hope is so much more important than pride.
I am writing this with so much courage my fingers are shaking and I am crying with hopeful tears. Because you know what? It gets better. It gets so much better. I can truly, wholeheartedly say that and mean it.
I'm still not a wife. I'm still not a mother. I am living a life completely opposite of everything I had planned. I live on my own in the cutest little studio apartment and there are days where I open my door and feel safe, and then there are days where I open my door depressed and I find myself crying on my kitchen floor for hours straight. I am finally seeing glimpses of Jesus' love again. I can feel my heart beating and not swelling.
And I know some of you reading this are crying with me because you get it. You know how hard losing love is. You know how hard it is to be completely alone while everyone else in the entire universe is finding love (or at least that's what it feels like). You know how hard and painful it is to be growing by being torn down. But sometimes we have to do that. We have to be completely stripped and we have to face isolation head on. I've been learning growth isn't always fields and fields of beautiful flowers. Sometimes growth is digging up bad roots and replacing bad soil so more beautiful, wonderful things have room to grow. Being cut down hurts so extremely bad. Facing our problems and demons head on is such an ugly sight, but it's needed. And you know why it's worth it? Because your future is worth it. This next season that is waiting for you is worth it. Every tear shed, every painful wound found on your heart. It's worth it. You will heal.
I get asked so much "how do you do it Taylor?" And you know what? I can't tell you how I do it. The fact that I haven't pulled out all my hair yet is miracle to me. The fact I got out of bed today and smiled at a stranger is probably the biggest accomplishment of my day. I don't have instructions on how to keep fighting for joy even when it's the last thing I want to do. All I can tell you is that you have to do it. When you open your heart (even just a tiny little bit), the light will find a way to get in. We have to be willing. You have to keep fighting for yourself.
I wish I had big fancy, bright words. I wish I could tell you everything is going to be alright. But you know what? Sometimes everything really isn't alright. But the beautiful thing is, is that you can admit that. You can admit you're not okay. You can admit life is horrible and down right evil sometimes.
But once you do that, you just can't stay there. You have to make the decision, as many times as it takes, to look pain straight in the eye. You have to swallow spoonfuls of courage and you have to fight.
And it took me almost 6 months, but I decided not to stay there anymore.
So, that's exactly what I did. I got up and opened my eyes to the hope, the joy, and the love that was all around me. I found it in the city sky lines, in my passengers on the airplanes dimples, in jumping on hotel beds, in strangers laughter; I found it everywhere. And that's exactly what you can do to.
Whatever personal hell you are experiencing; you don't have to stay there. You can start rewriting your story. You can start getting up on your worst days. Take it all in, day by day.
Lastly and most importantly, you can start opening up to others. When they ask how you are doing, you don't have to say "good" and leave it at that. I hate that we do that. I want to make a new rule. Right here & right now. Whenever someone asks you how you are doing, don't leave it at good; be real and be honest. People are so important and so vital in growing. Healthy people that are able to love you and speak life into you are the people you need. Stick with those guys. If something is wrong let it out, don't hold it in and let it take over you. Vulnerability is such a beautiful thing. It's a gift and Jesus gave us a voice for a reason. And I've realized He didn't give us a voice to walk timid and to handle healing on our own; He gave us a voice so we could let others in.
I may not know your story and I'm sure it probably looks a lot different than mine, but please know you are not alone. Remember your courage. Keep getting up off your bathroom floor and keep praying for brighter, better days. Because they are on the way. Hope is on the way.
You are loved more than you know.