Taylor shared with us thoughts on anger and forgiveness, how God found her through music and joy, the importance of finding fellowship that works for you and your partner, and the role of the arts in education.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “In my anguish I cried out to the Lord, and He answered by setting me free.” (Psalm 118:5)
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Getting rid of anger in my heart. I am very protective of my loved ones, especially my fiance, and if someone wrongs them, then they have wronged me, too. This anger has turned to an almost hatred towards two people. So, I’m working on forgiveness and letting go of my anger.
Profession: Elementary school teacher
A one sentence bio of yourself: I love God, my family, my friends, and my “dog”hter, Ellie.
When did you first encounter God: My first encounter with God was when I was 16 (I’m 25 now). I was at a county-wide youth rally, and we were singing worship songs and praising Jesus. I have spent my whole life in church, but that night was the first night I realized I didn’t have the joy that everyone else there had. I realized I didn’t understand the words to the songs, and all I could do was cry. Soon after the worship service, they had an altar call, and I swear I ran to that altar. A sweet woman named Martha grabbed my hand and led me aside and told me how to accept Jesus into my heart and that was the day I truly found God.
“[T]hat night was the first night I realized I didn’t have the joy that everyone else there had.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Being around other believers has helped me so much. After I got engaged, I left my home church because it wasn’t a fit for both of us. Since then, we have been “church shopping” when we can, but Shyloh works and travels so often that church has been put on the backburner. Recently, we have been able to go back, and the fellowship has just encouraged my heart.
Just read/currently reading: Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.
Top three essentials: Jesus, sweet tea, and family.
How did God speak to you recently? He called me out on my anger and bitterness. As I was speaking about earlier, I have a tendency to hold grudges against those who have wronged me, and especially, my loved ones. The other day I heard the name of one of the women, and instantly, I started fuming. Suddenly, I heard God in my heart saying “forgive as I have forgiven you.” Boy, did that hit me like a ton of bricks.
“Suddenly, I heard God in my heart saying ‘forgive as I have forgiven you.'”
Hobby: I love singing and acting. I participate in the choir at church, and I also sing in the community chorus in my town. Right now, I am acting in a show called Christmas Belles at our local Little Theater.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Pray, all day– every day. How can you stay close to someone, if you don’t speak to them regularly? Stay in the Word. So many people sit and wait for God to speak to them, when He has already spoken! All the answers are in the Book! Get a good daily devotional. The one I use takes five minutes to do, a day. Surely, you have five minutes for God.
Favorite person in Scripture: Esther is definitely my favorite person in scripture. She was humble after pretty much winning a country-wide beauty pageant and literally being crowned queen. She was willing to give her life for her people, and if that’s not living like Jesus, I don’t know what is.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want them to see that God is so full of grace. I am a dirty sinner, and He loves me, desires me, protects me, guides me, and saves me daily. I want them to see that God is so good.
Favorite season: Fall! I love to see the leaves change colors, and I adore the crisp air. I love sweater weather, where I can wear a scarf and boots!
Favorite holiday: My favorite holiday is Christmas. We celebrate our Savior’s birth with the most beautiful music, and it’s a time that we spend with our dearest loved ones. I love the lights and just the joy that Christmas brings to people.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: It’s not much, but every time we speak on the phone, we end the call like this: “I love you!” “I love you more, bye!” Then, we quickly hang up the phone before the other can say they love you more. We’re a bit competitive. (*laughs*)
Question you will ask when you get to heaven: How many times have you forgiven me?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I want to raise awareness about the importance of the arts in our schools. Funding continues to dwindle for education as a whole, but when cuts must come to a budget, the arts are the first to go. Music, art, dance, and all the arts are so important in our schools and allow students outlets for creativity, expression, companionship, and growth.
“Music, art, dance, and all the arts are so important in our schools and allow students outlets for creativity, expression, companionship, and growth.”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? I am not a morning person, so if I’m up before nine, I grab a big cup of coffee and bundle up in a big blanket. After I’m all snoodled up, I read my devotional and spend some quiet time with God.
What is on your nightstand? My Bible, my devotional, my Bath and Body Works aromatherapy lotion, my phone charger, the Alexa, and probably some random pocket findings.
For more Taylor:
Until next time, keep witnessing!