Happy Mother’s Day To the Mom

Happy Mother’s Day To:

 

The mom that sacrifices her time, herself, and her wants for mine.

 

The mom that taught me how to sassy.

 

The mom who taught me “the key is always above the door”.

 

The mother that taught me to always have an open door policy and there is never not enough time to listen and talk to people.

 

The mom who sat in the rain and the long hours of dance competitions and softball tournaments.

 

The mom that is always willing to drive to the store to get the chocolate when I am craving it.

 

The mom that sat in my floor with me and helped me clean my room for countless hours.

 

The mom who is all my others friends ‘second mom’.

 

The mom who taught me to forgive, no matter how bad someone wronged you.

 

The mom that taught me how to wear make up properly, but also, let me have a dark eyeliner stage.

 

The mom that always makes my favorite meals when I come home.

 

The mom that tells me when I look stupid in an outfit but still lets me walk out of the house after I shrug that I don’t care.

 

The mom that drives me crazy with all the questions, but deep down I know it’s because she cares.

 

The mom that taught me to respect all people, no matter what.

 

The mom that let me make my own mistakes and never said “I told you so”.

 

The mom that stayed up in the middle of the night with me while I cried over that mistake.

 

The mother that constantly allows me to grow and change and encourages me to do so.

 

The mom that understands me more than anyone else in the world could.

 

The mom that I hope to be half of the women she is one day.

 

The mom that supports me in everything I do, and pushes me to be the best version of myself.

 

The mom that taught me how to love.

 

The mom that I was blessed with even when I didn’t deserve it.

 

The mom that I love more than I can possibly put into words.

 

The only mom that I would have ever wanted.

 

I love you, Mom. And even though you should be celebrated every day of the year, we set aside today to celebrate how amazing you actually are.

Thank you for all you do.

 

Love,

Your thankful, undeserving daughter

 

 

 

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One Tram Ticket, Three Lessons

At the end of the year (2016), I was on a youth retreat with my church. Now after reading that first sentence you are probably expecting some blog about a “God High” that I am on, But just bear with me here. As you all know, I have issues with anxiety. Now you are probably thinking—yay another anxiety post—but again, bear with me here.

 

Continuing, as a group we had to get on a tram in order to go up the mountain to Ober Gatlinburg to ski/snowboard/ice skate/ ect.

 

The moment I saw this tram my heart dropped. My mind started racing a hundred miles a minute and my breath was quickly disappearing. I breathed as slowly as I could, started counting backwards from 100, thinking about the ingredients to make pancakes and anything else to get my mind off this ride I was about to take. I thought, “Hey this isn’t so bad, I can walk in not even thinking, talking to my friends, and just happen to get on this tram. It will be easy’

Shortly after that thought, we were standing in line. Standing in line for an hour and a half. And the whole time I was begging God, pleading with God to make something happen so I did not have to get on this tram.
Then, I heard a still small voice—one that is oh so familiar—say “yet you do not know what tomorrow brings, what is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”.

My next thought was something along the lines of “um what? God that was not comforting. This is today. I have to get on the tram TODAY. In less than an hour? I don’t care about tomorrow.” But then as I thought about that verse over and over in my head, I replaced the word tomorrow with “the next second”. As I counted down these seconds to get on this tram, God was teaching me that my “tomorrow” is anything I am anticipating and anxious about that is not this moment that is happening right now. 1 hour is full of 60 “tomorrows”, if you would go as that far with this analogy with me. This truth that God has all of my tomorrows planned out keep ringing in my mind as I marched my way onto this tram. Holding Gods hand, and trusting him with the 600 tomorrows I was about to have on this tram ride. But the story doesn’t end with that lesson—however, a good one it was.

 

As I stepped onto the train still anxious about the flood of people getting on behind me and the ever so obnoxious tram tour guide, the same still ever so calming voice gave me another truth, “God created the world.” As I peered out the window of this tram, I almost lost my breathe. But not because of the anxiety, but because of the beautiful mountains, trees, houses, clouds.
My God formed those. And it was all I was focused on. Gods breathe taking creation. He created those mountains and those trees for this moment. He had planned my “tomorrows” on this tram and led me to look out at his beautiful creation. Not focusing my mind on my thoughts, but on Him. On His glory through his creation.

After the night activities were done, we had to load the tram back up. It was dark as we boarded and I peered out the window to look at that breathe taking creation, and could barely see my hand in front of me. PANIC.

 
I CANT SEE ANYTHING. GOD ITS DARK WHAT DO I DO. I CANT SEE IT. ITS JUST DARKNESS.
In the middle of my freaking out, that voice came back, “focus on your destination”
As I looked into the distance there was a giant glowing Christmas tree on a giant glowing tower where the tram station was: My destination. My eyes did not leave that Christmas tree. As we got closer, it got brighter, the city lights were illuminating everything around us. And I could no longer see the darkness.

 

I began to weep as I realized God has just illustrated Psalm 139 for me.
Much like me in my freak out moment, we can get so caught up in our darkness, or the world’s darkness that we think it’s all there is. That’s all we can see. But we are focusing on the wrong thing. God is light. Even our darkness is light to God. God is our destination. To be close to God is our goal. So close that everything about us is light.
Just as I got closer to the city, the lights got brighter and clearer, as I get closer to God by focusing only on him, the darkness fades away, Gods plan for my life becomes brighter, and Gods voice is so much clearer. But if I am only focusing on the darkness, that is all I will see—nothing. Fear. Emptiness.

 

Life is a journey, and we must run the race with endurance. But with every journey there is a goal and with every race there is a destination. Closeness to God is both of those.
So, as the year comes to a close, I challenge you to join me in remembering those three things. First, trust God with your “tomorrows”. Trust God with the moment that you are in and in the ones to come. Second, look at Gods creation. Notice the beauty that is around you. Look at what is in front of you because God formed it for you to see just in that moment. Third, focus on your destination. Let’s keep our eyes on growing closer to God, and before we know it, we will be in that tram station, fully lit with no darkness.

 
Happy New Year,
Tay

 
References (ESV):
James 4:14 “yet you do not know what tomorrow brings, what is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes“
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”
Isaiah 55:12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”
Psalm 139:11-12 “If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”

I don’t have peace, and that’s okay

I am about to do something that I do not have peace about. And that’s okay.

I know many of you read that and thought “she’s crazy, God is peace so she must have peace to do what God is telling her to do, did she just write a whole blog on going against God’s will?” or something along those lines. That’s okay, a month ago, I would have thought the same thing. Then I read this article: http://theblazingcenter.com/2016/10/you-cant-trust-yourself-or-why-peace-is-a-terrible-basis-for-decision-making.html

but I still was not convinced that we could make decisions without peace. Until this past week. And God taught me something.

A little bit of background: In high school, my family and I decided to explore the possibility of medication for my ADHD/anxiety. We had tried a couple of medications and couldn’t find the right fit so, my doctor referred me to a psychiatrist. HOLD THE PHONE. A WHAT?! No thank you, I am a 16 years old, I make good grades I can somewhat function in society, I do not need a psychiatrist, have a nice day Doctor, I will see you when its time for a checkup.

Fast forward a few years. Senior year of high school. I was a wreck. College was approaching fast and the world that I built for myself over the last three years had just fallen apart. All my plans and most of my friends were gone with the wind. It was time to run to Jesus. So, as most of you probably know, I did. When that happened, I started having bad anxiety attacks again. Summer before college I was put on medicine for my anxiety.

You see, the medicines they give out for anxiety are depressants, to calm you down. Spring of my freshman year of college, I was on a higher dose of medication than originally planned, and I became depressed. I was numb. I was a zombie walking around trying to fake emotions so no one would notice that I felt nothing. But that was okay with me, to feel nothing, because that meant I did not have to feel the anxiety that constantly lives in me. One night, I sat on the cold tile of my college dorm in the complete darkness, my last class had gotten out at 5pm, I went to my room collapsed to the floor without turning on any lights and sat there until the alarm on my phone went off at 8pm telling me to take my medicine. Not sleeping. Not thinking. Just sitting. Numb for three hours.

I broke down. I want to FEEL. I want to laugh and meant it. I want to cry and get angry. I want to FEEL. SOMETHING. ANYTHING.  It was then that I had the first thought (that later turns into many). Pain. Pain is feeling. I can hurt myself and I would feel something, right? No no no, I can’t do that…or could i? It was a thought I struggled with for weeks.

Finally, I quit my medicine. Cold turkey. I was taking my life into my own hands. I could do this. I do not need to take a little blue pill in order to live. I am strong, and independent, I can do this. Eventually, at a checkup, I told my doctor I came off the pills because I wanted to “try it on my own.”

So I ran from it. I covered it up. I filled my life with anything and everything that distracts me from having to think. I got farther and farther away from God. And I wasn’t anxious anymore.

Fast Forward: Present Day. I am closer to God than I ever have been. And I have more anxiety than I ever have. I am having multiple anxiety attacks a week. And crying to God. WHAT ARE YOU DOING GOD? HELLO? DO YOU NOT REMEMBER WHAT YOU SAID? ALLLL THOSE VERSES IN THE BIBLE ABOUT ANXIETY?!! YOU BREATHED THEM ONTO THE PAGES AND YET HERE I AM CLOSER TO YOU THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN AND STRUGGLING TO BREATHE BECAUSE I’M HAVING AN ANXIETY ATTACK!!

Frustration. Doubt. Anger. Confusion. Hatred. Embarrassment. Weakness. Fear.

That was me. WHY. Why was it that the closer I get to God, the more anxious I feel? That doesn’t make sense. Nothing about this makes sense.

“Time for a doctor visit” – my mother.

No, no, I can’t. I won’t.

Friday, I sat in ACT II bible study and our team leader asks us all to go around and share how we are.

SCARED. THAT’S HOW I AM. I am about to go to that crazy women again. And I am scared. But could I say that in front of these people? Can Taylor Whitmire, a strong independent, self-sufficient, 3.6 GPA junior in college tell these 11 people that she is scared? Scared of something that most of them will not understand? No, I couldn’t. But before I could stop myself, it was my turn and I was hearing those words come out of my mouth.

“I’m scared…” I am not really sure what else I said, or what else happened before I left. But I did. I left the room. I went into the next empty room (which is a bathroom) and I broke down and cried out to God.

“God, I am scared. I cannot go back to that dark cold tile floor. But God… I don’t know what to do. I CAN’T FIX THIS.”

At this point, I like to imagine that God laughed. OF COURSE I CANT FIX IT, BUT GOD CAN.

God hugged me, real tight, and told me: I have to let go. I have to stop running from it and pretending it is not there. I have to give it to God.

Once I did that, it started to make perfect sense. I have been trying to do this on my own. I have been covering it up with all these worldly things that kept my mind off of it. When I got close to God, he was taking away those things and showing me what was still there. What I was still holding onto. And that was my anxiety.

In that moment, I knew I had to go to the doctor. But I still fought God on it for about an hour. “You’re telling me that I have to walk back in there and admit to her that I can’t fix this? That I can’t do it on my own? That I am a mess? That I am not as strong and independent as I thought I was?!? God, that’s CRAZY. I cannot admit that”

God probably laughed again, and pointed me to His word. Where I found this:

Yes, there are about 33 verses in the bible about not being anxious. But there is also, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong

God never told me to be independent, but dependent on him.
God never told me to be strong, but to rejoice in my weakness because He is strong.
God never told me to fix it, but to give it to Him.

So, here I am. My junior year of college, and letting go of my anxiety. I am going to that dreadful doctor’s office and talking to them about my anxiety.

Do I know what will happen? No, but God does.
Do I have “peace” about it? No, I am scared out of my wits and that’s okay. Because there are over 20 times in the bible, where God does something HUGE… and the people were afraid. It doesn’t make me any less of a christian, but human.

I am choosing to not trust my feelings. My messy, sinful, twisted feelings. I am not waiting for that “peace” before I make this decision. Because my feelings want to do this on my own. My feelings are selfish and try to be independent. My feelings are deceitful and wrong. My feelings can twist anything into “peace”. I cannot trust my feelings.

 I am trusting God and my feelings will catch up eventually.