Sunday, January 11, 2015

How God used Taylor Swift

This past year, I started on a journey, wanting to trust God. I had a lot of challenges, a lot of breaking down walls, a lot of brokenness.
I am so excited to tell you that, though I cannot pinpoint that moment where or when it happened, as I began my new year with my new "oneword365", I realized, it happened! I trust God!
One of the challenges He prepared me for was a very deep, painful one.

Christine Caine is quoted as saying, "The devil on his best day did not take you out on your worst day. You are still here. You are still standing. The best is still to come!"

God can see what a challenge will do to you. He can foresee that coming through that challenge, He will be glorified and you will be stronger in the faith than ever before. 

I was told by a friend that another friend in whom I had placed great value and trust, was speaking unkindly of me behind my back. My heart was broken at the betrayal. How could this be? I grieved. I longed for peace, reconciliation, trust restored.

I did not know if I should contact this friend, or even what I would say. God in His everlasting gracious provision was calling to me...through Taylor Swift.

I know, so spiritual. But, it's true. At that time, I had been listening to the radio and subjected to the song that will never leave your head if you hear it, "Shake It Off".
And, I cried myself to sleep with that tune a couple of nights. Anytime the pain came back to me, I'd remind myself that the "haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate"...and that it was not because of me or up to me to change that fact.

I had not done anything to upset this person, at least, not knowingly or intentionally.
Still, I sensed that this was not the entire story. I began to pray that God would take the hurt away. Prayed that the Holy Spirit would restore our trust and friendship, and that whatever was going on in that friend's life that would cause such pain to spill out of her would be addressed.

God began to take that pain over the next week and completely fill me with His love. Over and over in my devotional, in my subscribed newsfeed from Christine Caine, Proverbs 31 Ministries, YouVersion, Beckah Shae, I began to hear His word to me. 

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)
Romans 13:10, "Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." (NIV)
Malachi 4:2
"But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture."
This next photo, I recommend reading this story from Renee Swope at Proverbs 31 ministries.

This was immediately after I gave it to God and asked Him to take the hurt.
I tell you, He opened His storehouse of love and healing and poured it on me daily!

And, when I finally felt His peace about it, I called this friend. She admitted being stressed and shared all that she was carrying, and it all added up. It had not been the festering wound I feared, but in a high point of stress, the second friend was a listening ear, and surface irritations came out much harsher than they really were.

It's said that "hurting people hurt people". I'm so thankful to have heard and learned that prior to this place I had been through. It helped me to look beyond the words, beyond the tears, to "shake it off" and to search for the real problem. I found it, and I found my depth of friendship began to grow in this situation.

So, if God can use Taylor Swift, imagine what more He can do with you when you're intentionally trying to be used by Him?!

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