Oh my gosh people, if you don’t know Taylor Storey, you need to Facebook stalk her or something! Ok, maybe don’t do that, but do read her blog post! She is a joy and a light. Any room she walks into she brings in love, and all who run into her feel that love. If you ever wonder if our future is in good hands, go on a walk with Taylor and you will have more confidence in the what God is doing. Her story and faith are inspiring! – Willow
Love people. This is my mission. This is why God has chosen to put me, Taylor Storey, in Bellingham Washington, at this time- to love people. I wake up and this is the first thing on my mind. When I am in line at the grocery store, on the soccer field, at work, with my friends… God simply asks me to love the people around me. I know this is my purpose, however, it is not an easy one. Loving people, and trusting that God will take care of the rest is a challenge I wrestle with each day.
Whether it is a friend my age or an absolute stranger, people tend to naturally open up to me about anything and everything. I held my friend crying after cutting herself, I sat with a friend in the emergency room after attempted suicide, and I have taken friends to counseling who couldn’t do it on their own. I grew up surrounded by friends and family members who were hurting and struggling, wanting to help them. I was glad to be a supportive friend, or stranger. But while it was good that these people opened up to me, I was not qualified, nor could I fix them. This broke my heart.
My natural tendency is to try to “fix” people. If only they would stop doing this, start doing this, change this, then their life would be “fixed”. What a ludicrous thing to think- I can’t fix or save someone who is suicidal, struggling from an eating disorder, or who just lost his or her mom to cancer. Only God can save people. But I can love them.
Loving people is without a doubt one of the biggest challenges God has asked me to do. I have learned that I have to set aside my tendency to jump in and try to control the situation. I have learned that I cannot save anyone. Only God, and God alone can do this. So God, doing what only God can do, has made me Hospitality Director at a local church. And oh let me tell you, He has been testing me.
God has placed numerous people at our front doors needing help- a man who had been walking for 3 days straight, with no food or water, needing a place to sleep at night and rest his feet. My first thought was, “Oh, well I have money to buy this guy a nice dinner, and I know a friend who has an extra room, and while I am at it, I will help him find a job, give his life to Christ, and shabam– he will be fixed.” I am sure God just looked at me and chuckled to Himself.
I also remember the young mom with a five-year-old who just moved here from the east coast with no place to stay and no childcare. So I naturally start doing what I do, “I have 5 roommates, I am sure we can fit two more into the house for a few weeks, I know a lot of people. I am sure someone is hiring, and I can just bring the five-year-old to work with me until the rest gets figured out.” Again, God laughed.
The most recent “Taylor moment” happened last week. A good friend of mine had a double knee replacement and needed help with his exercises and doctor appointments. Even though this is an extremely busy month for me at work and at home, I started thinking, “Well, I have helped someone with the same surgery before, so since I know how to help I might as well take a week off of work, drive him to the doctor’s each day, make him and his family food, and just push back my priorities until he is healthy and able to take care of himself.” Now I think God has stopped laughing and is now rolling His eyes at me.
In these moments, I truly believe that I can fix their problems. Again, if only they would stop doing this, start doing this, change this, then their lives would be “fixed.” However, God is their Savior, NOT me. God died for their sins, God knows what they need, God can perform miracles to heal them- I cannot do any of these things. And thankfully God hasn’t asked me to. God asks me to choose love.
So instead of trying to “fix” people, I try to love them. I chose to sit with the man who had been walking for days, and listen to his story, and believe him. I chose to offer the young mom a friend, who would pray for her and her son. I chose to bring my friend who had surgery dinner, and offer encouragement through his recovery. By choosing love, I am acknowledging that God is God, and He is in control. So each day, I choose love. – Taylor
Will you each day choose love?